Bavarian Royalty: Palatinate Duke in Bavaria: Wittelsbach Cadet Branch

Figure 1.--Here we see the family of Duke in Bavaria Karl Theodore. The portrait shows Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria (married Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria), Duke Franz Josef in Bavaria, Duchess Maria Josepha in Bavaria (Karl Tgeidor's wife), Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (married Count Hans Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach), Duke Carl Theodor in Bavaria, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (later Queen of Belgium). The portrait was taken by B. Dittmar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is undated, but we wioukd guess was taken about 1897.

The Wittelsbach cadet branch was headed by William, Count Palatine of Gelnhausen. William was also Maximillian Joseph's brother-in-law. As part of the arrangement with Maximillian Joseph, William received the title of Duke in Bavaria. Thus the cadet brancg became the The Duke in Bavaria family branch. And when the Wittelsbach became a Royal House, the Dukes in Bavaria also benefitted, achieving the dignity of a Royal Highness. The Duke in Bavaria title cesed being used by the senior or Royal branch of the family who became Princes of Bavaria. It is important to understand in assessing the status of the cadet line that that while we refer to a senior or royal line, the cadet or ducal branch was also of royal rank. Among the important members of the cadet branch were Duke Max, who was a gifted Zither player and composer himself. He played a major role in reviving Bavarian folk-music. His daughters included Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Queen Mary Sophie of the Two Sicilies. Other descendents include Queen Elizabeth of Belgium and Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein.

William (1789/99-1837)

William became the Count Palatinate of Gelnhausen (1789) and then Duke in Bavaria (about 1799). William was born (1752). He was the second son of Johann. The Duke/Elector of Bavaria, head of the House of Wittelsbach Charles Theodore, died (1799). As there was no direct heir, a sucessor prived controversial. There were two surviving branches of the Wittelsbach family: Zweibrücken (headed by Duke Maximilian Joseph) and Birkenfeld (headed by Count Palatine Wilhelm). Maximilian Joseph was eventually chosen to inherited Charles Theodor's title of Elector of Bavaria and Duke of Bavaria. Wilhelm was compensated with the title of Duke in Bavaria. The form Duke in Bavaria was of historic origins dating back to a dynar\tic war within the famiky and the adoption of primogeniture by the family (1506). He married the Countess Palatine Maria Anna of Birkenfeld (1753-1824) (1780). They had two children. A daughter was Maria Elisabeth Amalie Franziska (1784-1849) married Louis Alexandre Berthier, sovereign Prince of Neuchâtel (1753-1815) (1808). A son was Pius August

Pius August (1837)

Pius August was born in Landshut (1786-1837). Pius August was the third child of Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria and his wife Countess Palatine Maria Anna of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld. He married Princess and Duchess Amélie Louise of Arenberg (1789-1823) (1807). Pius August married Princess Amélie Louise of Arenberg, daughter of Duke Louis Marie of Arenberg and his wife Marie Adélaïde Julie de Mailly, dame d'Ivry-sur-Seine (1807). They had one son, Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria (1808–1888). The Duke enjoyed travel. He also hada interest in ideas. He was made an honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1815).

Max Joseph (1837-1888)

Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria was born at Bamberg (1808). He was the only son of Duke Pius August in Bavaria (1786–1837) and of his wife, Princess Amélie Louise of Arenberg. He was informally known as Max in Bayern. He married Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria (1828). They had 10 children. The children included: Ludwig Wilhelm (Duke in Bavaria), Wilhelm Karl, Helene (Hereditary Princess of Thurn of Taxis), Elisabeth (Empress of Austria), Karl-Theodor (Duke in Bavaria), Maria Sophie (Queen of the Two Sicilies), Mathilde Ludovika (Countess of Trani), Maximilian, Sophie Charlotte (Duchess of Alençon), and Maximilian Emanuel. Max Joseph purchased Possenhofen Castle on Lake Starnberg (1834). This became his life time principal residence and where his growing brood was raised. Like his father, he loved to travel. His most notable trip was to Egyot and Palestine (1838). He wrote an account of this trip, Wanderung nach dem Orient im Jahre 1838 While in Egypt he purchased several children in the Cairo slave market and later freed them. We are not sure what provision he made for their care. While in Jerusalem, he financed the restoration of the Chapel of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa. He was especially interested in Bavarian folk music and stringly promoted it. He played the zither and popularizedit in court circles. The instrument became known as the national musical instrument of Bavaria and he became known as 'Zither-Maxl'. He not only played the zither, but composed music for it. He also played a role in opera. His cousin King Ludwig II of Bavaria while visiting saw saw some sheet music composed by Richard Wagner. Ludwig began financially supporting Wagner (1863). Ludwig Wilhelm renounced his rights as firstborn, to marry the actress Henriette Mendel (later Countess of Wallersee). His second son, Wilhelm Karl, died while still an infant (1833). Thus Max Joseph was suceeded by his third son, Karl Theodor.

Karl Theodor (1888-1909)

Karl-Theodor was born at Possenhofen Castle, the third son of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria and of his wife, Princess Ludovika of Bavaria (1839). He joined joined the Bavarian Army while only 14 years old. He fought in the Austro-Prussian War (1866). After leaving the Army he studied at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. He read philosophy, law, economics, and medicine. Karl-Theodor married his first cousin Princess Sophie of Saxony (1845 - 1867) in Dresden (1865). She was the daughter of King John of Saxony and his maternal aunt Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. They had one child: : Duchess Amalie in Bavaria (1865-1912). She married Wilhelm, Duke of Urach. After Princess Sophie died, Karl-Theodir married again, this time to the Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal (1857-1943), daughter of exiled King Miguel I of Portugal and Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. They had five children: Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (1875-1957), Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (1876-1965) (Queen of Belgium), Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria (1878-1912) (Crown Princess of Bavaria) , Duke Ludwig Wilhelm in Bavaria (1884- 1968), and Duke Franz Joseph in Bavaria (1888-1912). While still at university, the Franco-Prussian War erupted (1870). Karl Theodore immediately enlisted and served as a proprietary colonel of the 3rd Bavarian Light Horse. After the war he returned to the University. He was awarded the title of honorary Doctor of Medicine (1872). I am not sure why he did not get an ordinary degree, presumably he did not meet the academic standards. The following year he did complete the requirements for the degree. He then studied ophthalmology under Professor Deutschland and studied further in Vienna and in Zurich. Karl-Theodor began practicing medicine in Mentone (1877). He was assisted by his wife Maria Josepha. He opened an eye-clinic in his castle at Tegernsee (1880). He founded the Augenklinik Herzog Carl Theodor (Duke Charles Theodore Eye Clinic) in Munich (1895). The clinic became one of the most respected eye clinics in Bavaria. He personally conducted more than 5,000 cataract operations as well as many othe treatments. Karl Theodor when his elder brother abdicated because of the morganatic marriage, Karl Theodor became Duke (1888). Karl-Theodor died at Kreuth (1909).

Louis William (1909-1968)

Luitpold Emanue

After Louis William's death, his cousin Luitpold Emanuel (1890-1973) remained the last natural member of the family.

Max Emanuel

Max Emanuel is an adopted member of the family, since 1968.


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Created: 11:54 PM 5/19/2011
Last updated: 11:54 PM 5/19/2011