The Apartment of the Hereditary Princes is located in the east wing on the first floor of the palace and is a wonderful example of a royal apartment, in that it the furnishings, tapestries and nineteenth-century decorations are intact. Its ten rooms were richly furnished for the wedding, in April 1842, between Prince Vittorio Emanuele and Maria Adelaide of Habsburg-Lorraine, heirs to the throne of Sardinia.
There are admirable works by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (known as il Grechetto), Vincenzo Camuccini, Luca Cambiaso, Carlo Maratta, Domenico Parodi as well as portraits of the House of Savoy.
The name by which the apartment is still known today reflects the radical and homogeneous transformation that this part of the building underwent between the end of 1841 and the beginning of 1844, following the marriage of the Duke of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuele, to Maria Adelaide. Its appearance, in fact, is the result of works that radically restyled the first floor, with its new floors, fittings and furnishings. At the end of 1841 and during the first few months of 1842, the most important transformations began. The door frames, still in slate, painted wood and terracotta, were rebuilt in marble and the doors were covered with the same silks used for the walls. Console tables with mirrors were added, specially made for the apartment in neo-baroque style. New furnishings were designed for each room, such as the extraordinary series of maple furniture designed by Henry Thomas Peters for three of the Duchess of Savoy’s rooms. Then there were new curtains, silk lampas, embroidered muslin and taffeta for hangings and draperies. As well as the ten main rooms, there were just as many service rooms: dressing rooms, “toilets” and corridors, as well as service stairs connecting the apartment to the kitchens, lodgings for the guards and the second noble floor.
Documentation confirms that Vittorio Emanuele used the accommodation even after he ascended the throne, until 1877, the year before his death. The last inventory made under his reign still refers to the apartment as that “of his Majesty the King”.
The apartment is also called “del Duca degli Abruzzi” (the Duke of Abruzzi), after the last important member of the House of Savoy to have lived in it, Luigi Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta (1873-1933). He was a famous explorer, navigator, mountaineer and admiral.
The Apartment of the Hereditary Princes can be visited on Saturday mornings (9.00 – 13.30) or when there is a temporary exhibition.