House of Savoy
The House of Savoy (In Italian Casa Savoia) is a royal dynasty that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region in the Western Alps which has been apart of France since 1860. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small Alpine county]] north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1713 to 1720, when they were handed the island of Sardinia, over which they would exercise direct rule from then onward.
Through its junior branch of Savoy-Carignano, the House of Savoy led the Italian unification in 1860 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy until 1946; they also briefly ruled the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch reigned for a few weeks before being deposed following the institutional referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed.
Since 2006 their have been competing claims to the headship of the House of Savoy, between Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy, Prince of Naples and Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta.