Saturday 22 June, the Great Saint Bernard Pass, The Swiss Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy met again at the Hospice of Grand Saint Bernard for a day of meeting and pilgrimage in the presence of S.A.R. the Grand Master Prince Vittorio Emanuele and the Their Excellencies the Grand Chancellor Cav. Ord. Supr. SS. Ann. Johannes Niederhauser, the Grand Treasurer Cav. Gr. Cr. Nicolas Gagnebin and the President of the Oevres Hospitaliers, Cav. Gr. Cr. Robert Matossian.
The initiative, promoted for the second year to celebrate the imminent arrival of summer, was much more than a simple visit for H.R.H. the Grand Master. The August Prince, in fact, relived the journey of that distant 8th of September 1943 when, following the armistice and being in the north of the country, with His Mother, H.R. H. the Princess of Piedmont, Maria José, future Queen of Italy and His three Sisters, T.R.H. the Princesses Maria Pia, Maria Gabriella and Maria Beatrice, travelled this road by crossing the alpine pass, to seek refuge in Switzerland, as honored guests of the Commander in chief of the Swiss Army General Guisan.
The historical ties that unite the House of Savoy with the monks of the Grans Saint Bernard Hospice are many and ancient, dating back to a first meeting between representatives of this religious community and Count Umberto Biancamano, considered to be the forefather of the Savoy’s Dynasty.
Canon Jean-Michel Lonfat, Prior of the Hospice, warmly welcomed H.R. H and Their Excellencies together with Dames and Knights of the Swiss Delegation together their guests. After a convivial moment, a visit to “Meeting with the Sky” followed, an exhibition of photographs and meteorological instruments of considerable historical interest, dating back to the beginning of the first creation of a meteorological station on site, in the year of grace 1817.
Before concluding His visit, H.R.H. has had the opportunity to spend a long time with the numerous attendees present who joyfully acclaimed the August Prince also extending their warm and heartfelt congratulations for the anniversary of H.R.H. the Prince of Piedmont and Venice, whose birthday coincided with this event.