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Duke in Bavaria (German: Herzog in Bayern) was a title used among others by the Wittelsbach Dukes of Palatinate-Zweibrücken and collateral lines descending from them. So reads for instance the full title of Karl I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld and patriarch of the House of Palatinate-Birkenfeld: "Count Palatine by Rhine, Duke in Bavaria, Count to Veldenz and Sponheim".

The title grew in importance as it was accorded in 1799 – now with the style of Royal Highness – for Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen and his descendants, who formed a cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach, which had been the ruling house of Bavaria since 1180. The title Duke of Bavaria had been used for the rulers of Bavaria from 548 until Bavaria was elevated to the status of an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire in 1623 (with some interruptions when Bavaria was subdivided; see Rulers of Bavaria).

On 16 February 1799, the head of the House of Wittelsbach Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria died. At the time there were two surviving branches of the Wittelsbach family: Zweibrücken (headed by Duke Maximilian Joseph) and Birkenfeld (headed by Count Palatine Wilhelm). Maximilian Joseph inherited Charles Theodor's title of Elector of Bavaria, while Wilhelm was compensated with the title of Duke in Bavaria. The form Duke in Bavaria was selected because in 1506 primogeniture had been established in the House of Wittelsbach resulting in there being only one Duke of Bavaria at any given time.

In 1965 there were only two male members of the family, Duke Ludwig Wilhelm and his cousin Duke Luitpold; both were elderly and had no children. On 18 March 1965 Duke Ludwig Wilhelm adopted Prince Max of Bavaria, the second son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria and the grandson of Ludwig Wilhelm's sister Marie Gabrielle. From this point onwards Max has used the surname "Herzog in Bayern" in place of the surname "Prinz von Bayern". Max has five daughters all of whom were born with the surname "Herzogin in Bayern".

Ancestors

Wilhelm, the first Duke in Bavaria, was descended from the line of Palatinate-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen. His ancestors were:

Dukes in Bavaria

The members of the family used the title Duke or Duchess in Bavaria, with the style of Royal Highness.

External links

  1. ^ for which see here.
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