On 10th June 1886, one day after King Ludwig II was declared insane, at the age of 65 his uncle Luitpold temporarily ascended the throne. When King Ludwig II drowned in Lake Starnberg just three days later, the official successor to the Bavarian throne was his younger brother, Otto I. However, since Otto was not in a position to reign due to illness, Luitpold henceforth conducted government business on his behalf as Prince Regent.

Luitpold’s reign came during a period characterised by radical social upheaval. It is not without reason that the end of the 19th century is referred to as the »Fin de Siècle«, as a turning point and as the dawn of a new era of great changes in art, culture, technology and science, as well as economics and politics.

Prince Regent Luitpold never actually wanted to be regent. He was a rather more down-to-earth man, inclined more towards his beloved hunting and to the simple things in life. He accepted this late, yet extremely fruitful, regency out of a sense of duty. Luitpold consciously remained on the sidelines of day-to-day political affairs. He felt much more closely connected with his people and attempted to deal with the political and social unrest of that time with great beneficence and a sense of community spirit.

During the 25-year f rule of the Prince Regent, Bavaria experienced a cultural and economic heyday. Prince Regent Luitpold died on 12th December 1912 at the age of 91. The entire European nobility gathered at his funeral ceremony in Munich in order to honour »the last knight«.

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