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Franz, Duke of Bavaria

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Template:Bavarian Royal Family

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.[1] The family initially left Nazi Germany for Hungary but were eventually arrested when Germany invaded the country in 1944. Franz was only 11 at the time. He spent time in several Nazi concentration camps, including Oranienburg and Dachau.[1]

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.[citation needed]

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.[2] A spokesman has said that "the Duke generally does not comment on issues concerning his familiar relationship to the Royal House of Stuart."[3]


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.[citation needed]

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.[4]


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. Items from his private collection are on permanent loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.[5] He is also an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[1]

Current activities

His 80th birthday party, in 2013, was held at the Schleissheim Palace near Munich. The party was attended by 2,500 guests,[6] including the former Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer.[7]

In 2016, he became the donor of the project of restoration of the Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in Divina, Slovakia, realised under auspices of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Slovakia. The project was honoured by patronage of His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the king of Cambodia and His Majesty Simeon II, the last tsar of Bulgaria.[8] The project was completed in the year 2017.[9]

Succession rights

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[10] and, in the next generation, by the latter's son Prince Ludwig Heinrich of Bavaria (b. 1982).

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.[2] It is not, however, a claim which he pursues.[2][11][12][13][14][15]

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.[4]

Franz is descended from the House of Stuart through the following persons:

Franz's successors to the Jacobite claim are:

Titles, styles and honours

Titles and styles

Franz uses the titles Duke of Bavaria, of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine,[16] plus the style "His Royal Highness".[6] [17] [18]

  • 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/François II of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland
    • (by Othonists): His Majesty king Fragiskos I of Greece

Franz was styled Prinz von Bayern at birth.[19] In 1996, after the death of his father, he changed his style to Herzog von Bayern ('Duke of Bavaria').[20]



He is a Hereditary Senator of the University of Munich[28] 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.[29]


Patrilineal descent

Patrilineal descent
  1. Otto I, Count of Scheyern, c. 1020–1072
  2. Eckhard I, Count of Scheyern, ?–1091
  3. Otto IV, Count of Scheyern, c. 1083–1156
  4. Otto I, Duke of Bavaria, 1117–1183
  5. Louis I, Duke of Bavaria, 1173–1231
  6. Otto II, Duke of Bavaria, 1206–1253
  7. Louis II, Duke of Bavaria, 1229–1294
  8. Rudolf I, Duke of Bavaria, 1274–1319
  9. Adolf, Count Palatine of the Rhine, 1300–1327
  10. Rupert II, Elector Palatine, 1325–1398
  11. Rupert, King of Germany, 1352–1410
  12. Stephen, Count Palatine of Simmern-Zweibrücken, 1385–1459
  13. Louis I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1424–1489
  14. Alexander, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1462–1514
  15. Louis II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1502–1352
  16. Wolfgang, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1526–1569
  17. Charles I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, 1560–1600
  18. Christian I, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, 1598–1654
  19. Christian II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, 1637–1717
  20. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1674–1735
  21. Frederick Michael, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1724–1767
  22. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, 1756–1825
  23. Ludwig I of Bavaria, 1786–1868
  24. Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, 1821–1912
  25. Ludwig III of Bavaria, 1845–1921
  26. Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, 1869–1955
  27. Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, 1905–1996
  28. Franz, Duke of Bavaria, b. 1933

See also


  1. ^ a b c Cowell, Alan (11 July 1996). "Duke Albrecht Is Dead at 91; Pretender to Bavarian Throne". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Alleyne, Richard; de Quetteville, Harry (7 April 2008). "Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  3. ^ Walker, Tim, "Duke Francis of Bavaria given hope of claiming British throne", The Telegraph, 11 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Hamilton, Tom (8 April 2008). "German Duke could claim Scots throne". The Daily Record. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ Carla Schulz-Hoffmann and Peter-Klaus Schuster, Deutsche Kunst seit 1960 aus der Sammlung Prinz Franz von Bayern (München: Prestel-Verlag, 1985).
  6. ^ a b "The blue-blooded Bavarian Duke". the 25 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Party fit for a king". The Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. ^ Sobola, Marek (2017). Príbeh svätojánsky, Socha sv. Jána Nepomuckého v Divine / The Story of St. John, Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in Divina / ដំណើររឿងរបស់ St. John, រូបចម្លាក់ St. John Nepomuk នៅក្រុង Divina / Die Johannisgeschichte, Die Staute des hl. Johannes Nepomuk in Divina / Историята на св. Ян, Статуята на св. Ян Непомуцки в Дивина. Slovakia: Servare et Manere, o. z. & Kysucké múzeum v Čadci. ISBN 978-80-972614-3-6.
  9. ^ "Biskup Galis požehnal obnovenú sochu sv. Jána Nepomuckého v Divine". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  10. ^ Genealogie des Hauses Wittelsbach. München: Verwaltung des Herzogs von Bayern, 2000.
  11. ^ Andrew Neather (10 September 2014). "R.I.P. GB: what happens if Scotland votes Yes in next week's independence referendum?". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  12. ^ Douglas, Jason (19 August 2014). "Scottish Independence: Scots Ponder Secession Question in Referendum". WSJ. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  13. ^ Huggler, Justin (17 September 2014). "Could the Duke of Bavaria be the next King of Scotland?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  14. ^ Mudie, Keir. "Independence referendum: Duke of Bavaria in line to be next King of Scotland?". Daily Record. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Opinion". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  16. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 50, Fürstliche Häuser, Band IX, Limburg an der Lahn 1971, S. 7
  17. ^ "Hilpoltstein-Botschafter-des-Landkreises". Donaukurier. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Musikalisches-Geschlecht". Die Welt. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  19. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 50, Fürstliche Häuser Band IX. Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke, 1971, page 7.
  20. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Band 141, Fürstliche Häuser Band XVIII. Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke, 2007, page 2.
  21. ^ a b "Der Bundespräsident / Terminkalender / Ordensverleihung an Franz Herzog von Bayern". (in German). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  25. ^ [2][dead link]
  26. ^ "Verleihung des Verdienstordens von Rumänien an Herzog Franz von Bayern | BOTSCHAFT VON RUMÄNIEN in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland". 18 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  28. ^ "The Jacobite Heritage". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Orphans International History: The Duke of Bavaria, a Princess, and OI Romania (2/06)". 14 April 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2017.


Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 14 July 1933
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Duke Albrecht
King of Bavaria
8 July 1996 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Duke Max
Jacobite succession
8 July 1996 – present

This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 17:47
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