Charles Felix of Sardinia

For other people named Charles Felix, see Charles Felix (disambiguation).
Charles Felix
King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy
Reign 12 March 1821 – 27 April 1831
Coronation 25 April 1821
Predecessor Victor Emmanuel I
Successor Charles Albert
Born (1765-04-06)6 April 1765
Royal Palace, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died 27 April 1831(1831-04-27) (aged 66)
Palazzo Chablais Palazzo Chablais, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Burial 28 April 1831
Hautecombe Abbey, Saint-Pierre-de-Curtille
Spouse Maria Cristina of Naples and Sicily (m. 1807–31); his death
Full name
Carlo Felice Giuseppe Maria di Savoia
House House of Savoy
Father Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
Mother Maria Ferdinanda Antonia of Spain
Religion Roman Catholicism

Charles Felix (Italian: Carlo Felice Giuseppe Maria; 6 April 1765 27 April 1831) was the Duke of Savoy, Piedmont, Aosta and King of Sardinia from 1821 to 1831.


Early life

Carlo Felice di Savoia was born in Turin as the eleventh child and fifth son born to Victor Amadeus III of Savoy and Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain. His paternal grandparents were Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy and his German wife Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg. His maternal grandparents were French born King Philip V of Spain and his Italian wife, Elisabeth Farnese.

He was a younger brother of two other rulers of Savoy Charles Emmanuel IV and Victor Emmanuel I. He spent his childhood with his sister Maria Carolina and Count of Moriana where they lived at the Castle of Moncalieri. Carlo Felice was reported as having a closed character, prone to loneliness, with an almost ascetic (which for some time, had flashed the ecclesiastical career) and a sacral conception of the monarchy and the right to reign. With the Napoleonic occupation of Piedmont in 1796, he lost the crown of Savoy, the Duchy of Savoy and area of Genevois. Carlo Felice, who was titled Duke of Genoa, obtained the title of Marquis of Susa in compensation for his nominal loss.


He was a younger brother of Charles Emmanuel IV and Victor Emmanuel I. He was not expected to ever succeed to the throne. However Charles Emmanuel never had any children and abdicated the throne on 4 June 1802. Victor Emmanuel had four living daughters when he abdicated the throne in 1821. As the succession was regulated by the Salic Law, Charles Felix succeeded his brother on the throne.

Since Charles was in Modena at the time of his succession, he appointed as Regent his cousin, and heir, Charles Albert (of the Carignano branch of the Savoy family). Charles Albert was in touch with the liberal revolutionaries at that time, and immediately granted their request for a constitution. All this occurred between the 6 and 14 March 1821.

Even before he reached Turin, Charles Felix repudiated the Regent's promise and, to help restore order, called in the Austrians, who stayed in Piedmont till 1823. In that same year Charles Albert went to Spain to extinguish by force of arms the last sparks of revolt, making himself an object of hatred as the betrayer of Italian liberalism, but regaining the confidence of the King, who might have chosen another successor.

Charles Felix was a true reactionary, convinced that the world would soon be swept clean of all those - in his view - wicked and sacrilegious innovations introduced by the French Revolution and diffused throughout Europe by Napoleon Bonaparte "the rascal" as he called him.


He was married by proxy to Princess Maria Cristina of Naples and Sicily (17 January 1779 11 March 1849) on 7 March 1807. She was a daughter of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria, (1752-1814), sister of the famous Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), later Queen of France .

Death and Succession

Charles Felix died without issue, in Turin at the Palazzo Chablais which had been given to him by his sister Princess Maria Anna, Duchess of Chablais, after a reign of ten years. He was succeeded by the senior male member of his dynastic house, the regent Charles Albert (1798-1849). He was the last surviving grandchild of Philip V of Spain.


The Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa is named for him.

The principal road of the island of Sardinia, the Strada statale 131 Charles Felix, which connects the towns of Cagliari and Sassari-Porto Torres, constructed in the 19th century, is named for him.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Arms of Charles Felix, King of Sardinia


See also

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