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Dancing Savoy heir on the European campaign trail

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Fresh from his success on the TV show Dancing with the Stars, Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, grandson of the last king of Italy, is campaigning in June’s European elections for Italy’s small centrist party, the Union of Christian Democrats (UDC).

“I had offers from other parties but I feel culturally close to the UDC and its leader Pier Ferdinando Casini,” Filiberto told Reuters on the campaign trail in the small northwestern Piedmont town of Crescentino. “I feel close to its family values, its Christian roots, its ties with the homeland, which I have supported since I’ve been in Italy.”

Emanuele Filiberto, born in Switzerland in 1972, is a member of the House of Savoy, the Italian ruling dynasty whose male heirs were exiled in 1948 because of its relations with the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. The family was allowed back into Italy in 2002.

“I did Dancing with the Stars to get myself better known by Italians,” said Filiberto, who won the competition and is standing in the European elections for the northwestern region of Italy, where the Savoy dynasty has its origins. “First and foremost, however, I feel Italian and since my return to Italy I’ve always wanted to do what I can to help my country.” In Crescentino, he was mobbed by locals at the town fair.

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