Ludwig II (Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm) (25 August 1845 – 13 June 1886) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King or der Märchenkönig ('the Fairy Tale King'). He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke in Swabia. He was the elder son of Maximilian II of Bavaria and Marie of Prussia, Crown Prince and Princess of Bavaria, who became King and Queen in 1848 after the abdication of the former's father, Ludwig I, during the German Revolution. His parents intended to name him Otto, but his grandfather insisted that his grandson be named after him, since their common birthday, 25 August, is the feast day of Saint Louis IX of France, patron saint of Bavaria (with "Ludwig" being the German form of "Louis"). His full name was Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm; English: Louis Otto Frederick William. His younger brother, born three years later, was named Otto. Like many young heirs in an age when kings governed most of Europe, Ludwig was continually reminded of his royal status. King Maximilian wanted to instruct both of his sons in the burdens of royal duty from an early age. Ludwig was both extremely indulged and severely controlled by his tutors and subjected to a strict regimen of study and exercise. Some point to these stresses of growing up in a royal family as the causes for much of his odd behavior as an adult. Ludwig was not close to either of his parents. As an adolescent, Ludwig became close friends with his aide de camp, Prince Paul, a member of the wealthy Bavarian Thurn und Taxis family. The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. The friendship ended when Paul became engaged in 1866 with a commoner. During his youth, Ludwig also initiated a lifelong friendship with his cousin Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, later Empress of Austria. Crown Prince Ludwig was in his 19th year when his father died after a three-day illness, and he ascended the Bavarian throne. Although he was not prepared for high office, his youth and brooding good looks made him popular in Bavaria and elsewhere.He continued the state policies of his father and retained his ministers. Ludwig was intensely interested in the operas of Richard Wagner. But then Ludwig was brought down by conspirators, who claimed his mental health was bad. The degree to which these accusations were accurate may never be known. A team of psychiatrists diagnosed Ludwig with paranoia. Today, the claim of paranoia is not considered correct; Ludwig's behavior is rather interpreted as a schizotypal personality disorder and he may also have suffered from Pick's disease during his last years, an assumption supported by a frontotemporal lobar degeneration mentioned in the autopsy report.) Ludwig's only younger brother and successor, Otto, was considered insane, providing a convenient basis for the claim of hereditary insanity. At 4 am on 10 June 1886, a government commission including Holnstein and Gudden arrived at Neuschwanstein to deliver the document of deposition to the King formally and to place him in custody.That same day, the government under Minister-President Johann von Lutz publicly proclaimed Luitpold as Prince Regent. Eventually, the king decided he would try to escape, but he was too late. In the early hours of 12 June, a second commission arrived. The King was seized just after midnight and at 4 am was taken to a waiting carriage. On the afternoon of the next day, 13 June 1886, Dr. Gudden accompanied Ludwig on a stroll in the grounds of Berg Castle. They were escorted by two attendants. On their return, Gudden expressed optimism to other doctors concerning the treatment of his royal patient. Following dinner, at around 6 pm, Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a further walk, this time through the Schloß Berg parkland along the shore of Lake Starnberg. Gudden agreed; the walk may even have been his suggestion, and he told the aides not to join them. His words were ambiguous (Es darf kein Pfleger mitgehen, "No attendant may come with [us]") and whether they were meant to follow at a discreet distance is not clear. The two men were last seen at about 6:30 pm; they were due back at 8 pm, but never returned. After searches were made for more than two hours by the entire castle staff in a gale with heavy rain, at 10:30 pm that night, the bodies of both the King and von Gudden were found, head and shoulders above the shallow water near the shore. The King's watch had stopped at 6:54. Gendarmes patrolling the park had neither seen nor heard anything unusual.Ludwig's death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Ludwig was a very strong swimmer in his youth, the water was approximately waist deep where his body was found, and he had not expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis. Gudden's body showed blows to the head and neck and signs of strangulation, leading to the suspicion that he was strangled, although no other evidence was found to prove this.Speculation exists that Ludwig was murdered by his enemies while attempting to escape from Berg. One account suggests that the king was shot.Another theory suggests that Ludwig died of natural causes (such as a heart attack or stroke) brought on by the cool water (12 °C) of the lake during an escape attempt.
Otto (German: Otto Wilhelm Luitpold Adalbert Waldemar)(27 April 1848 – 11 October 1916), was the son of Maximilian II and his wife, Marie of Prussia, and the younger brother of Ludwig II Otto was King of Bavaria from 1886 until 1913. However, he never actively ruled because of alleged severe mental illness. His uncle, Luitpold, and his cousin, Ludwig, served as regents. Ludwig deposed him in 1913, a day after the legislature passed a law allowing him to do so, and became king in his own right. Otto and Ludwig were often seen together during the early years of Ludwig's reign, but they became estranged over time. Ludwig was shy and introverted and eventually became a recluse. Otto was cheerful, outgoing and extroverted until the Franco-Prussian War. After the Franco-Prussian War, Otto became very depressed and anxious, which worried his family. Otto had spells during which he slept poorly for days and acted out, followed by periods of time during which he was perfectly normal and lucid. His illness progressively grew worse. Ludwig was horrified because he had been counting on Otto to marry and have a son who could eventually inherit the throne. Otto was placed under medical supervision, and reports about his condition were sent by spies working for the Prussian Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. Doctors reported that Otto was mentally ill in January 1872. From 1873, he was held in isolation in the southern pavilion of Nymphenburg Palace. His attending physician was Dr. Bernhard von Gudden, who later diagnosed Otto's brother, Ludwig, as mentally ill without bothering to examine him and without asking him a single question, which raises questions about his competence and his motives. Both Ludwig and Otto despised Prussia, and their uncle, Luitpold, and Gudden supported Prussia's rise to dominance. Some contemporaries believed that Gudden's diagnoses of Otto and Ludwig were motivated by political considerations and that more could and should have been done to help and treat Otto. Some contemporaries also believed that Bismarck did not want Ludwig or Otto to remain in power and decided to replace the brothers with their malleable uncle, Luitpold During Corpus Christi Mass in 1875 in the Frauenkirche in Munich, Otto, who had not attended the church service, rushed into the church wearing hunting clothes and fell on his knees before the celebrant, Archbishop Gregor von Scherr, to ask forgiveness for his sins. The High Mass was interrupted, and the prince did not resist when he was led away by two church ministers. Otto was then moved to Schleissheim Palace and was effectively held prisoner there, much to his dismay. Gudden made no effort to treat him; it is possible that Otto was heavily drugged. Otto's last public appearance was his presence at the side of his brother at the King's parade on 22 August 1875, at the Marsfeld in Munich. From 1 June 1876, he stayed for a few weeks in the castle at Ludwigsthal in the Bavarian Forest. In the spring of 1880, his condition worsened. In 1883, he was confined under medical supervision in Fürstenried Palace near Munich, where he would remain for the rest of his life. The palace had been specially converted for his confinement. Ludwig occasionally visited him at night and ordered for no violence to be used against him.In 1886, the senior royal medical officer wrote a statement declaring that Otto was severely mentally ill. It has been claimed that Ludwig had a schizotypal personality disorder and that Otto suffered from schizophrenia. It has also been persuasively argued that Otto's problems were the result of contracting syphilis, which would also account for his physical problems, particularly the paralysis from which he suffered in later years. When King Ludwig II was deposed by his ministers on 10 June 1886, his uncle Luitpold took over the rule of the Kingdom of Bavaria and led the affairs of state in Ludwig's place as regent. Only three days later Ludwig II died under unknown circumstances, and Prince Otto succeeded him as King of Bavaria on 13 June 1886 in accordance with the Wittelsbach succession law. Since Otto was unable to lead the government due to his mental illness (officially it was said: "The King is melancholic"), Prince Regent Luitpold also reigned for him. He did not understand the proclamation of his accession to the throne, which was explained to King Otto at Fürstenried Palace the next day after his accession. He thought his uncle Luitpold was the rightful king. Shortly thereafter, the Bavarian troops were sworn in the name of King Otto I and coins were minted with his portrait.Luitpold kept his role as Prince Regent until he died in 1912 and was succeeded by his son Ludwig, who was Otto's first cousin. By then, it had been obvious for some time that Otto would never emerge from seclusion or be mentally capable of actively reigning. Almost as soon as Ludwig became regent, elements in the press and larger society clamoured for Ludwig to become king in his own right.Accordingly, the constitution of Bavaria was amended on 4 November 1913 to include a clause specifying that if a regency for reasons of incapacity lasted for ten years, with no expectation that the King would ever be able to reign, the Regent could end the regency, depose the King and assume the crown himself with the assent of the legislature. The following day, Prince Regent Ludwig ended the regency and proclaimed his own reign as Ludwig III. The parliament assented on 6 November, and Ludwig III took the constitutional oath on 8 November. King Otto was permitted to retain his title and honours for life.Otto died unexpectedly on 11 October 1916 from a volvulus (an obstruction of the bowel).