Monday, November 30, 2009

The Duke in Bavaria is dead

November 30, 1909

Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria died today at Kreuth "from kidney trouble," according to a dispatch in the New York Times. The Duke "never figured prominently in military or political affairs," and chose instead to study medicine. He became an eye specialist, and ran several private hospitals "where the poor were treated free."

Karl Theodor was the head of the Ducal line of the Bavarian royal house. One of his sisters, Elisabeth, married Franz Josef of Austria and was killed by an assassin in 1898. A year earlier, another sister, Sophie, was the wife of the Duke of Alencon, and she was burned to death in a fire in a charity bazaar in Paris.
Duke Karl Theodor was born at Possenofen on August 9, 1839, the third son of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.

He was only fourteen when he joined the Bavarian army. After leaving active duty, the duke began his university education. He began to practice medicine in 1877 and was assisted by his second wife, Princess Maria Josepha.

In February 1865, Karl Theodor married his first cousin, Princess Sophie of Saxony. On Christmas eve in 1865, Sophie gave birth to a daughter, Amalie. She never completely recovered from the childbirth, and on March 22, 1867, she died after contracting influenza. Duchess Sophie was 22 years old.

In 1874, Karl Theodor married again. His second wife was Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal, a daughter of the exiled King Miguel and Princess Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. They had five children, Sophie, Elisabeth, Marie Gabriele, Ludwig Wilhelm, and Franz.

Duke Karl Theodor is survived by his wife, and his children, Amalie (the Duchess of Urach), Sophie (Countess Hans Veit of Toerring Jettenbach), Elisabeth, who is married to Prince Albert, heir presumptive to the Belgian throne, Marie Gabriele, who is married to Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, son of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria; and his two sons, neither of whom are married.

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