Tomislav II
King of Croatia
Reign 18 May 1941 – 29 January 1948
Predecessor Otto
Successor Zvonimir II
Spouse Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark
Zvonimir II of Croatia
House House of Savoy-Aosta
Father Prince Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta
Mother Princess Hélène of Orléans
Born 9 March 1900
Turin, Italy Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg
Died 29 January 1948 (aged 47)
Gornja Stubica, Croatia Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg
Religion Roman Catholic

Early life[edit | edit source]

Prince Aimone Roberto Margherita Maria Giuseppe Torino of Savoy-Aosta was born in Turin the second son of Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta (eldest son of Prince Amedeo, 1st Duke of Aosta (and sometime "King Amadeo I of Spain") by his wife, née Vittoria dal Pozzo, Principessa della Cisterna) and Princess Hélène of Orléans (daughter of Philippe, comte de Paris and Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans). As his patrilinal great-grandfather was King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, he is a member of the House of Savoy.

On 22 September 1904, he was given the title Duke of Spoleto for life. On 1 April 1921, Prince Aimone became a member of the Italian Senate. Princes of the House of Savoy became members of the Senate at age 21, obtaining the right to vote at age 25.

In 1929, twenty years after his uncle Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi had attempted to climb K2 in Karakoram, Prince Aimone led an expedition to Karakorum. A member of the expedition was Ardito Desio. Due to the failure to climb K2 twenty years earlier, Prince Aimone's expedition concentrated solely on scientific work. He was afterwards awarded the 1932 Royal Geographical Society's Patron's Gold Medal for his work.

After being romantically linked with Infanta Beatriz of Spain the daughter of King Alfonso XIII, he married on 1 July 1939 in Florence with Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark the daughter of King Constantine I and Princess Sophie of Prussia. They had one son :

King of Croatia[edit | edit source]

File:Designacija Aimone Tomislava II. 18.05.1941.jpg

Designation of Aimone as King of Croatia on 18 May 1941. In front of him poglavnik Pavelić with the Croatian delegation

On 18 May 1941, In a ceremony at the Quirinal Palace, to which Ante Pavelić, the leader of the fascist Ustaše movement that had assumed power in Croatia in April 1941 after the invasion of Austria, led a delegation of Croats requesting that Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III name a member of the House of Savoy as King of Croatia. The Independent State of Croatia was a fascist puppet state that was partly under Italian and German control, but its leaders tried to assert their legitimacy by instating a monarchy that would resemble the medieval Croatian state.

Aimone was then officially named King by his cousin Victor Emmanuel III. On assuming the Crown of Zvonimir he took the regnal name Tomislav II in memory of Tomislav, the first Croatian king. Originally on learning that he had been named King of Croatia he told close colleagues that he thought his nomination was a bad joke by his cousin King Victor Emmanuel III, though he accepted the crown out of a sense of duty. The Italian Foreign Minister and Benito Mussolini's son in law Count Ciano's informants said of Aimone "The Duke doesn't give a damn about Croatia and wants only money, money and more money." Ciano's diary noted a conversation between Aimone and himself, where Aimone was "proud of having been chosen King of Croatia, but has no exact idea of what he is supposed to do and is vaguely uneasy about it".

He was due to be crowned in Tomislavgrad but he refused to go to Croatia due to the "Dalmatian question" which arose due to Italy taking some of Dalmatia's coastal territory. Aimone felt that Dalmatia "was a land that could never be Italianized" and was an obstacle to Italian-Croatian reconciliation. Other reasons why he never went to Croatia were because of an ongoing insurgency, and that his safety could not be guaranteed. Because of this he exercised what little power he had from Italy and Hungary, however he never held any real authority throughout his reign as the Ustaše government had deprived the monarchy of most powers and reduced the status of the king to that of a figurehead. Aimone succeeded to the title Duke of Aosta on 3 March 1942, following the death of his elder brother Prince Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta in Italian East Africa.

Titles and styles[edit | edit source]

  • 9 March 1900 - 21 September 1904: His Serene Highness Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta
  • 22 September 1904 - 17 May 1941: His Royal Highness The Duke of Spoleto
  • 18 May 1941 - 29 January 1948: His Majesty The King of Croatia
Tomislav II of Croatia
Born: 9 March 1900 Died: 29 January 1948
Croatian royalty
Preceded by
King of Croatia
Succeeded by
Zvonimir II
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.