150th Birth Anniversary of Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria

  October 22, 2009 at 10:28 am by

Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria was born 150 years ago, on 22 October 1859, in the Royal Palace in Madrid.

He was the eldest son of Prince Adalbert of Bavaria (1828-1875) and his wife Princess Amalia, née Infanta of Spain (1834-1905); his paternal grandparents were King Ludwig I and Queen Therese of Bavaria, while his maternal grandparents were Infante Francisco de Paula and Infanta Luisa Carlotta of Spain; among his cousins were three Kings of Bavaria, Ludwig II, Otto and Ludwig III, and King Alfonso XII of Spain.

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Prince Ludwig Ferdinand grew up firstly in Spain and later in Bavaria together with his four siblings, a brother, Prince Alfons, and three sisters, Princess Isabella, later Princess of Savoy and Duchess of Genova, Princess Elvira, later Countess von Wrbna, and Princess Clara.

Ludwig Ferdinand studied medicine in Heidelberg and Munich, following the example of Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria, and took the government licensing examination in Surgery and Gynaecology; he also was member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe (German Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics) and Cirujano honorario de la Real Academia Española (Honorary Surgeon of the Spanish Royal Academy); his devotion to the medicine was seen by his family as one of the many eccentricities of the members of the Bavarian Royal Family, but later it has been very appreciated, since the Prince used to practise his job of surgeon gratuitously.

Like every Prince at the time, Ludwig Ferdinand engaged in the military career, becoming General of Cavalry of the Bavarian army, Colonel of the 18th Infantry regiment, Chief of a Prussian regiment of Silesian Dragoons and Honorary Inspector of the Spanish Military Medical Corp; during the First World War, Prince Ludwig Ferdinand worked as surgeon in the war hospital in Munich.

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On 2 April 1883 the Prince married in the Chapel of the Royal Palace in Madrid his first cousin, Infanta Maria de la Paz of Spain (1862-1946), daughter of Queen Isabel II of Spain and King Consort Francisco de Asis of Spain, although her paternity, as well as the paternity of some of her siblings, was imputed to Miguel Tenorio de Castilla, lover of the Queen for seven years at the time of Paz’s birth. The newlyweds lived for some time in Madrid, and in 1885 they moved in Munich, living in the magnificent Nymphenburg Castle.

Ludwig Ferdinand and Paz had three children: Prince Ferdinand Maria (1884-1958), Prince Adalbert (1886-1970) and Princess Maria del Pilar (1891-1987).

Their firstborn son Ferdinand Maria married firstly in 1906 his cousin Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain (1882-1912), daughter of King Alfonso XII and Queen Maria Cristina, becoming Infante of Spain; Ferdinand Maria renounced to his rights to the Bavarian Throne in 1914. He married secondly in 1914 Maria Luisa de Silva y Fernández de Henestrosa, Duchess of Talavera de la Reina (1870-1955), who was granted the title of Infanta of Spain. Ferdinand Maria had four children from his first marriage.

The second son, Adalbert, was an historian and Doctor in Philosophy, and Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Spain between 1952 and 1956; he married in 1919 his distant cousin Countess Augusta von Seefried auf Buttenheim (1899-1978), granddaughter of Princess Gisela of Bavaria (née Archduchess of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth); they had two children.

The daughter, Maria del Pilar, was unmarried and without issue.

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Their marriage was quite happy, due to a strong ‘spiritual agreement’, despite at first sight Paz found Ludwig Ferdinand ugly; they preferred to live quietly and retired in Nymphenburg, far from the busy life of the Royal Court, holding cultural meetings with Spanish artists visiting Bavaria, like the composer Bretón, the violin player Sarasate and painters Rosales and Moreno Carbonero. The Prince was an amateur composer and musician – he liked to play the violin, sometimes in the orchestra of the Royal Theatre of Munich – and was also interested in motors, becoming member of the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club), the largest German automobile club; the Princess was a lover of the music and the opera too, she liked the works of Verdi and Gounod; Paz was also a lover of poetry, and a poet herself. When arrived in Munich, Paz became a close friend of several Bavarian Princesses, like Princess Gisela of Bavaria, Duchess Maria José and Duchess Amelia in Bavaria; she devoted herself to charity works, establishing an orphanage and a school near to Nymphenburg. Both Ludwig Ferdinand and Paz are remembered for their kindness and goodness, their moderate behaviour and their many philanthropic works.

Prince Ludwig Ferdinand and Princess Maria de la Paz lived in Germany for the rest of their life, seeing the fall of the Spanish monarchy in 1931, the Spanish civil war between 1936 and 1939 and the regime of general Franco, but also the Nazi regime in Germany, to whom they were hostile, and the Second World War.

Princess Maria de la Paz died on 4 December 1946 in Nymphenburg Castle; Prince Ludwig Ferdinand survived her for three years: on 22 October 1949 he turned 90 years old, and died one month later, on 23 November 1949. They are both buried in Munich, in the crypt of the St. Michael’s Church.

To learn more about the Bavarian Royal Family, look at this thread.

Filed under Germany, Historical Royals
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One Response to 150th Birth Anniversary of Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria

  1. Stephen Sebastien says:

    I am researching our families history and it brings me to the Royal palace where my great great great grandfather lived in the palace under King Ludwig’s realm. His name was Karl Mayer leader of the Royal Opera. He had once son named after Prince Adelbert. His name was Rudolph Adelbert Sebastian Mayer. I was looking for any history or literature that may exist.
    Stephen Sebastien

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