|Victor Emanuele III's statue
a reminder of Italy's royal past
Italian viewers could enjoy two hours of live coverage of the ceremony and its build-up on the country's main television channel, Rai Uno.
Last night the live debate programme Porta a Porta was devoted to Nozze di Re (the royal wedding). The question was asked: Is the future of the monarchy in William’s hands?
And studio guests discussed the people left off the guest list for the wedding, which include members of the former Italian royal family, who spent many years in exile but are now living back in Italy .
On June 2 every year, Italians celebrate the birth of the republic in Italy . They voted for a republic in a referendum held in 1946 and as a result King Umberto II went into exile.
But the Italian royal family are still remembered in many places throughout the country, including Bergamo, where a statue of Victor Emanuele III towers over Piazza Giacomo Matteotti in the Città Bassa (lower town).
And the attitude of many Italians has softened towards their former royal family in recent years. Emanuele Filiberto, the son of the current king of Italy, achieved the majority vote in Ballando con le Stelle on Rai Uno, an equivalent of the popular BBC programme, Strictly Come Dancing, when he took part in 2009. Thanks to the viewers’ vote he was crowned champion, sparking headlines in the Italian newspapers declaring him ‘King for a Night’.