Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia

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Charles Emmanuel IV
Charles Emmanuel IV, oil portrait by Giovanni Panealbo
King of Sardinia
Reign 16 October 1796 – 4 June 1802
Predecessor Victor Amadeus III
Successor Victor Emmanuel I
Born (1751-05-24)24 May 1751
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died 6 October 1819(1819-10-06) (aged 68)
Palazzo Colonna, Rome, States of the Church
Burial Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale
Spouse Marie Clotilde of France
Full name
Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria di Savoia
House House of Savoy
Father Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
Mother Maria Antonietta of Spain

Charles Emmanuel IV (Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria; 24 May 1751 – 6 October 1819) was King of Sardinia from 1796 to 1802. He abdicated in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel I.


An infant Charles with his mother
Marie Clotilde of France, Charles Emmanuel's devoted wife

Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria di Savoia was born in Turin, the eldest son of Victor Amadeus III, King of Sardinia and of his wife Infanta Maria Antonietta of Spain. From his birth until his own succession to the throne of Sardinia in 1796 Charles Emmanuel was styled "Prince of Piedmont".

In 1775 Charles Emmanuel married Marie Clotilde of France, the daughter of Louis, Dauphin of France and Princess Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, and sister of King Louis XVI of France. Although the union was arranged for political reasons, Charles Emmanuel and his wife became devoted to each other. Their attempts to have children, however, were unsuccessful.

At the death of his father (14 October 1796), Charles Emmanuel succeeded as King of Sardinia. The kingdom included not only the island of Sardinia, but also significant territories in northwest Italy including all of Piedmont.

At his succession to the throne in 1796, Sardinia had been forced to conclude the disadvantageous Treaty of Paris (1796) with the French Republic, giving the French army free passage through Piedmont. On December 6, 1798, the French under Joubert occupied Turin and forced Charles Emanuel to abdicate all his territories on the Italian mainland and to withdraw to the island of Sardinia, which stayed out of the reach of the French army. The following year he tried unsuccessfully to regain Piedmont. He and his wife lived in Rome and in Naples as guests of the wealthy Colonna family.

On 7 March 1802 Charles Emmanuel's wife Marie Clothilde died. He was so moved by her death that he decided to abdicate, June 4, 1802 in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel. Charles Emmanuel retained the personal title of King. He lived in Rome and in the nearby town of Frascati.

In Frascati he was a frequent guest of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, last member of the Royal House of Stuart, who was his cousin. Charles was descended from Henrietta Anne Stuart, the youngest daughter of Charles I, whereas Henry Benedict Stuart was descended from James II who was the second son of Charles I.

When Henry died in 1807, Charles Emmanuel became the senior heir-general of King Charles I of England and Scotland. There is no documentary evidence that Charles Emmanuel ever attempted to make a public claim to the title of King of England or Scotland.[citation needed]

Indeed, in 1815 at the age of sixty-four Charles Emmanuel took simple vows in the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). He was never ordained to the priesthood, but lived the rest of his life at the Jesuit novitiate in Rome.

Charles Emmanuel died at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome on 6 October 1819. He is buried in the Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 24 May 1751 – 16 October 1796: His Royal Highness the Prince of Piedmont
  • 16 October 1796 – 4 June 1802: His Majesty the King of Sardinia
  • 4 June 1802 – 6 October 1819: His Majesty King Charles Emmanuel

External links

Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia
Born: 24 May 1751 Died: 6 October 1819
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Victor Amadeus III
King of Sardinia
Succeeded by
Victor Emmanuel I
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Henry Benedict Stuart
Jacobite succession
Succeeded by
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia