Onesuch Press

The Remarkable Female Descendants of Countess Francoise Krasinska

Countess Francoise Krasinska great-great-grand-daughter was Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna of Savoy (1851-1926), the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy.

She married her first cousin Umberto, Prince of Piedmont in 1868. In 1869, Margherita gave birth to Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, afterwards Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. He was their only child.
In 1878, Umberto succeeded as the new King of Italy. She became his Queen consort and remained by his side for the rest of his reign. Umberto was killed by the anarchist, Gaetano Bresci in1900.
Margherita encouraged artists and writers and founded cultural institutions. She was a benefactor of many charities, especially the Red Cross.
In 1889, the Margherita pizza, whose red tomatoes, green basil, and white cheese represent the Italian flag, was named after her.
In 1893 she climbed the Punta Gnifetti (or Signalkuppe), a peak of the Monte Rosa massif on the Swiss-Italian border, for the inauguration of the mountain hut named after her.

Countess Francoise Krasinska's great-great-great-grand-daughter was Giovanna Elisabetta Antonia Romana Maria (1907 – 2000), the last Tsaritsa of Bulgaria.
She was born in Rome, the third daughter of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Queen Elena, former Princess of Montenegro. She was raised in the Villa Savoia and from a young age was aware of that the main purpose of her life would be to further the House of Savoy's dynastic aspirations through marriage.
Giovanna married Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria in Assisi in October 1930, in a Roman Catholic ceremony, attended by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Bulgarians deemed her a good match, partly because of her mother's native Slavic ethnicity. At a second ceremony in Sofia, Bulgaria, Giovanna was married in an Eastern Orthodox Church ceremony, bringing her into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. Giovanna adopted the Bulgarian version of her name, Ioanna. She and Boris had two children: Marie-Louise of Bulgaria, born in January 1933, and then the future Simeon II of Bulgaria in 1937.
In the years prior to World War II, Tsaritsa Ioanna became heavily involved in charities, including the financing of a children's hospital. During the war she counterbalanced her husband consigning Bulgaria to the Axis by obtaining transit visas to enable a number of Jews to escape to Argentina. Tsar Boris also proved less malleable than Hitler had hoped, and following a meeting in Berlin in August 1943, the Tsar became seriously ill and died, aged 49. While stress and a heart condition were the official reasons for his death, rumours that he had been poisoned by Hitler were voiced at the time and have since grown.
Ioanna's son, Simeon, became the new Tsar and a regency was established led by his uncle Prince Kyril, who was considered more pliable by the Germans.
In the dying days of World War II, Bulgaria was invaded by the Soviet Union. Prince Kyril was tried by a People's Court and subsequently executed. Giovanna and Simeon remained under home arrest at Vrana Palace, near Sofia until 1946, when the new Communist government gave them 48 hours to leave the country. After initially fleeing to Alexandria, Egypt, to be with her father, Vittorio Emmanuele III, they moved to Madrid. After the marriage of Simeon II to the Spanish noblewoman Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela in 1962, Tsaritsa Ioanna moved to Estoril, Portugal, where she lived for the rest of her life, excepting a brief return to Bulgaria in 1993 when she visited Boris's grave. She is buried in Assisi, Italy, where she married King Boris III in 1930.