Vice-Kingship of Italy
in the Holy Roman Empire

The Imperial Kingdom of Italy was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor or a member of the Imperial Family from the time of Charlemagne, excepting a brief period in which it was ruled by other houses. Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, King of Italy, crowned Countess Matilda, Margravine of Tuscany as Vice-Queen of Italy, also appointing her Imperial Vicar (representative) in Italy. Since the Italian Crown in the Holy Roman Empire was a personal union with the Empire itself, Matilda's title as the actual ruler of Imperial Italy was Vice-Queen. She died without issue, ceding her territorial rights to the Holy Church.

During the Napoleonic Empire, Napoleon was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown, following the traditions of the Holy Roman Emperors. Similarly, Italy was specifically ruled by a Vice-King, Prince Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, adopted son of Napoléon I.

The title of Viceroy later in history is derived from the French form of Vice-King, Vice-Roi. Such Viceroys were/are representatives of the Sovereign of a particular territory, with varying degrees of authority. Typically they rule a country on behalf of the monarch. Historical examples include the Viceroys of the various Spanish territories around the world — a famous example being Christopher Columbus. Modern examples include the Governor-General of Canada and the Governor-General of Australia.

Today, the Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen holds the title of Vice-King of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire and Imperial Vice Chancellor of Italy as the ecclesiastical successor of the ancient Margraviate of Tuscany in the Holy Roman Empire and in descent from the ancient Margraves of Tuscany and Kings of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire.

Above: The Iron Crown of Italy


Patrimony of the Patriarchate of St. Stephen

Holy Roman Empire




















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