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.
After the war, he was a student at the University of Munich and became a collector of modern art.
Franz succeeded as head of the House of Wittelsbach, and as pretender to the Bavarian throne, on the death of his father in 1996. He lives at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. Franz is not married.
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, Scotland, Ireland and France. 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 five 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. The Jacobite succession, following English common law, transmits the right to the throne to or through women, and their descendants, whenever they have no brothers, unlike the semi-Salic law of the Wittelsbachs in Bavaria which only allows women to accede once all the men in the dynasty have expired. Therefore, the Jacobite succession will pass to Prince Max's eldest daughter, Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein, while the Bavarian succession will pass to his agnatic cousin, Luitpold.
Franz's link to the Jacobite succession (House of Stuart) is as follows:
- Henrietta, Princess of England (1644–1670), youngest daughter of King Charles I of England
- Princess Anne Marie d'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
- Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy (1792–1840) and later by marriage Duchess of Modena, his daughter
- Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este (1821–1849), and Prince of Modena, her son
- Archduchess Maria Theresa 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, his daughter
- Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein (b. 1995), her eldest son
- Genealogie des Hauses Wittelsbach. München: Verwaltung des Herzogs von Bayern, 2000.
- Andrew Neather (2014-09-10). "R.I.P. GB: what happens if Scotland votes Yes in next week's independence referendum?". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Heffer, Simon (2014-09-07). "SIMON HEFFER: Ten burning questions if Scotland votes yes". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Douglas, Jason (2014-08-19). "Scottish Independence: Scots Ponder Secession Question in Referendum". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Huggler, Justin (2014-09-17). "Could the Duke of Bavaria be the next King of Scotland?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Mudie, Keir (2014-09-18). "Independence referendum: Duke of Bavaria in line to be next King of Scotland?". Daily Record. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- "Opinion". Blogs.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Hamilton, Tom (8 April 2008). "German Duke could claim Scots throne". The Daily Record. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
Titles and styles
Franz uses the titles Duke of Bavaria, of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine, plus the style "His Royal Highness".
- 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
- (by Jacobites): His Majesty King Francis II of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland
Franz was styled Prinz von Bayern at birth. In 1996, after the death of his father, he changed his style to Herzog von Bayern ('Duke of Bavaria').
Grand Magistry of dynastic orders
- Grand Master of the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception
- 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
- Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
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.
|Ancestors of Franz, Duke of Bavaria|