Friday, April 29, 2011

Sicilian Royals in London

Today Prince William of Wales weds Kate Middleton, beginning what will, in effect, be a holiday weekend in Britain. There'll be lots of parties.

When one thinks of Sicily's royalty it obviously isn't a reigning royal family that comes to mind but kings like Frederick II. However, Sicily's royal family, a branch of the House of Bourbon (whose other flourishing branches are those of France, Spain and Parma), will be represented by Carlo di Borbone of the Two Sicilies and his wife, Camilla.

As head of his dynasty, Prince Carlo is Duke of Castro. His family's Constantinian Order of Saint George undertakes charitable works here in Sicily and abroad. The organisation's church in Sicily is Palermo's splendid Magione, erected late in the 12th century and used for several centuries as a conventual church of the Teutonic Order.

In recent years the Two Sicilies dynasty, which ruled until Italian unification in 1860, is ever more frequently mentioned, not in connection with the restoration of a monarchy but as a cultural point of reference in times when Italian regionalism is evolving into a political and economic federalism.

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