Victor Emmanuel III (1869–1947), king of Italy from 1900 to 1946. He was a talented and well-educated man but made serious errors of judgment. His passive acceptance of the Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in the 1920's brought discredit to his dynasty, leading to the establishment of a republic.
Victor Emmanuel came to the throne in 1900 after his father, Humbert I, was assassinated. Respecting the constitution, he limited his own role in the government.
When, in 1922, Mussolini led the Fascist party in a march on Rome, threatening Italy's constitutional government, the king refused to sign a decree of martial law approved unanimously by his ministry. Instead, he made Mussolini prime minister, and under the resulting Fascist dictatorship the king became a figurehead. As a result of Fascist conquests Victor Emmanuel assumed the titles of emperor of Ethiopia in 1936 and king of Albania in 1939.
Italy's defeat in World War II completely discredited the king. When Allied troops entered Rome in June, 1944, Victor Emmanuel turned over his powers to his son Humbert. Two years later he abdicated and went into exile.