Passport King Umberto II
Umberto II (born Sept. 15, 1904, Racconigi, Italy—died March 18, 1983, Geneva, Switz.), prince of Savoy, was briefly king of Italy in 1946 until he was forced to abdicate after a republican form of government was approved in a general referendum.
He reigned for 34 days, from 9 May 1946 to 12 June 1946, although he had been de facto head of state since 1944 and was nicknamed the May King. Passport King Umberto II
The son of King Victor Emmanuel III, Umberto, graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Turin. He became a general in 1931 and commanded an armored division in World War II. On Mussolini’s recommendation, he was made a marshal in October 1942. After the Allies took Rome, his father appointed him lieutenant-general of the realm (June 2, 1944) and abdicated in his favor on May 9, 1946. Although Umberto campaigned to rally the monarchist forces, the Italian people voted for a republic. On June 14, Umberto and his male heirs were permanently banished from Italy. He took residence at Cascais, Portugal, under the title Count of Sarre. Passport King Umberto II
Umberto II lived for 37 years in exile, in Cascais, on the Portuguese Riviera. He never set foot in his native land again; the Italian Republic’s 1948 constitution not only forbade amending the constitution to restore the monarchy but until 2002 barred all male heirs to the defunct Italian throne from ever returning to Italian soil. Female members of the Savoy family were not barred, except queens consort. Relations between Umberto and Marie José grew more strained during their exile. In effect, their marriage broke up with Marie José moving to Switzerland while Umberto remained in Portugal, though as Catholics, the couple never filed for divorce.
He traveled extensively during his exile and was often seen in Mexico, visiting his daughter Maria Beatrice. Passport King Umberto II
When Umberto was dying in 1983, President Sandro Pertini wanted the Italian Parliament to allow Umberto to return to his native country. Ultimately, however, Umberto died in Geneva and was interred in Hautecombe Abbey, for centuries, the burial place of the House of Savoy members. No representative of the Italian government attended his funeral.
The passport was issued on 10 July 1946 to Emilio Bertacchi, going to Switzerland. According to the Swiss visa, he stayed for three days in Switzerland. Very interesting is that the travel document was valid for only ten days! Passport King Umberto II
Hence, such a passport is quite a discovery and a pretty rare document given he was King for such a short time. Within 34 days of his reign, surely not many passports have been issued. A treasure of Italian passport history!
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
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