Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne
The Princes Assistant to the Pontifical Throne are hereditary offices of the Roman Curia. They date from the early sixteenth century and survived the reform of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household in 1968. They are the only hereditary posts still in use at the Vatican.
There are two living holders of the title:
- Prince Don Alessandro Torlonia, Prince Torlonia, Prince of Fucino, Prince of Canino and Musignano
- Prince Don Marcantonio Colonna, Prince and Duke of Paliano
The head of the Colonna family has been one of the Princes Assistant since 1710. The head of the Orsini family was one of the Princes Assistant from 1735 to 1958 when Pope Pius XII removed the title from Prince Filippo Orsini who was having an affair with the actress Belinda Lee and then slashed his wrists. Pius then appointed the head of the Torlonia family as the second Prince Assistant.
- "Papal Prince's Title in Jeopardy", (29 January 1958) Independent, Long Beach, California, Access Newspaper Archive
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