Franz, Duke of Bavaria ( German: Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern; born 14 July 1933) is head of the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria. His great-grandfather King Ludwig III was the last ruling monarch of Bavaria until deposed in 1918.
Franz was born in
Munich. During the Second World War, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi. The family initially left  Nazi Germany for Hungary but were eventually arrested when Germany invaded the country in 1944. Franz was only 11 at the time. He spent time in several Nazi concentration camps, including Oranienburg and Dachau. 
After the war, he was a student at the
University of Munich and became a collector of modern art. Franz succeeded as head of the House of Wittelsbach, and as pretender to the Bavarian throne, on the death of his father in 1996. He lives at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. Franz is not married.
Were it not for the
Act of Settlement 1701, Franz would be the successor to the British crowns of the House of Stuart. This is not a claim he has advanced, however.
Franz was born on 14 July 1933 in
Munich, the son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, and his morganatic wife, Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan of the House of Dra?kovi?, a Croatian noble family. On 18 May 1949, when Franz was 15, his grandfather Crown Prince Rupprecht recognised the marriage of Franz's parents as dynastic, and Franz became a prince of Bavaria.
The Wittelsbach dynasty were opposed to the
Nazi regime in Germany, and in 1939, Franz's father Albrecht took his family to Hungary. They lived in Budapest for four years before moving to their Castle at Sárvár in late 1943. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, and on 6 October 1944 the entire family, including the 11-year-old Franz, were arrested. They were sent to a series of Nazi concentration camps, including Oranienburg and Dachau. At the end of April 1945, they were liberated by the United States Third Army. 
After the war, Franz received his high-school education at the Benedictine
Abbey of Ettal. He then studied business management at the University of Munich and in Zurich. Franz developed a passion for collecting modern art. Items from his private collection are on permanent loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. He is also an honorary trustee of the  Museum of Modern Art in New York. 
His 80th birthday party, in 2013, was held at the
Schleissheim Palace near Munich. The party was attended by 2,500 guests, including the then-incumbent  Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer. 
In 2016, he became the donor of the project of restoration of the
Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in Divina, Slovakia, realised under auspices of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Slovakia. The project was honoured by patronage of Norodom Sihamoni, the king of Cambodia and Simeon II, the last tsar of Bulgaria. The project was completed in the year 2017.  
Franz has never married. The
heir presumptive to the headship of the House of Wittelsbach is his brother Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria. Because Max has five daughters but no sons, he is followed in the line of succession by his and Franz's first cousin Prince Luitpold and, in the next generation, by the latter's son Prince Ludwig Heinrich of Bavaria (b. 1982).
Link to the Stuarts
Franz is a direct descendant of the
House of Stuart. Were it not for the Act of Settlement 1701, Franz would be the successor to the British crowns of the Stuart kings. His spokesman has, however, made it clear that this is a purely 'hypothetical' issue  and not a claim which Franz pursues.       
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
Franz uses the titles Duke of Bavaria, of
Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine, plus the style "His Royal Highness".    
14 July 1933 - 8 July 1996: His Royal Highness Prince Franz of Bavaria
(in Germany): Franz Prinz von Bayern 8 July 1996 - present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria
(in Germany): Franz Herzog von Bayern
His Majesty King Francis II of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland (by Othonists): His Majesty King Frangiskos I of Greece
Franz was styled
Prinz von Bayern at birth. In 1996, after the death of his father, he changed his style to  Herzog von Bayern ('Duke of Bavaria'). 
He is a Hereditary Senator of the
University of Munich and an Honorary Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
He holds many honorary positions in civic and religious organisations in Bavaria. He supports charitable enterprises helping orphans in Romania.
Ancestors of Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Otto I, Count of Scheyern, c. 1020-1072
Eckhard I, Count of Scheyern, ?-1091
Otto IV, Count of Scheyern, c. 1083-1156
Otto I, Duke of Bavaria, 1117-1183
Louis I, Duke of Bavaria, 1173-1231
Otto II, Duke of Bavaria, 1206-1253
Louis II, Duke of Bavaria, 1229-1294
Rudolf I, Duke of Bavaria, 1274-1319
Adolf, Count Palatine of the Rhine, 1300-1327
Rupert II, Elector Palatine, 1325-1398
Rupert, King of Germany, 1352-1410
Stephen, Count Palatine of Simmern-Zweibrücken, 1385-1459
Louis I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1424-1489
Alexander, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1462-1514
Louis II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1502-1352
Wolfgang, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1526-1569
Charles I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, 1560-1600
Christian I, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, 1598-1654
Christian II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, 1637-1717
Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1674-1735
Frederick Michael, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, 1724-1767
Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, 1756-1825
Ludwig I of Bavaria, 1786-1868
Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, 1821-1912
Ludwig III of Bavaria, 1845-1921
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, 1869-1955
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, 1905-1996 Franz, Duke of Bavaria, b. 1933
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