Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria

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Duke of Bavaria
Albrecht with his younger half-brother, Prince Heinrich, in 1922.
Head of the House of Wittelsbach
Tenure 2 August 1955 – 8 July 1996
Born (1905-05-03)3 May 1905
Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died 8 July 1996(1996-07-08) (aged 91)
Berg Castle, Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany
Burial Wittelsbach cemetery, Andechs Abbey, Bavaria
Spouse Countess Maria Draskovich de Trakostjan
Countess Marie-Jenke Keglevich de Buzin
Issue Princess Marie Gabrielle Antonia José
Princess Marie Charlotte Juliana
Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria
House Wittelsbach
Father Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
Mother Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria

Albrecht Luitpold Ferdinand Michael, Duke of Bavaria (3 May 1905 – 8 July 1996[1]) was the son of the last crown prince of Bavaria, Rupprecht, and his first wife, Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria. He was the only surviving child from that marriage, his paternal grandfather was Ludwig III of Bavaria, the last king of Bavaria, who was deposed in 1918.


Following the First World War, Albrecht's grandfather King Ludwig was deposed. Albrecht and the family moved from Bavaria to the Austrian Tyrol.[1]

Prior to the Second World War, his family, the House of Wittelsbach, were opposed to the regime of Nazi Germany and refused to join the Nazi Party. The decision meant that Prince Albrecht, who had been studying forestry, was unable to complete his studies;[1] in 1940 Albrecht took his family to his estate at Sárvár, Vas, Hungary. In October 1944, after Germany had occupied Hungary in March, the Wittelsbachs were arrested and imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp at Oranienburg, Brandenburg. In April 1945 they were moved to the Dachau concentration camp, where they were liberated by the United States Army.[1]

Albrecht became head of the deposed royal family of Bavaria with the death of his father on 2 August 1955, as the eldest son of the eldest son of Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (1849–1919), recognized by Jacobites as "Queen Mary IV (of England) and III (of Scotland)",[2] he was also the dynastic representative and heir-general of England, Scotland and Ireland's last Stuart king, James II and VII, deposed in 1688.[3]

In 1959 Albrecht, in an official ceremony, returned the Greek Crown Jewels (originally made for a Bavarian prince who reigned as Greece's first modern monarch, King Otto) to the Greek nation, accepted by King Paul of the Hellenes.

In 1980 Albrecht presided over sumptuous ceremonies in Bavaria celebrating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the House of Wittelsbach.[4]

Albrecht was a prolific hunter and deer researcher, collecting 3,425 sets of antlers, now partially shown in a permanent exhibition on his research activities in the former royal castle at Berchtesgaden. He also authored two books on "the habits of deer"[1] for which he (and his second wife) received honorary doctorates by the biological faculty of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. While visiting Brazil in 1953 he encountered the Fila Brasileiro and brought some to Germany introducing the dog breed to Europe.

Albrecht died on 8 July 1996, aged 91, at Berg Castle, 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Munich, where he had lived reclusively for decades. His obsequies at Theatine Church, Munich were conducted by the Archbishop of Munich,[1] he was buried on a family graveyard he himself had installed in 1977 at Andechs Abbey.

Marriage and children[edit]

Albrecht married Countess Maria (Marita) Franziska Juliana Johanna Draskovich de Trakostjan (1904–1969) on 3 September 1930 in Berchtesgaden.[5] Daughter of Count Dionys Draskovich and Princess Juliana von Montenuovo (a great-granddaughter of Marie-Louise of Austria, sometime Empress of the French), she belonged to a family of the Croatian nobility known since 1230 and made Imperial counts in 1631.[6] Although Albrecht's father allowed the wedding, a Wittelsbach family council concluded that the marriage was non-compliant with the dynasty's marital tradition as set out in its historical house laws,[6] and the names of the couple's four children were excluded from the Almanach de Gotha.[5] In 1948, however, a juridical consultation advised that the head of the house has sole authority to determine the validity of marriages within the House of Wittelsbach, prompting Crown Prince Rupprecht to recognize Albrecht's marriage as dynastic on 18 May 1949.[4][6]

Albrecht and Marita had four children, fifteen grandchildren and forty-one great-grandchildren:

Descendants of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
  • Albrecht and Marita
    • Princess Marie Gabrielle Antonia Jose of Bavaria (30 May 1931). Married Georg, Prince von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (1928-2015) on 23 October 1957 and they have six children and twenty-one grandchildren:
      • Countess Maria Walburga Monica Charlotte Matthaa von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (21 September 1958) married Baron Carl Heimeran von Lerchenfeld in 1986. They have five children
        • Baron Georg Max-Emanuel of Lerchenfeld (28 July 1987)
        • Baroness Marie-Mathilde of Lerchenfeld (21 April 1990)
        • Baroness Katharina of Lerchenfeld (29 July 1991)
        • Baroness Johanna of Lerchenfeld (11 December 1992)
        • Baroness Carolina of Lerchenfeld (8 January 1995)
      • Countess Maria Gabriele Walburga Cacilia Theresia von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (22 November 1959) married Count Bernard de Monseignat on 11 September 2004.
      • Countess Monika von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (born 1961) married Count Christoph Schenk von Stauffenberg on 29 May 1987. They have four children:
        • Countess Maria Antonia Schenk von Stauffenberg (21 July 1988)
        • Count Philipp Schenk von Stauffenberg (4 May 1990)
        • Count Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg (14 May 1992)
        • Countess Maria Johanna Schenk von Stauffenberg (18 January 1998)
      • Maria Erich Wunibald Aloysius Georg Erbgraf, Prince von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (21 November 1962) married Duchess Mathilde of Württemberg, daughter of Carl, Duke of Württemberg and Princess Diane of Orléans on 19 November 1988. They have five daughters:
        • Countess Marie Therese Walburga Gabrielle Diane Georgina Franziska von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (4 October 1989)
        • Countess Maria Elisabeth Walburga Apollonia Alexandra Frederike von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (31 December 1990)
        • Countess Marie Charlotte Walburga Antonia Adelheid Viktoria Henriette von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (10 May 1992)
        • Countess Maria Helene Walburga Yolande Christiana Michaela von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (29 November 1993)
        • Countess Marie Gabrielle von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (23 November 1996)
      • Countess Maria Adelheid Walburga Rufina of Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (28 November 1964) married Count Max Emanuel von Rechberg und Rothenlowen zu Hohenrechberg on 30 December 1988. They have three children:
        • Count Friedrich von Rechberg (12 January 1990)
        • Count Max-Emanuel von Rechberg (12 July 1991)
        • Countess Sophie von Rechberg (17 April 1994)
      • Countess Maria Elisabeth Walburga Priscilla Wiltrud von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (born 1966) married Prince Englebert of Croÿ on 16 April 1990. They have four children:
        • Princess Marie Isabelle Sophie Hermine of Croÿ (6 May 1991)
        • Prince Constantin Maria Walter Erich of Croÿ (19 July 1992)
        • Prince Carl George Clemens Nicodemus of Croÿ (13 September 1994)
        • Princess Philippa of Croÿ (21 February 1999)
    • Princess Marie Charlotte of Bavaria (30 May 1931- 9 January 2018 Gabrielle's twin). Married Paul, Prince von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (born 1930-2011) and they have four children and eight grandchildren:
      • Alexander Albrecht Maria Ghislain Peter Paul Georg Mauritius, Prince von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (born 1958) married Martina Keil on 14 September 1992. They have three daughters:
        • Countess Philippa Johanna von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (25 December 1994)
        • Countess Charlotte Sophie von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (21 October 1996)
        • Countess Anna von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (23 October 2001)
      • Countess Maria-Anna Gabrielle Ghislaine von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (8 April 1960) married Count Alexander Schenk von Stauffenberg on 7 September 1991. They have two children:
        • Count Franz Schenk of Stauffenberg (23 April 1993)
        • Countess Marie Isabelle Schenk of Stauffenberg (24 June 1996)
      • Countess Maria Georgina Ghislaine Caroline von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (28 December 1962) married Count Peter von und zu Eltz gennant Faust von Stromberg on 5 September 1985. They have three children:
        • Countess Alexandra von und zu Eltz gennant Faust von Stromberg (30 September 1986)
        • Count Albrecht von und zu Eltz gennant Faust von Stromberg (10 October 1988)
        • Countess Marie Ghislaine von und zu Eltz gennant Faust von Stromberg (28 October 1991)
      • Count Bertram von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (born 1966) married Sandra Putze on 28 August 2004.
    • Franz, Duke of Bavaria (born 14 July 1933).
    • Prince Max-Emanuel, Duke in Bavaria (born 1937), married the Swedish Countess Elisabeth Christina Douglas (28 October 1940) and they have five daughters and twelve grandchildren:
      • Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (born 28 October 1967) married Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein on 3 July 1993 in Vaduz. They have four children.
      • Duchess Marie Caroline in Bavaria (23 June 1969) married Duke Philipp of Württemberg (son of Carl, Duke of Württemberg and Princess Diane of Orléans) in a civil ceremony in Altshausen and a religious ceremony on 27 July 1991 in Tegernsee. They have four children.
      • Duchess Helene in Bavaria (6 May 1972)
      • Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria (4 October 1973) married Daniel Terberger (1 June 1967) on 25 September 2004. They have two children.
      • Duchess Maria Anna Henriette Gabrielle Julia in Bavaria (7 May 1973) married Klaus Runow on 8 September 2007 and they have two sons. Their divorce was announced in early 2015. Maria-Anna remarried Andreas Freiherr von Maltzahn on 16 October 2015.

In 1971, Albrecht married Countess Countess Marie-Jenke Keglevich de Buzin (1921–1983). They had no issue.[6]


Dynastic honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Cowell, Alan (11 July 1996). "Duke Albrecht Is Dead at 91; Pretender to Bavarian Throne". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh. "Burke’s Royal Families of the World: Volume I Europe & Latin America, 1977, pp. 157-159. ISBN 0-85011-023-8
  3. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (editor). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage, London, 1973, pp. 255. ISBN 0-220-66222-3
  4. ^ a b de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. Le Petit Gotha. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, Maison Royale de Bavière, pp. 36-37 (French). ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  5. ^ a b Almanach de Gotha. Justus Perthes, 1942, Maison de Bavière, p. 19. (French).
  6. ^ a b c d Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 27, 100, 107-108, 115, 178-181, 190-191. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hans Jürgen Brandt: Jerusalem hat Freunde. München und der Ritterorden vom Heiligen Grab, EOS 2010, S. 94–98.
  9. ^ wearing the medal of the order


Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 3 May 1905 Died: 8 July 1996
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Crown Prince Rupprecht
King of Bavaria
2 August 1955 – 8 July 1996
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Duke Franz
Jacobite succession
2 August 1955 – 8 July 1996