Biography of HSH Giorgio I, Prince of Seborga

HSH Giorgio I of Seborga (Giorgio Carbone) was born in Seborga on 14 June 1936.

He attended the “De Amicis” high school in Imperia and later became a journalist, working in Milan as a proofreader and editor of articles. During his life he was also fond of Ligurian dialectal poetry, winning various competitions.

He later founded a European flower cooperative, ANACOF, later CO.NA.F.I. (he liked to call himself a “floriculturist”), and he dedicated himself to history. Passionate about the stories of the elderly of the town, he deepened in particular the history of Seborga, finding various documents (coming in large part from the State Archives of Turin) that proved Seborga’s original independence from Italy and the consequent illegitimacy of annexation of Seborga by the latter.

Along this line, on 14 May 1963 he was elected by his fellow citizens to the office of Prince of Seborga, while continuing his historical research on the Principality.

In September 1993, driven by the desire to accelerate the path of Seborga toward independence, he held a rally in Seborga in which, having ascertained the unanimous adherence to his theories by the population, he agreed to refound the institutions of the ancient Principality. The elections of April 1993 led to the appointment of the first Crown Council, which drew up the General Statutes and the Regulations. On 20 September 1995, to respect the new constitutional dictates, HSH Giorgio I abdicated, but was re-elected (for life, notwithstanding the General Statutes themselves) three days later. During his reign, various laws were approved and luigini were coined again, stamps were  printed, car plates were issued; the ancient flag was reintroduced, a national anthem was adopted, the Guard Corps was re-established, consuls were appointed in various countries of the world. Appeals were made both to the International Tribunal in The Hague and to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to obtain recognition of independence.

Thanks to the considerable interest of media (Seborga and Prince Giorgio I were invited to various international televisions, including the BBC and CNN, and many foreign newspapers), Seborga acquired worldwide visibility and obtained the recognition of independence by some States. All this contributed to a general economic, tourist and demographic awakening of the village.

In January 2006, he fell ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and, following some disputes with the mayor of Seborga regarding the renovation of the churchyard of the Church of St. Bernard, HSH Giorgio I wished to abdicate, but then gave it up “given the pressure exerted by his most trusted friends and all over the country“.

HSH Giorgio I passed away on 25 November 2009 in Seborga. His body, according to his will, was cremated in Nice and his ashes scattered in the sea.