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Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
|Victor Amadeus II|
|Portrait of Vittorio Amedeo II in majesty, by Martin van Meytens (1728, Palace of Venaria)|
|King of Sardinia|
|Reign||17 February 1720 – 3 September 1730|
|Successor||Charles Emmanuel III|
|King of Sicily|
|Reign||22 September 1713 – 17 February 1720|
|Duke of Savoy|
|Reign||12 June 1675 – 3 September 1730|
|Predecessor||Charles Emmanuel II|
|Successor||Charles Emmanuel III|
|Regent||Marie Jeanne (until 1684)|
|Spouse|| Anne Marie d'Orléans (m. 1684–1728)|
Anna Canalis di Cumiana (m. 1730)
| Maria Adelaide, Dauphine of France|
Maria Luisa, Queen of Spain
Maria Vittoria, Princess of Carignano (illegitimate)
Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont
Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia
|Italian: Vittorio Amedeo Sebastiano di Savoia|
|Father||Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy|
|Mother||Marie Jeanne of Savoy|
|Burial||Basilica of Superga, Turin, Italy|
Victor Amadeus II (Vittorio Amedeo Sebastiano; 14 May 1666 – 31 October 1732) was Duke of Savoy from 1675 to 1730. He also held the titles of Marquis of Saluzzo, Duke of Montferrat, Prince of Piedmont, Count of Aosta, Moriana and Nizza.
He was the only child born to Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy and Marie Jeanne of Savoy. At his fathers death in 1675, his mother took over a regency in the name of her nine year old son and would remain in de facto power till 1684 when Victor Amadeus banished her further involvement in the state. Louis XIV organised his marriage to Anne Marie d'Orléans in order to maintain French influence in the Duchy but Victor Amadeus soon broke away from the influence of France. Anne Marie was a devoted wife but Victor Amadeus did not love her.
Having fought in the War of the Spanish Succession, he became king of Sicily in 1713 but he was forced to exchange this title and instead became king of Sardinia to which his direct descendants claim as part of the Kingdom of Italy. He abdicated in 1730 and the crown was inherited by his son Charles Emmanuel III. Victor Amadeus left a considerable cultural influence in Turin remodelling the Royal Palace of Turin, Palace of Venaria, Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi as well as building the Basilica of Superga where he rests.
Family and issue
His distant relationship with his mother was always strained and has been blamed on her ambition to keep power to herself. Marie Jeanne spent most of her time relegated to state business which she enjoyed and had little time for her only child whom she kept under close supervision in order to make sure he would try to assume power. Anne Marie gave her husband six children but also had two stillbirths of each gender one in 1691 and again in 1697. Three of these children would go on to have further progeny including the eldest Maria Adelaide who was the mother of Louis XV of France. His second daughter Maria Luisa known in the family as Louison would marry Philip V of Spain in 1701 and was also regent of Spain for various periods. These two marriages were tactics used by Louis XIV to keep Victor Amadeus close to France prior to the War of the Spanish Succession.
Anne Marie would remain a devoted wife. She quietly accepted his extramarital affairs the longest one being with the famed beauty Jeanne Baptiste d'Albert by whom he had two children. Jeanne Baptiste was his mistress for eleven years and eventually fled Savoy due to Victor Amadeus' obsession with her. Victor Amadeus subsequently had his daughter including the future Maria Vittoria marry the Prince of Carignan from which the present Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples is a direct descendant. His favourite child was Victor Amadeus born in 1699 and given the title Prince of Piedmont as heir apparent. At the death of the Prince of Piedmont in 1715 from smallpox Victor Amadeus II was very upset. His devoted wife Anne Marie died in 1728 after a series of heart attacks.
His relationship with his younger son and eventual successor Charles Emmanuel was a cold one and the two were never close. Victor Amadeus organised the first two marriages of Charles Emmanuel the first one being to Anne Christine of Sulzbach, daughter of the Count Palatine of Sulzbach which produced a son which died in infancy. The second marriage was to Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg a first cousin of Anne Christine and mother of six children including the future Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.
- Maria Adelaide of Savoy (1685–1712); married Louis, Duke of Burgundy and had issue;
- Maria Anna of Savoy (1687–1690);
- Maria Luisa of Savoy (1688–1714) married Philip V of Spain and had issue;
- Victor Amadeus of Savoy (1699–1715) died unmarried;
- Charles Emmanuel of Savoy (1701–1773); the next Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia.
- Emanuele Philibert of Savoy (1705-1705) died in infancy.
- Maria Vittoria of Savoy (1690–1766) married Victor Amadeus, Prince of Carignan and had issue;
- Vittorio Francesco of Savoy (1694–1762) married Maria Lucrezia Franchi di Pont, had no issue.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 14 May 1666–12 June 1675 His Highness the Prince of Piedmont
- 12 June 1675–June 1689 His Highness the Duke of Savoy
- June 1689–22 September 1713 His Royal Highness the Duke of Savoy
- 22 September 1713–24 August 1720 His Majesty the King of Sicily
- 24 August 1720–3 September 1730 His Majesty the King of Sardinia
- 3 September 1730–31 October 1732 His Majesty King Victor Amadeus