Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria

Prince Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria (Ferdinand Maria Ludwig Franz von Assisi Isabellus Adalbert Ildefons Martin Bonifaz Joseph Isidro; 10 May 1884 – 5 April 1958) was a prince of the House of Wittlesbach and Infante of Spain, the eldest son and child of Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria and his wife, Infanta María de la Paz of Spain.[1] Ferdinand became an Infante of Spain on 20 October 1905[1][2] and renounced his rights to the throne of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1914.

Prince Ferdinand
Infante Ferdinand of Spain
Born(1884-05-10)10 May 1884
Madrid, Kingdom of Spain
Died5 April 1958(1958-04-05) (aged 73)
Madrid, Spanish State
(m. 1906; died 1912)

IssueInfante Luis Alfonso
Infante José Eugenio
Infanta María de las Mercedes
Infanta María del Pilar
Ferdinand Maria Ludwig Franz von Assisi Isabellus Adalbert Ildefons Martin Bonifaz Joseph Isidro
Fernando María Luis Francisco de Asís Isabelo Adalberto Ildefonso Martín Bonifacio José Isidro
FatherPrince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria
MotherInfanta María de la Paz of Spain

Early yearsEdit

Prince Ferdinand María was born on 10 May 1884 at the Royal Palace of Madrid. His father was Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria, son of Prince Adalbert of Bavaria and Infanta Amalia of Bourbon. His mother was Infanta María de la Paz of Bourbon, daughter of Queen Isabella II and King Francisco de Asís. Through both his parents, Prince Ferdinand María was a first cousin of King Alfonso XIII, who was two years younger than him. He was baptized at the Royal Palace of Madrid.

In 1886, when he was two years old, his aunt the Queen Regent awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III.

Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Bavaria, where his two siblings Adalbert and Pilar were born. Prince Ludwig Ferdinand was the only member of the Bavarian Royal Family who always remained on friendly terms with his cousin, King Ludwig II (with the exception of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria). When Ludwig II was arrested at Neuschwanstein Castle in 1886, he called Ludwig Ferdinand for help; the latter immediately intended to follow this call, but was prevented from leaving Nymphenburg Palace by his uncle Luitpold who was about to take over government as the ruling Prince Regent. From 1878 the family resided at Palais Ludwig Ferdinand, their town-house in Munich

He attended the Bavarian War Academy (Bayerische Kriegsakademie), attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant of Heavy Cavalry in the Bavarian Army. Then, he returned to Spain.

Marriage and naturalisationEdit

On 20 October 1905, King Alfonso XIII announced the marriage between his elder sister Infanta María Teresa and Prince Ferdinand Maria. The announcement was gazetted in the Gazette of Madrid as follows: "For the sake of My Royal Family and of the Nation, after having heard My Council of Ministers, I shall give My Royal Consent to the contract of marriage between My Most Beloved and Most Dear Sister Infanta María Teresa and My Most Beloved Cousin Prince Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria and Bourbon. My Government will inform the Cortes this My Royal Resolution". That same day, Prince Ferdinand Maria naturalised and the king granted unto him the title and prerogative of Infante of Spain, by grace. He was also invested a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and was granted the Collar and Grand Cross of the orders of Charles III and Isabella the Catholic, respectively.

The wedding took place [1] on 12 January 1906 at the Royal Palace of Madrid.[1] Ferdinand and María Teresa had four children:.[1]

The couple settled down in Spain and moved into the newly built Cuesta de la Vega Palace in Madrid, which was their main residence.


Ferdinand (left) with his cousin Infante Alfonso (right) in rayadillo breeches during the Rif War

Prince Ferdinand María was incorporated into the Spanish Army with the rank of cavalry lieutenant in 1905. He was commissioned into the 20th Hussars of Pavia Regiment. On 23 June 1908, he was promoted to Commander and was commissioned into the 12th Lusitania Rifle Regiment. He was moved to Africa with his regiment and took part in the Rif War.

This marriage and the granted royal rank in Spain meant that Ferdinand (also known as Infante don Fernando María de Baviera y de Borbón), the third-generation Spanish-Bavarian, committed himself to Spain. His second marriage with a Spanish noblewoman changed nothing in that respect.

Ferdinand married for a second time to María Luisa de Silva y Fernández de Henestrosa, Duchess of Talavera de la Reina, daughter of Luis de Silva y Fernández, 10th Count of Pie de Concha and his wife, Maria de los Dolores Fernández de Henestrosa y Fernández de Córdoba, on 1 October 1914 in Fuenterrabía, Spain. Maria Luisa was also granted the title Infanta of Spain.

Later lifeEdit

Tomb of Prince Ferdinand with members of his family in the crypt of the Almudena Cathedral

Ferdinand survived his mother by 12 years and his father by 9 years. He had Alfonso XIII of Spain as his first cousin and brother-in-law and Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies as another brother-in-law. Spanish claimants Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, and Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, were his nephews.


National orders and decorations[3]
Foreign orders and decorations[3]




  1. ^ a b c d e Darryl Lundy (24 Jul 2005). "Ferdinand Maria Ludwig Franz Prinz von Bayern". Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  2. ^ Gaceta de Madrid No. 295, 22/10/1905, p. 277.
  3. ^ a b Hof- und - Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern (1908), "Landtag des Königreiches: Mitglieder der Kammer der Reichsräte", p. 157
  4. ^ "Real y distinguida orden de Carlos III", Guóa Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1888, p. 154, retrieved 9 September 2020
  5. ^ a b c Boletín Oficial del Estado
  6. ^ "Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1925. p. 241. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Real Cuerpo Colegiado de Caballeros Hijosdalgo de la Nobleza, de Madrid", Guóa Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1915, p. 127, retrieved 3 April 2021
  8. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  9. ^ "Caballeros Grandes Cruces de la Orden del Mérito Naval". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1925. p. 585. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Inclita y Soberana Orden Militar de San Juan de Jerusalem". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1929. p. 284. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Ritter-Orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, 1916, p. 50, retrieved 31 March 2021
  12. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1910) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1910 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1910] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. p. 3. Retrieved 9 September 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  13. ^ M. Wattel, B. Wattel. (2009). Les Grand'Croix de la Légion d'honneur de 1805 à nos jours. Titulaires français et étrangers. Paris: Archives & Culture. p. 451. ISBN 978-2-35077-135-9.
  14. ^ Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha (1922) p. 15
  15. ^ Sveriges Statskalender (in Swedish), 1915, p. 671, retrieved 2020-07-03 – via
  16. ^ The London Gazette, issue 28014, p. 2647