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mariejoseThe stunning Marie José of Belgium was the last Queen of Italy. She reigned as consort for 35 days before the monarchy was abolished in 1946. She had four children from a very unhappy marriage Umberto III. After they married, she was asked to change her name to the Italian- Maria Giuseppa, but refused.

The couple spent the rest of the time in exile- spending time in Portugal, Switzerland, and Mexico- but eventually separated. Neither wanted a divorce due to their strong Catholic beliefs.

Marie returned to Italy only after Umberto’s death in 1983. She died of lung cancer at the age of 94.

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