Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Franz, Duke of Bavaria (German: Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern), born 14 July 1933) is head of the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria. His great-grandfather King Ludwig III was the last ruling monarch of Bavaria until deposed in 1918.
Franz was born in Munich. During the Second World War, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi. The family initially left Nazi Germany for Hungary but were eventually arrested when Franz was aged 11. He spent time in several Nazi concentration camps, including Oranienburg and Dachau.
Also the current heir-general of King James II of England and VII of Scotland, Franz is, as Francis II, considered by Jacobites to be the legitimate heir of the Stuart kings of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland. A spokesman has said that the Duke generally does not comment on issues concerning his "familiar relationship" to the Royal House of Stuart.
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, a Croatian noble family. On 18 May 1949, when Franz was 15, 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 house family museums.
He speaks German, Hungarian, English, and French.
Franz's 80th birthday party, in 2013, was held at the Schleissheim Palace near Munich. The party was attended by 2,500 guests. including the current Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer.
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 5 daughters but no sons, he is followed in the line of succession by his and Franz's first cousin Prince Luitpold.
Link to the Stuarts
The current senior heir-general of King James II of England and VII of Scotland, Franz is, as King Francis II, considered by Jacobites to be the legitimate successor to the Stuart kings of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland. It is not, however, a claim which he pursues.
His link to the House of Stuart is as follows:
- Henrietta, Princess of England (1644–1670), youngest daughter of King Charles I of England
- Anne Marie, Princess of Orléans (1669–1728) and later 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 Savoy (1792–1840) and later by marriage Duchess of Modena, his daughter
- Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este (1821–1849), Archduke of Austria-Este and Prince of Modena, her son
- Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria-Este (1849–1919) and later by marriage Queen consort of Bavaria, his daughter
- Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (1869–1955), her son
- Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria (1905–1996), his son
- Franz, Duke of Bavaria (b. 1933), his son
- Maximilian, Duke in Bavaria (b. 1937), his brother
- Sophie, Princess of Bavaria, Duchess in Bavaria (b. 1967) and later by marriage Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein and Countess of Rietberg, his daughter
- Joseph Wenzel, Prince of Liechtenstein, Count of Rietberg (b. 1995), her son
Titles and styles
- 14 July 1933 – 8 July 1996: His Royal Highness Prince Franz of Bavaria
- (in Germany): Franz Prinz von Bayern
- 8 July 1996 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria
- (in Germany) Franz Herzog von Bayern
Grand Magistry of dynastic orders
As of 2015[update] Franz was the Grand Master of the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception, and Grand Master of the Order of Saint Hubert and of the Order of Queen Theresa (for Ladies).
Orders of knighthood
- Grand Master of the Order of Saint Hubert
- Grand Master of the Military Order of Max Joseph
- Grand Master of the Order of Theresa
- Grand Master of the Order of Saint Elizabeth
- Knight of Honour of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- S.M.O.M. of the Order of Malta
- Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
He holds many honorary positions in civic and religious organisations in Bavaria. He supports charitable enterprises helping orphans in Romania.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Franz, Duke of Bavaria.|
- Cowell, Alan (11 July 1996). "Duke Albrecht Is Dead at 91; Pretender to Bavarian Throne". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 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).
- Francis II Is this a reliable source?
- "The blue-blooded Bavarian Duke". the local.de. 25 Jul 2013.
- "Party fit for a king". The Local.de. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Genealogie des Hauses Wittelsbach. München: Verwaltung des Herzogs von Bayern, 2000.
- 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. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Missing or empty
- Die Welt. 3 November 2013 http://www.welt.de/print/wams/muenchen/article121482925/Musikalisches-Geschlecht.html. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Missing or empty
- 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
- 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