Typed Letter Signed in English from royal physician Aldo Castellani to journalist George Bilainkin, explaining on spurous medical grounds the separation of Queen Marie José from King Umberto II of Italy, with reference to Prince Victor Emanuel.

Aldo Castellani (1877-1971), Italian pathologist and bacteriologist [Umberto II, King of Italy (1904-1983); George Bilainkin (c.1903-1981), journalist; Queen Marie José (1906-2001)]
Publication details: 
Cascais, Portugal; on letterhead of the 'Casa di S. M. il Re'. 7 October 1954.
SKU: 11853

2pp., folio. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Castellani, who had accompanied the Italian royal family into exile in Portugal in 1946, is responding to two letters from Bilainkin, loyally attempting to conceal the unhappy state of relations between the royal couple ('We were never happy', the Queen declared after her husband's death; and there were rumours of homosexual affairs on the King's part). After discussing a friend of Bilainkin's who was 'possibly [...] never in Estoril', Castellani writes: 'With regard to the contents of the second letter of September 21st., may I, my dear Bilainkin, repeat what I told you and others before, viz. there was never disrupture or even discord between His Majesty and Her Majesty.' Castellani goes on to claim that the Queen now resides in Switzerland as she has to undergo prolonged 'treatement of retinal haemorrhage and its sequilae', following 'a terrible internal haemorrhage (through no fault of the surgeon)' some years before. According to Castellani, a 'tremendous improvement' has taken place in the Queen's eyesight, but she remains in Switzerland because the 'medical attendants, including myself', have recommended 'the bracing Swiss climate' for the 'thin and anaemic' heir to the throne Prince Victor Emanuel. 'Another advantage of Switzerland was and is that in that country there are most excellent officially recognised Italian Schools, while there are none in Portugal. Naturally His Parents wanted Their Son to be brought up as an Italian Boy.' Castellani concludes by stating that the Queen and Prince 'pay frequent visits to Portugal', and by discussing Bilainkin's 'lectures in Edinbourgh [sic]'. 'His Majesty may still be in Portugal in November and He has graciously said that he will be delighted to see you, if by any chance you come to this country.'