Albert I

Albrecht Luitpold Ferdinand Michael von Wittelsbach was born at Munich, May 3, 1905. He was the younger son of Crown Prince Rupert of Bavaria and of his first wife, Duchess Marie Gabriele in Bavaria. From his birth Albert bore the title of "Prince of Bavaria". He was also recognised by the Jacobites as "Prince of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, and Prince of Cornwall and Rothesay".

At the death of his grandmother Mary Theresa, February 3, 1919, Albert's father Rupert succeeded to all of his mother's British rights. Albert was henceforward recognised by the Jacobites as "Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland".

At the death of his grandfather King Ludwig III of Bavaria, October 18, 1921, Albert became heir to the Bavarian throne after his father; henceforward he used the title "Hereditary Prince of Bavaria". He lived in the Rehbach-Stöckerl of Schloss Berchtesgarden, and then studied forestry at the University of Munich.

On September 3, 1930, in the Stiftskirche at Berchtesgarden, Albert married Countess Marita Draskovich von Trakostjan, daughter of Count Dionys Draskovich von Trakostjan and of his wife, Princess Julia of Montenuovo. This marriage was not in conformity with the laws of the House of Wittelsbach respecting succession to the Bavarian throne. In consequence, Marita was not properly styled "Hereditary Princess of Bavaria" until May 18, 1949, when Albert's father Rupert recognised the marriage as dynastic for Bavaria.

The couple lived first at Wildbad Kreuth. They had four children:

  • Marie-Gabrielle (born 1931), married Georg, Prince of Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg
  • Marie-Caroline (born 1931), married Paul, Prince of Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny
  • Francis, Hereditary Prince, later Duke of Bavaria (born 1933), unmarried
  • Max, later Duke in Bavaria (born 1937), married Countess Elizabeth Douglas
In 1939 Albert moved his family to Hungary to avoid persecution by the Nazis; for four years they lived in Budapest. In 1944 they were arrested by the Nazis and interned for seven months in several concentration camps including Dachau.

After the war Albert established a new home at Schloss Berg on the Starnberger See. At the death of his father Rupert, August 2, 1955, Albert succeeded to all of his British rights. He was henceforward recognised by the Jacobites as "King Albert I". As Head of the House of Bavaria he now used the title "Duke of Bavaria".

Albert's wife Marita died at Wildbad Kreuth, June 10, 1969. On April 21 (civil) and April 22 (religious), 1971, at Munich, Albert married Countess Marie-Jenke Keglevich von Buzin, daughter of Count Stephen Keglevich von Buzin and of his wife, Countess Clara Zichy de Zich et Vasonykeo. Marie-Jenke died at Weichselboden near Mariazell, October 5, 1983.

On May 3, 1995 Albert celebrated his ninetieth birthday at Schloss Nymphenburg.

Albert's 90th Birthday
Albert's 90th Birthday

Albert greeted his subjects from the balcony of the palace. He was joined by his elder son Francis, the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, his elder daughter the Princess of Waldburg-Zeil (partly hidden), the Prime Minister of Bavaria and his wife, and his younger son Max-Emanuel (partly hidden).

Albert was a great lover of the outdoors; he particularly enjoyed hunting. The University of Munich honoured him with an honourary doctorate in veterinary medicine. He was a great promoter of Bavarian culture, especially of folk-dancing. He was Grand Master of the Order of St. George, of the Military Order of Maximilian-Joseph, and of the Order of Saint Hubertus. He was also a Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and (from 1953) a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austrian obedience).

Albert died at Schloss Berg, July 8, 1996, when he was succeeded in all his British rights by his elder son Francis. His remains lie in the family cemetery he established at Kloster Andechs.

Further reading:

Weiß, Dieter J. Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern: Eine politische Biografie. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 2007. Useful for Albert's early life.

Sendtner, Kurt. Rupprecht von Wittelsbach, Kronprinz von Bayern. München: Richard Pflaum, 1954. Useful for Albert's early life.

Albert wrote several works on deer hunting:

Über Rehe in einem steirischen Gebirgsrevier. München: BLV, 1981.

Weichselboden: Bilder und Abschluß der Rehbeobachtungen. München: BLV, 1991.

Das jagdliche Vermächtnis Herzog Albrechts von Bayern: Anleitung zur Führung großer und kleiner Jagdreviere. Berlin: Parey, 1997.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran ( and was last updated June 26, 2010.
© Noel S. McFerran 1997-2010.