Bertoleoni is the ruling family of the
Kingdom of Tavolara( Sardinia, Italy), which supposedly was the smallest kingdom of the world (now extinguished, for practical purposes).
Charles Albert, King of
Sardinia, appointed Giuseppe Bertoleoni king of Tavolara in 1836. He also sanctioned the use of the title "Prince" for the oldest male heir, and the titles "Lord of the Islands" (Signor delle Isole) and "Lady of the Sea" (Signora del Mare) for the younger children of the king.
The present king is Tonino, an Italian citizen who runs "Da Tonino", a restaurant on the island.
Born December 20, 1778, on the nearby island of
Maddalena, Giuseppe Celestino Bertoleoni Poli was a shepherd and the only inhabitant of the island before Charles Albert's visit. He impressed him as an educated man and was made king of the island shortly thereafter. He brought his two families from other islands to live with him. The Italian government tried to prosecute him for bigamy, but failed because of his title. Passed kingdom to son Paolo in 1845; died 1849. [Wallechinsky, David, and Amy Wallace (2005), "The New Book of Lists", pp 383-384, ISBN 1-84195-719-4] [Valery, Antoine-Claude Pasquin (1837), "Voyages en Corse, à l'ile d'Elbe et en Sardaigne," vol. 2] [Ferrero della Marmora, Alberto (1860), "Itinéraire de l'ile de Sardaigne pour faire suite au Voyage en cette contrée," pp 190-193] ["The Island of Sardinia," "Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine," July 1849, p 43] [Vuillier, Gaston (1896), "The Forgotten Isles: Impressions of Travel in the Balearic Isles, Corsica and Sardinia," trans. Frederic Breton, p 386]
Paolo I (1845-1886)
Son of Giuseppe Bertoleoni and Laura Ornano, born 1815. In 1839 he visited King
Charles Albertin Turinand obtained a royal charter to Tavolara. After the creation of the Italian Kingdom, Paolo pressed and obtained recognition for Tavolara from Victor Emmanuel II. After he fell ill in 1882, his wife Pasqua Favale acted as regent. When he died May 30, 1886, he asked that the kingdom die with him, so the people established a republic, which was recognized by Italy the following year. ["E morto il Re!" "La Sardegna", June 8, 1886, p 1] [Saragat, Giovanni, "Paolo I Re di Tavolara. Un principe per burla. Storia e aneddoti." "Il Nuovo Giornale", Oct 16-17, 1895]
Republican period (1886-1899)
This period was relatively short lived, but apparently recognized by
Carlo I (1899-1927)
Son of Paolo I and Pasqua Favale, born 1845. The republic having fallen into disarray by 1899, a reluctant Carlo reinstated the monarchy. In the summer of 1900 the British naval vessel HMS "Vulcan" visited Tavolara, and the officers took a photograph of King Carlo and his family to hang in
Queen Victoria's collection of royal portraits in Buckingham Palace. By 1904, however, Carlo was king in name only, having no ambition to rule. He is reported to have said, "I do not care to be a king. It is enough for me to make as fine lobster-pots as did my father." He was persuaded to reign, however, until his death, which was reported either Nov 6, 1927, at Olbia, or Jan 31, 1928, at Ventimigliaon the Italian Riviera. [Hale, Walter, "The Search for a Lost Republic," "Harper's Monthly Magazine", Nov 1904, pp 929-936] ["Tavolara's King Dies; Ruled Tiniest Realm; Charles Bartoleoni Was Monarch of Small Island Off Sardinia's Coast," "New York Times", Feb 1, 1928, p 27]
Daughter of Paolo I and Pasqua Favale, born 1841, she took up the crown at the request of her nephew Paolo (Carlo's son and designated successor) during his absence from the island. When Mariangela died April 6, 1934, it was reported that Italy would inherit the kingdom. ["Princess Dies at Age of 100 on Lonely Island," "Chicago Daily Tribune", July 1, 1934, p F2] ["Italy Gets Queen's Island of Tavolara," "Hartford Courant", July 9, 1934, p 15]
Paolo II (1929-1962)
Son of Carlo I and Maddalena Favale, born 1897. Married 1930 to Italia Murru and initiated a renaissance of the monarchy. Appointed his cousin Prince Ernesto Carlo Geremia as Lieutenant General of the Kingdom. After Paolo's death Dec 2, 1962, the widowed Queen Italia Murru retired to
Porto San Paoloon Sardinia, wintering at Capo Testa, until her death in 2003 at age 95. Paolo II was the last to actively rule Tavolara. At the end of his reign, half the island was occupied by a NATO military installation.
Carlo II (1962-1993)
Eldest son of Paolo II and Italia Murru, born 1931. Married, no issue. Died May 1993 at
Capo Testa, Sardinia. ["E morto il re pescatore," "La Stampa", May 9, 1993] During the 1960s, his cousin Maria Molinas Bertoleoni (daughter of Mariangela and Bachisio Molinas, born 1869) also laid claim to the vacant throne. ["Oldest Claimant to Royalty is 100," Associated Press, July 5, 1969]
Tonino (1993- )
Antonio "Tonino" Bertoleoni, second son of Paolo II and Italia Murru, born 1933. Owner of "Da Tonino" restaurant; his sister Princess Maddalena owns "La Corona" restaurant nearby. Following the return of Vittorio Emanuele IV to his native Italy in 2002, Tonino vowed an appeal to him, as heir to the
House of Savoy, for recognition of the Tavolaran kingdom. The Crown Princess is married to an American Naval Officer. The Princess has assumed the governmental duties. Tonino's children by Pompea Romano are Princess Loredana, Princess Paola, and Crown Prince Giuseppe. [Gigi, Padovani, "Cartoline d'estate la favola del re barcaiolo," "La Stampa", Aug 3, 2005, p 16]
*Fioretti, Ovidio, [http://www.ceramichesarde.it/pagine/rubriche/tavolara.htm "La corona senza reame,"] "Almanacco di Cagliari 1989"
*Geremia, Ernesto Carlo, and Gino Ragnetti (2005), "Tavolara - l'Isola dei Re", ISBN 8-84253-441-2
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