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Re: New York Times article on Princess Vittoria of Savoy
In 1821 King Victor Emmanuel I (of the senior line) considered abdicating in favour of his daughter Maria Beatrice who was married to Duke Francis IV of Modena (a Habsburg). Instead he abdicated in favour of his childless brother Charles Felix.
At Charles Felix's death in 1831 the throne passed to the Carignano branch which led eventually to Victor Emmanuel II's reign and Garibaldi.
So, female headship of the House of Savoy has been considered before (and rejected).