Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Franz, Duke of Bavaria (Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern; born 14 July 1933), styled as His Royal Highness the Duke of Bavaria, is head of the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria. His great-grandfather Ludwig III was the last King of Bavaria before being deposed in 1918.
Franz was born in Munich. During the Second World War, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi. The family initially left Germany for Hungary, but were eventually arrested; Franz (aged eleven) spending time in several Nazi concentration camps including Oranienburg and Dachau. After the war, Franz studied at University of Munich and became a collector of modern art.
Franz succeeded as head of the House of Wittelsbach, and pretender to the Bavarian throne, on the death of his father in 1996. He lives at the Nymphenburg Palace.
Franz is also the current heir-general of King Charles I of England and Scotland, and thus as Francis II is considered by Jacobites to be the legitimate heir of the Stuart kings of England, France, Scotland and Ireland. "HRM [sic] the Duke generally does not comment on issues concerning his familiar [sic] relationship to the Royal House of Stuart", a spokesman told the media.
Franz was born on 14 July 1933 in Munich, the son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, and his morganatic wife, Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan of the House of Drašković, an ancient Croatian noble family. On 18 May 1949, when Franz was sixteen, his grandfather Crown Prince Rupprecht recognised the marriage of Franz's parents as dynastic and Franz became a prince of Bavaria.
The Wittelsbach dynasty were opposed to the Nazi regime in Germany, and in 1939 Franz's father Albrecht took his family to Hungary. They lived in Budapest for four years before moving to their Castle at Sárvár in late 1943. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, and on 6 October 1944, the entire family, including the 11-year-old Franz, were arrested. They were sent to a series of Nazi concentration camps including Oranienburg and Dachau. At the end of April 1945 they were liberated by the United States Third Army.
After the war Franz received his high-school education at the Benedictine Abbey of Ettal. He then studied business management at the University of Munich and in Zurich. Franz developed a passion for collecting modern art; today many items from his private collection are on permanent loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. He is also an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Franz lives in a wing of Nymphenburg Palace, the former summer residence of the kings of Bavaria, in Munich. His country retreat is Berg Castle and he occasionally uses the former royal castle at Berchtesgaden and Hohenschwangau Castle, both of which are housing family museums.
He speaks English, French, German, and Hungarian.
Franz's 80th birthday party, in 2013, was held at the Schleissheim Palace near Munich. The party was attended by 2,500 of the "richest, most powerful and influential" people in Bavaria, including the current Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer (formerly President of the German Bundesrat).
Titles and styles
Under German law royal titles are not recognised legally, but can be used as a part of a surname. Franz's surname at birth was Prinz von Bayern. In 1996, after the death of his father, he changed his surname to Herzog von Bayern (German for 'Duke of Bavaria').
Franz is the current Grand Master of the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception. He is also Grand Master of the Order of Saint Hubert and the Order of Queen Theresa (for Ladies). He is a Hereditary Senator of the University of Munich and an Honorary Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He holds many honorary positions in civic and religious organisations in Bavaria. He supports charitable enterprises helping orphans in Romania.
Franz has never married. The heir presumptive to the headship of the House of Wittelsbach is his brother Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria. Because Max has no sons, he is followed in the line of succession by his and Franz's first cousin Prince Luitpold.
Link to the Stuarts
Franz is the current senior co-heir-general of King Charles I of England and Scotland, and thus as King Francis II is considered by Jacobites to be the legitimate heir of the Stuart kings of England, France, Scotland and Ireland. It is not, however, a claim which he pursues; the president of his administration, Baron Marcus Bechtolsheim, stating: "really, he is very happy and satisfied with being the Duke of Bavaria."
His link to the House of Stuart is follows:
- Princess Henrietta of England (1644–1670), youngest daughter of King Charles I of England
- Anne Marie d'Orléans (1669–1728), Queen consort of Sardinia, her daughter
- Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (1701–1773), Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia, her son
- Victor Amadeus III (1726–1796), King of Sardinia, his son
- Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia (1759–1824), his son
- Maria Beatrice, Princess of Sardinia and later by marriage Duchess of Modena (1792–1840), his daughter
- Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este (1821–1849), Archduke of Austria-Este and Prince of Modena, her son
- Maria Theresia, Princess of Modena and later Queen consort of Bavaria (1849–1919), his daughter
- Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (1869–1955), her son
- Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria (1905–1996), Franz, Duke of Bavaria, his son
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- English claims to the French throne
- Line of succession to the former Bavarian throne
- Monarchism in Bavaria after 1918
- "The blue-blooded Bavarian Duke". the local.de. 25 Jul 2013.
- Alleyne, Richard; de Quetteville, Harry (7 April 2008). "Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- Walker, Tim, "Duke Francis of Bavaria given hope of claiming British throne", The Telegraph, 11 September 2011.
- Hamilton, Tom (8 April 2008). "German Duke could claim Scots throne". The Daily Record. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Carla Schulz-Hoffmann and Peter-Klaus Schuster, Deutsche Kunst seit 1960 aus der Sammlung Prinz Franz von Bayern (München: Prestel-Verlag, 1985).
- Cowell, Alan (11 July 1996). "Duke Albrecht Is Dead at 91; Pretender to Bavarian Throne". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Francis II
- "Party fit for a king". The Local.de. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 50, Fürstliche Häuser, Band IX, Limburg an der Lahn 1971, S. 7
- Donaukurier. 20 November 2013 http://www.donaukurier.de/lokales/hilpoltstein/Hilpoltstein-Botschafter-des-Landkreises;art596,2845684
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Die Welt. 3 November 2013 http://www.welt.de/print/wams/muenchen/article121482925/Musikalisches-Geschlecht.html
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 50, Fürstliche Häuser Band IX. Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke, 1971, page 7.
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 141, Fürstliche Häuser Band XVIII. Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke, 2007, page 2.
- ICOC Dynastic orders 2006 register
- The Jacobite Heritage
- OIWW website http://oiww-history.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/duke-of-bavaria-princess-and-oi-romania.html
- Genealogie des Hauses Wittelsbach. München: Verwaltung des Herzogs von Bayern, 2000.
- Adalbert, Prinz von Bayern. Die Wittelsbacher: Geschichte unserer Familie. München: Prestel, 1979.
- McFerran, Noel S. (2005-08-01). "Francis II". The Jacobite Heritage. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- McFerran, Noel S. (2006-11-22). "The Royal Family, the Nazis, and the Second World War". The Jacobite Heritage. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
Franz, Duke of BavariaBorn: 14 July 1933
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
King of Bavaria
8 July 1996 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
8 July 1996 – present