Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty > The Wittlesbachs

Crown Prince Rupprecht, his wives Marie Gabrielle & Antonia (nee Luxemburg)

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I have always been interested in Crown Prince Rupprecht, whose life seems almost like a storybook tragedy. Two of his children died in childhood, one died shortly after his thirteenth birthday. His first wife died in 1912, and his second wife, along with their five children, were imprisoned in a concentration camp during WW2.

However this seems to be the extent of the information I can locate on Crown Prince Rupprecht. Does anyone know the conditions of the deaths for the three children of his first marriage, as well as the fates of his second wife and five children? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Oh--finally an Antonia Luxemburg/Marie Gabrielle thread! (Those were the 2 wives) I've always been interested in both.

 Rupprecht,  Crown Prince of Bavaria (Munich 18 May 1869- Leutstetten 2 Aug 1955) was the son of Ludwig III (who was regent for years since his elder brother was insane until he finally assumed the throne in 1913 until the German Revolution in 1918) and Archducess Maria Therese of Austria.

He married Duchess Marie Gabriele in Bavaria in 1900.  She was the sister of Queen Elizabeth of Belgium. Their children were: Luitpold (1901-1913 just a short time after his mother) ; Irmingard who died at 8 mos in 1903; Albrecht (1905-1996); Rudolf (1909- 1912) . Luitpold contracted polio from a playmate and died. Irmingard died of diptheria and Rudolf had diabetes I believe. There was a stillborn daughter as well. MG died in 1912 due to a longtime kidney problem. It's often thought that she basically lost her will to live after the deaths of 2 of her children (thankfully she didn't live to see her eldest die as well). A month
previous to the death of Prince Rudolf she had also lost her older sister the Duchess of Urach and in September 1912 (a month before her own death) she lost her
younger brother Duke Franz Joseph in Bavaria. Marie Gabrielle died in Sorrento, Italy, where she had gone for her health with Princess Friedrich of Hohenzollern.
Her husband Prince Rupprecht did not accompany her since he was occupied with his military duties.

Rupprecht secondly married Princess Antonia of Luxemburg in 1921 when he was 53 and she was 22. Antonia (1899-1954) was one of the 6 beautiful sisters who included Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide (who abdicated and became a nun) Grand Duchess Charlotte and Princesses Hilda, Elizabeth and Sophie. They had Heinrich (1922-1958); Irmingard (again) (b.1923); Editha (b.1924), Hilda (1926-2002); Gabriele (b.1927) and Sophie (b.1935). Antonia was imprisoned, along with several of her children, in a concentration camp on order of the Nazis. This was because Rupprecht (still a tremendously popular figure in Bavaria—a Nazi stronghold) was virulently anti-Nazi and caused a great deal of trouble. He was able to escape to Switzerland but his family was caught. Antonia was apparently never the same after this and refused to ever return to Germany after she was freed. I don’t know how this affected the marriage since Rupprecht still primarily resided in Bavaria I believe. I think Antonia preferred Switzerland. Her health was broken by her ordeal and she died at age 55.

MG and Antonia were cousins since both their mothers were Portugese Infantas.

Regarding Antonia's imprisonment:

In August 1939 the Crown Prince went to Hungary to visit his brother Prince Franz at the Sarvar Estate.  At the same time the Antonia and the younger children went to Luxembourg.  When war was declared their home, Schloss Leutsetten, was seized by the German government.  I don't know if he returned to Germany or not but some reports say he returned briefly at some point in 1939. He went first to Rome, and then settled in
Florence. Prince Albrecht spent most of the war years  in Hungary. Antonia and their children joined Rupprecht in Italy. From what I can understand, in 1939, the Crown Prince and Princess and their children, went to Rome to attend Vittorio Emanueles 70th birthday celebrations. Once there, Hitler denied them re-entry to Germany. I'm a bit hazy on this exact period though.

After the Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944, the Reich moved against its enemies. They attempted to arrest Rupprecht (who'd been under Gestapo observation for years) but he was able to elude them. For some reason, perhaps the health of one of the children?, the couple were separated and this allowed Antonia to remain within their reach. In August the Gestapo arrested Antonia and her four youngest daughters. They were charged with being involved in the von Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler. In October they were ordered sent back to Germany. Rupprecht and MG's son Albrecht was also arrested and interned. The princesses and Albrecht were sent to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen but Antonia, being ill with typhus at the time, was left behind with Irmingard. The princesses, including Irmingard, Albrecht and his family were eventually transferred to Dachau in April 1945 where they were shortly liberated by the US Army. For awhile Antonia 's whereabouts couldn't be assertained until finally her sister GDss Charlotte of Luxemburg located her after the war in the Jena prison hospital. She had been subjected to daily injections of morphine and her health broken. She had been hard to locate since she, like Princess Mafalda of Hesse, had been imprisoned under a false name.

Rupprecht meanwhile had been forced to remain in hiding in Italy. Finally he was 'liberated' by the British who sent him back to Leutsetten in November. I think he might have faced some brief questioning until it was ascertained that he was in fact anti-Nazi unlike many German royals and nobility.

Wow, thank you tons GDElla ;D Am I right in thinking that some of Rupprecht's descendents are in the Jacobite line of succession? I think it's his grandson, or maybe great-grandson who is the current "king?"

Yes you're correct! The Jacobite succession went as follows (the numbers reflect English & Scottish thrones, ie James II (England) and VII (Scotland):

James II and VII (1685 - 1701) [third son of King Charles I and of his wife, Princess Henrietta Maria of France he was overthrown by William of Orange and James's daugher (by his 1st marriage) Mary thus starting the controversy when they said his son James (by his 2nd wife Princess Maria of Modena) was a changeling] to his son

James III and VIII (1701 - 1766) to his son

Charles III (1766 - 1788) aka 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' to his brother

Henry IX and I (1788 - 1807) [who was actually a high-ranking Cardinal in the Catholic Church; he is buried at St Peter's Basillica in Rome; after his death, his executor Monsignor Cesarini sent the Hereditary Prince of Hanover (later the Elector George IV) several jewels from Henry's private collection including a Lesser George (thought to have been worn by Charles I at his execution, and now at Windsor ), a St. Andrew's Cross (now at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh), and a ruby ring.]

Charles IV (1807 - 1819) [ He was the eldest son of Vittorio Amadeo di Savoia, Duke of Savoy (later Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia) and Infanta Maria Antonia of Spain (daughter of Philip V of Spain). Because of the lack of heirs, the 'succession' went back to the great-great-grandson of Henrietta Anne, youngest daughter of King Charles I father of James II] to his brother

Victor Emanuel I of Sardinia, Victor I (1819 - 1824) to his daughter

Maria Beatrice (wife of Francesco IV, Duke of Modena who was her uncle, yuck) to her son  Mary III and II (1824 - 1840)

Francesco V, Duke of Modena Francis I (1840 - 1875) to his niece (daughter of his brohter Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este)

Maria Theresia, wife of Ludwig III of Bavaria  Mary IV and III (1875 - 1919) to her son

Rupprecht,  Robert I and IV (1919 - 1955) then to his son,

Duke Albrecht,  Albert (1955 - 1996) followed by his son

Duke Franz   Francis II (1996 - present)


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