Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parma (née Princess Maria Pia of Savoy; born 24 September 1934) is the eldest daughter of Umberto II of Italy and Marie-José of Belgium. She is the older sister of Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, and Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy. She is the cousin of former King Albert II of Belgium.
Maria Pia Elena Elisabetta Margherita Milena Mafalda Ludovica Tecla Gennara di Savoia was the first-born child of the Prince and Princess of Piedmont, born in Naples, Italy in 1934. Her parents, married since 1930, were unhappy together, as her mother confessed in an interview many years later (On n’a jamais été heureux, “We were never happy”), and separated after the Italian monarchy was abolished by plebiscite on 2 June 1946. Exiled, the family gathered briefly in Portugal, and she and her three younger siblings soon went with their mother to Switzerland while their father remained in Portugal. Being devout Catholics, her parents never divorced.
On the royal cruise of the yacht, Agamemnon, hosted by Queen Frederica of Greece on 22 August 1954, she met and later married Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (1924-2016), son of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark. Not long after their wedding, Maria Pia gave birth to the couple’s set of fraternal twin sons. Another set of twins was born to Maria Pia during the marriage five years later, this time a girl and boy:
Prince Dimitri Umberto Anton Peter Maria of Yugoslavia (b. 1958)
Prince Michael Nicolas Paul George Maria of Yugoslavia (b. 1958)
Prince Sergius “Serge” Wladimir Emanuel Maria of Yugoslavia (born 1963); married Sophia de Toledo on 6 November 1985, whom he divorced in 1986. He was remarried to Eleonora Rajneri on 18 September 2004.
Princess Helene Olga Lydia Tamara Maria of Yugoslavia (born 1963); married Thierry Alexandre Gaubert
Milena Gaubert (born 1988)
Nastasia Gaubert (born 1991)
Leopold Gaubert (born 1997)
The couple were divorced in 1967.
In 2003, Maria Pia was remarried to Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (born 1926), son of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margaret of Denmark, whose marriage with Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel had been annulled and with whom he has five dynastic children, also being the father of a child born out of wedlock in 1977, Amélie de Bourbon de Parme (wed in 2009 to Igor Bogdanoff).]Through him she was a sister-in-law of Queen Anne of Romania. Maria Pia’s ex-husband, Prince Alexander was also remarried, to Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein, a cousin of that principality’s monarch, and they had one son, Prince Dušan Paul