Princess Irmingard of Bavaria has Died

  October 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm by

Her Royal Highness Princess Irmingard of Bavaria died at her residence, Schloss Leutstetten, Bavaria, on 23 October 2010. She was 87 years old.

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Princess Irmingard Maria Josefa of Bavaria was born on 29 May 1923 at Schloss Berchtesgaden, the second child and eldest daughter of former Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and his second wife Princess Antonia, born Princess of Luxembourg; her grandparents were King Ludwig III and Queen Maria Theresia of Bavaria and Grand Duke Guillaume IV and Grand Duchess Marie Anne of Luxembourg. Irmingard had a older half-brother (born from her father’s first marriage to Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria) Albrecht, later Duke of Bavaria and successor to their father as Head of the Royal Family, an older brother Prince Heinrich and four younger sisters, Princesses Editha, Mrs. Schimert, Hilda, Mrs. Lockett de Loayza, Gabriele, Duchess of Croy and Sophie, Duchess of Arenberg.

Princess Irmingard spent her childhood in the residences of her father, four former royal residences spread in Bavaria; in 1936, aged 13, she moved with her sister Editha to England, where they studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Rohehampton, a Roman Catholic boarding school attended, among the others, by their maternal cousins Princesses Elisabeth and Marie Adelaide of Luxembourg; the following year Irmingard’s sisters Hilda and Gabriele joined the school too.

At the begin of World War II, in 1939, the school was evacuated and the following years the four sisters left England and joined their parents in Italy, where Prince Rupprecht and Princess Antonia with the youngest daughter Sophie had escaped, because the Crown Prince, who notoriously was an opposer to Nazi regime, had been exiled from Germany and his properties had been confiscated. Princess Irmingard spent in Italy with her father the years between 1940 and 1944, living and studying mainly in Florence; instead her mother and siblings moved from Italy to Hungary, where the Royal Family owned a Castle (where Irmingard’s half-brother Albrecht and his family were already living since the begin of the war).

In July 1944 the whole Bavarian Royal Family, with the only exceptions of Crown Prince Rupprecht and Princess Irmingard, who were still living in Italy, was arrested in Hungary by the German army and taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Irmingard was arrested as well two months later in Italy; since she was ill of typhus, she was sent to a prison hospital in Innsbruck, where she stayed until she recovered. Then in February 1945 she was sent in Sachsenhausen where she reunited with her family. In the two following months the Family was transferred to Flossenburg and later Dachau concentration camps, where they were freed by the American Army on 30 April 1945.

Soon after the war, the Bavarian Princesses lived for a short period in Luxembourg, where Crown Princess Antonia’s sister Charlotte was reigning as Grand Duchess; then Irmingard spent a year in Montana, USA, where her maternal uncle the Prince of Schwarzenberg owned a ranch. In the same period, her parents could return in Bavaria and got back their confiscated properties; Crown Princess Antonia, who never fully recovered from the experience of war prisony, died in 1954, aged 55, followed one year later by her husband Rupprecht, aged 86.

Princess Irmingard moved back to Bavaria; on 20 July 1950 she married her first cousin Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1913-2008), the eldest son of Rupprecht’s younger brother Franz. They had together a son, Prince Luitpold, born in 1951, and two stillborn daughters, Princess Maria and Princess Philippa, in 1953 and 1954 respectively.

At the death of her father, Irmingard inherited Leutstetten Castle, where she and her family continued to live; there Prince Ludwig died on 17 October 2008, aged 95, and there Princess Irmingard died in the evening of last Saturday.

The funeral of the Princess will be celebrated in a private ceremony; an official requiem Mass will take place in Munich at the Teathinerkirche on 4 November 2010. It’s likely that Princess Irmingard will be buried at Andechs Abbey cemetery, where her husband and several other members of the Bavarian Royal Family are buried as well.

To learn more on the Bavarian Royal Family, please visit this thread.

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