Victor Emanuel II (Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso; 14 March 1820 - 9 January 1878) was king of Sardinia from 1849 until, on 17 March 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878. The Italians gave him the epithet Father of the Fatherland (Italian: Padre della Patria). Victor Emanuel was born the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano and Maria Theresa of Austria. His father succeeded a distant cousin as King of Sardinia in 1831. He lived for some years of his youth in Florence and showed an early interest in politics, the military, and sports. In 1842 he married his cousin Adelaide of Austria.
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