Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Was Mussolini’s wilful daughter his éminence grise?

The extent of Edda Ciano’s influence may never be known, says Caroline Moorehead – but she was lucky to escape her father and husband’s fates

A newspaper photograph of Edda and Galeazzo Ciano leaving the Vatican after their wedding, 24 April 1930. [Bridgeman]

In 1930, when she was 19 years old, Edda Mussolini married Galeazzo Ciano. His father was a loyal minister in her father’s government: it was a suitable match. Five hundred wedding invitations went out to the Roman nobility, to diplomats from more than 30 countries and to all the senior fascists, the gerarchi.

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