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Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli

Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli

Areas of Interest

Science and Technology

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Technology, 2015


Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli is daughter of Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, the famed “Father of Radio” who received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work in wireless communication. She is co-author and editor of Marconi, My Beloved, which contains eyewitness accounts of her father’s work—including his development of Vatican Radio and his scientific experiments on board the floating laboratory, the steam yacht Elettra. She acquired the title Princess on marriage.

Princess Elettra likes to spend time with young people, talking about her father, to inspire them as he inspired her during her childhood. She has spent her life talking about Marconi, educating people about his achievements and about the man he was. With a personal interest in science, she loves to talk about Marconi's scientific achievements and convey the enthusiasm and perseverance Marconi showed through his breakthrough experiments. She was told as a child by her famous father to try and try again, a positive message Princess Elettra tries to pass to the younger generation. Marconi's wish that his work would benefit mankind and be used for the good of the people is also her goal.

Princess Elettra has a keen interest in students and in 2010 visited our Chelmsford campus to perform the Marconi building opening ceremony. 

She inherited the Palazzo Marconi in Bologna in 1936 when she was 6, upon the death of her uncle, Alfonso, one year before her father’s death on her 7th birthday. The princess is currently on a mission to restore the palace and convert it to an academic centre for students studying science, technology, engineering or medicine as a tribute to her father.


Princess Elettra Marconi is the daughter of Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, the ‘Father of Radio’.  She is co-author and editor of Marconi, My Beloved, an account of the life and work of her father, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th Century.

Born in Civitavecchia in Italy, baby Maria Elettra was named after her father’s famous floating laboratory, the steam yacht Elettra.  And although her father passed away when she was just seven years old, the young Maria Elettra grew up heavy influenced by his work through the stories recounted by her mother. 

In 1966 Elettra married Prince Giovanelli, acquiring the title of Princess, and the following year, the couple had a son.  

After Guglielmo Marconi’s death, Elettra’s mother dedicated her life to commemorating and celebrating his achievements, and that responsibility has since passed to Princess Elettra.  Yet this lifelong work is about much more than just celebrating past glories.  Her real aim is to inspire a new generation of young scientists to make the kind of discoveries that can change our world.  Princess Elettra has a passion for science that drives her work with students and, just as she was inspired by her father, she seeks to do the same with today’s young physicians, chemists, engineers and technologists. 

Princess Elettra visited our Chelmsford campus in 2010 to perform the opening ceremony for our Marconi Building and she has since shown close interest in preserving her family’s links with our region by encouraging our local council to do more to protect Marconi’s heritage in Chelmsford, ‘the birthplace of radio’.  Her latest project involves the development of her family home in the heart of Bologna.  In 2014 she embarked on a tour of the United States to raise funds to convert this 9,500 square metre, 16th Century palace into an academic centre of excellence, a centre for young people studying science, technology, engineering and medicine.  With a passion for science and learning, Princess Elettra is carrying on in the finest traditions of the Marconi family.

We are delighted to recognise her achievements and her ongoing efforts to inspire young scientists to use their talents to help build a better world, and are proud to welcome Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli to our Anglia Ruskin community.