Clotilde of Savoy, Princess of Venice (née Clotilde Marie Pascale Courau; 3 April 1969), is an award-winning French actress. She is the wife of Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice, a member of the House of Savoy and the grandson of Umberto II, the last reigning King of Italy. Professionally, she is known by her maiden name.
Clotilde Courau was born on 3 April 1969 in Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, France, the daughter of Jean-Claude Courau (b. 1942) and Catherine du Pontavice des Renardières (b. 1948). She has three sisters named Christiane, Camille, and Capucine Courau.
Clotilde was brought up in the Roman Catholic religion.
In 1991, Courau was nominated for a César, for Most Promising Actress (Meilleur espoir féminin), and won an European Film Award for Best Actress, both for the film Le petit criminel (1990). In 1995, she won the Prix Suzanne Bianchetti at the SACD Awards. She was nominated again for a César twice in 1996 for Best Supporting Actress (Meilleur second rôle féminin) and Most Promising Actress (Meilleur espoir féminin) both for the film Élisa. In 1998 she was named as one of European cinema’s “Shooting Stars” by European Film Promotion and in 2000 she won the Prix Romy Schneider. She was also created a Dame of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France on 7 February 2007.
She had a featured role in Deterrence, an American film about nuclear war that marked the directing debut of Rod Lurie.
Clotilde Courau announced her engagement on 10 July, and on 25 September 2003 at the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome, she married Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice. At the ceremony she wore a wedding gown designed by Valentino. Six months pregnant at the time of the wedding, she was seen as a controversial royal bride because of her left-wing views.
The couple have two daughters:
Princess Vittoria of Savoy, born on 29 December 2003.
Princess Luisa of Savoy, born on 16 August 2006.
After her marriage Clotilde became Clotilde of Savoy, Princess of Venice sometimes shortened to Princess Clotilde of Savoy”. Although the titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family are no longer recognised by the government of Italy, she is sometimes referred to in the media by her birth name, under which she continues her acting career, and sometimes as Princess of Savoy, Princess of Venice or Princess of Piedmont, titles derived from those claimed by her husband’s family.
Although not a member of a ruling royal house, Princess Clotilde and her husband are regularly guests at royal events such as the wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco and of Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
In 2009, her name was given to a rose created by the rose grower Fabien Ducher to mark the 500000th visitor to the Jardins de l’Imaginaire, Terrasson