Italy’s former Royal Family are gathering in Turin today for the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples, who died at the age of 86.

His coffin laid in state at the Sant’uberto Chapel on the eve of the funeral service, and his wife Princess Marina, 88, and their son Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Venice, 51, remained at his side.

Prince Vittorio, the son of the last King of Italy Umberto II, died earlier this month.

His funeral, which is taking place at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in northern Italy, looked to be an opulent affair, with extravagant floral arrangements at the door.

Prince Vittorio’s son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, was pictured entering the cathedral in a long black coat, shielding from the rain with an umbrella.

Italy 's former Royal Family are gathering in Turin today for the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples, who died at the age of 86

Italy ‘s former Royal Family are gathering in Turin today for the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples, who died at the age of 86

Prince Vittorio's son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, was pictured entering the cathedral in a long black coat, shielding from the rain with an umbrella

Prince Vittorio’s son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, was pictured entering the cathedral in a long black coat, shielding from the rain with an umbrella

Marina Doria of Savoy, widow of Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, arrives at the Duomo Cathedral

Marina Doria of Savoy, widow of Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, arrives at the Duomo Cathedral

Shortly afterwards, his mother the newly widowed Princess Marina arrived.

Princess Olga of Savoy-Aosta and Prince Aimone were also among the early arrivals, dressed all in black.

There were also a host of European royals in attendance, including Albert, the Prince of Monaco, who was without his wife Charlene, and Queen Sofía of Spain.

The Prince of Naples was the son of the last king of Italy, Umberto II, who went into exile after the country voted to become a republic in 1946.

However, despite the results of the referendum, the House of Savoy always maintained its claim to the throne and cited the Spanish example to prove its case.

Spain restored its monarchy in 1975 when the nation returned to a democracy following the death of General Franco.

After the House of Savoy fled Italy when he was just nine years old, Prince Vittorio Emanuele spent most of his life in exile in Switzerland and Portugal.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

Queen Sofia of Spain arrives at the Duomo cathedral in Turin for to the funeral ceremony of late Prince Vittorio Emanuele

Queen Sofia of Spain arrives at the Duomo cathedral in Turin for to the funeral ceremony of late Prince Vittorio Emanuele

There were a host of European royals in attendance, including Albert, the Prince of Monaco, who was without his wife Charlene

There were a host of European royals in attendance, including Albert, the Prince of Monaco, who was without his wife Charlene

He went on to marry Marina Ricolfi Doria and the couple had a son, Emanuele Filiberto.

After battling for decades, the Prince of Naples finally returned to Italian soil in 2002 after parliament lifted a clause in the Italian Constitution which barred his family from setting foot in the nation.

During his visit he held an audience with Pope John Paul II, but he encountered a frosty reception with the Italian people.

Princess Olga of Savoy-Aosta and Prince Aimone were also among the early arrivals, dressed all in black

Princess Olga of Savoy-Aosta and Prince Aimone were also among the early arrivals, dressed all in black

Italy 's former Royal Family are gathering in Turin today for the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples, who died at the age of 86

Italy ‘s former Royal Family are gathering in Turin today for the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples, who died at the age of 86

His funeral, which is taking place at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in northern Italy, looks to be an opulent affair, with extravagant floral arrangements at the door

His funeral, which is taking place at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in northern Italy, looks to be an opulent affair, with extravagant floral arrangements at the door

The heir to the defunct throne was no stranger to controversy during his lifetime, after also being arrested in connection with the death of a German teenager in 1978.

Dirk Hamer was 19 years old and asleep on a boat in a Corsican port when he was shot during in his right leg. He died three months later.

At the time, the Italian Prince was also at the port, arguing with a group of tourists whom he accused of stealing his inflatable boat.

More than a decade later, Vittorio Emanuele was arrested in France in connection with the killing, but he was cleared at a court in Paris in 1991. He was given a suspended sentence for possession of a rifle.

The Prince of Naples was the son of the last king of Italy, Umberto II, who went into exile after the country voted to become a republic in 1946

The Prince of Naples was the son of the last king of Italy, Umberto II, who went into exile after the country voted to become a republic in 1946

Leka, Prince of Albania, attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

Leka, Prince of Albania, attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

Prince Charles Louis, Duke of Chartres, attends the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele

Prince Charles Louis, Duke of Chartres, attends the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele

Actor Daniel McVicar attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

Actor Daniel McVicar attends the funeral of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy

However, the plot thickened 20 years later when a recording emerged of the exiled royal appearing to admit to killing Hamer.

The recording was filmed in Potenza jail, where he was being held ahead of a trial for racketeering and involvement in prostitution (of which he was acquitted).

During the 2006 recording, he is seen telling other inmates he had taken the court for a ride after his acquittal.

In the video, he described firing two shots which hit the tourist as he was sleeping on his boat off the island of Cavallo in 1978.

After the clip emerged, he dismissed it as ‘manipulated’ and ‘not true’.

The Prince of Naples was the son of the last king of Italy, Umberto II, who went into exile after the country voted to become a republic in 1946

The Prince of Naples was the son of the last king of Italy, Umberto II, who went into exile after the country voted to become a republic in 1946

Prince Jean of Luxembourg attending the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

Prince Jean of Luxembourg attending the funeral of Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

In the clip, as reported by the Independent, the exiled prince said: ‘I was in the wrong… in the wrong.

‘I have to say I took them for a ride… the prosecutor had asked for five years and six months. I was sure of winning.

‘They gave me a six-month suspended sentence [for arms possession]; six months, there was an amnesty, they didn’t even register [the sentence]. I got out!’

However Hamer’s family renewed their calls for the exiled prince to face justice following the release of the recording.

Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy flanked by Princess Marina of Savoy and her son Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy

Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy flanked by Princess Marina of Savoy and her son Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy 

The exiled prince grew up between Switzerland and Portugal after his family fled Italy in 1946 when it became a republic

The exiled prince grew up between Switzerland and Portugal after his family fled Italy in 1946 when it became a republic

The mystery surrounding Hamer’s death became a focus point in Netflix documentary The King Who Never Was.

The documentary was directed by journalist Beatrice Borromeo, who is Princess Caroline of Monaco’s daughter-in-law.

It later emerged that Beatrice, who has also modelled for Vogue, was the person who leaked the recording.

Speaking to Tatler last year about the story, Beatrice said: ‘for as long as I can remember… the story of this case was part of our lives’ adding that Hamer’s mother Birgit is her own mother’s best friend.

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