Italy's former royals demand the return of '£250million' crown jewels that ...

Italy's former royals demand the return of '£250million' crown jewels that ...
Italy's former royals demand the return of '£250million' crown jewels that ...

Italy's former royal family have demanded the return of their crown jewels, believed to be worth £250million, that were taken away from them when the country abolished its monarchy.

The royals, who were exiled from Italy after the Second World War until 2002, want their collection of tiaras, necklaces, brooches and earrings returned to them from a vault in the Bank of Italy in Rome. 

The royal House of Savoy's collection, comprising of 6,000 diamonds and 2,000 pearls, was taken away when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy after the war. 

The Italians were punishing the royal family for first collaborating with fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and then fleeing Rome in 1944 to avoid an invading German army.

Ever since, the jewels have been kept by the Bank of Italy and reports suggest they are worth up to £250 million (€300 million).

But now, the former royal family are calling for the jewels, which were worn by Italian queens and princesses, to be returned to them 78 years later.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 49, (pictured with Princess Clotilde Courau in 2014) is calling for the jewels to be returned to his family

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 49, (pictured with Princess Clotilde Courau in 2014) is calling for the jewels to be returned to his family

Crown Prince Umberto of Italy with his bride Princess Marie Jose of Belgium, in 1930

Crown Prince Umberto of Italy with his bride Princess Marie Jose of Belgium, in 1930

Queen Marie Jose's diamond and pearl tiara inherited from Empress Charlotte of Mexico

Queen Marie Jose's diamond and pearl tiara inherited from Empress Charlotte of Mexico

'Italy should do what is right and fitting and restore the jewels to my family,' Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 49, told the Telegraph.

He added: 'The monetary value of the jewels doesn't interest us. What is more important is the historical and sentimental value that they have for the family. 

'Italy is about the only republic in the world where the private property of the ex-royal family is still in the hands of the State. It's shameful. Even Russia and Yugoslavia restored private possessions to their royals.

'The jewellery has been hidden away in a chest for more than 70 years. Unlike the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, these have never ever

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