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King of Italy
Former Monarchy
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890)
Royal Coat of arms
Umberto II Italia
Umberto II
First monarch Odoacer
(as Dux)
Last monarch Umberto II
(as King)
Style His Majesty
Official residence Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome
(last)
Appointer Hereditary
Monarchy started 4 September 476
Monarchy ended 12 June 1946
Current pretender Prince Vittorio Emanuele

King of Italy (Latin: Rex Italiae; Italian: Re d'Italia) was the title given to the ruler who ruled part or all of the Italian Peninsula after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed Dux Italiae ("Duke of Italy") by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno. Later, the Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer Rex Italiae ("King of Italy"). In 493, the Ostrogoth king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, and set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552.

In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies of Rome, Venetia, Naples and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title "king of the Lombards". After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire. Subsequent emperors used the title "king of Italy" until Charles V. At first they were crowned in Pavia, later Milan, and Charles was crowned in Bologna.

In 1805, Napoleon I was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral. The next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I (1814) until the Italian Unification (1861), there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title. The Risorgimento successfully established a dynasty, the House of Savoy, over the whole peninsula, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946. The Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year, and Umberto II left the country.

Dux (Italiae)Edit

Ostrogothic Kingdom (493–553)Edit

Kingdom of the Lombards (568–814)Edit

Rule of the dukes (ten-year interregnum)

Kingdom of Italy (781–963)Edit

After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the kingship simultaneously:

vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli 889-894, deposed by Arnulf in 896.
opponent of Berengar, ruled most of Italy but was deposed by Arnulf.
subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto 894–895.

In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, which was divided between Berengar and Lambert:

seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898.
opposed Berengar 900-902 and 905.
defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926.
elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945.
jointly with his son:

In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert became in vassals but remained Kings until being deposed by Otto.

Holy Roman Emperors also crowned kings of Italy (962–1556)Edit