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Return of the king

Italy's forthcoming election may return Berlusconi to power and the royal family from exile. Italian democracy is not endangered, but what about Italian television?

By Tobias Jones   May 2001

The last queen of Italy is being laid to rest. It is early February, and the ceremony is taking place at Hautecombe in France, because the male line of the Italian “royal family”-the principi di Savoia-are still barred from entering Italy. They’ve been exiles ever since the 1946 referendum in which the country voted to become a republic. Prior to that, Maria Jos?, the matriarch now being mourned, was queen of Italy for little more than a month.

Her funeral is the occasion for a Savoia public relations offensive: the family wants to return to Italy, and the funeral, just…

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