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The two Umbertos

On the evening of 28 July 1900, King Umberto I of Italy dined with his aide in a restaurant in Monza, where he was due to attend an athletics event the following day. When the restaurant’s proprietor came over to greet the King, it was apparent that the two men bore a striking resemblance to each other.

When the two men got talking, a whole string of coincidences was revealed.

Both the King and the restaurateur were named Umberto. They had both been born in Turin, on the same day. They had both got married on the same day, and both their wives were named Margherita. Umberto the restaurateur had opened his establishment on the same day that the other Umberto had been crowned King of Italy.

The King invited his double to attend the athletics event the following day. However, after King Umberto had arrived at the stadium he was told that the restaurateur had died that morning in a mysterious shooting accident. Umberto was expressing his grief at this sad news when an anarchist in the crowd pointed his gun at the King and shot him dead.

What a string of coincidences! Were the two men possibly long-lost twin brothers? Was the restaurateur murdered by somebody who thought that they were shooting the King and then went to the stadium to kill the “right” man when they realized their mistake?

But that still doesn’t account for the other remarkable similarities in the lives of the Umbertos.

  • Question /

    Do you think that they might have been twins?

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  • Question /

    Do you think there is more to this story than pure coincidence?

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    • No
  • Question /

    In general, do you believe that coincidences are never just coincidences?

    • Yes
    • No

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  1. That is a most interesting story. My grandfather had a worst problem in his life. He resembled Czar Nicholas and the Russians were not happy about that. He got stopped by the army in Riga when they thought he was the Czar visiting in the city and finally because of the plan to eliminate the Romanoffs he was simply shot so no look-alike was left behind,

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