King Ludwig II. of Bavaria
King Ludwig II. of Bavaria
Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm was the eldest son of the king of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before he died. Ludwig was the eldest son of Maximillian II of Bavaria and Princess Marie of Prussia. During Ludwig's younger years, he was trained by tutors that were extremely strict and was placed on a strict regime of study and exercise. Ludwig was extremely interested by composer Richard Wagner's music writings and drama acts.
King Ludwig II. was just 18 when his father died and acceded to the throne straight away without any experience in politics or life. One of his first acts of reign was to summon the famous composer, Richard Wagner to the court in Munich as he was in a serious financial situation. Ludwig gave Wagner the opportunity to perform in the Royal palace which saved his career and solved his financial problems. In 1865 Ludwig was forced to make Wagner leave the city due to a conflict with the government and was a result of his perceived extravagant and scandalous behaviour. Although Wagner was forced to leave, King Ludwig was still continued with his lavish support for Wagner's work.
He became engaged to Duchess Sophie in Bavaria but after repeatedly postponing the wedding date, the engagement was eventually cancelled. Ludwig never became married and it was suggested that King Ludwig II. may have been homosexual due to his highly close friendships with men and a diary in which he recorded his sexual desires and private thoughts. The diary suggests that Ludwig may of struggled with his sexual orientation throughout his life.
King Ludwig II. tended to avoid social events wherever possible, and instead lived a life of fantasy which he pursued with different creative projects.
King Ludwig II. used his personal fortune to design and build a number of elaborate castles in which he employed hundreds of labourers for the job and spent a huge amount of money on. By 1885, Ludwig was in 14 million marks debt. He borrowed a heavy amount of money from his family but instead of listening to what his financial minister told him and economizing the money to get out of debt, he did not hesitate to spend the money on new designs for his castles.
The rebelling ministers decided that Ludwig was mentally ill and not fit to rule. Between January and March 1886 The conspirators decided to assemble a medical report stating Ludwig's fitness to rule. The report was completed by four psychiatrists in early June and resulted in King Ludwig II. being diagnosed with paranoia.
On 10th June 1886 King Ludwig II. was to be taken into custody by the conspirators but Ludwig's servant ordered the police to protect Ludwig. When the commissioners arrived to seize Ludwig and take him into custody, the police arrested the commissioners and held them captive for several hours before releasing them later on that day. On the 12th June Ludwig decided that he should escape but it was too late. A second commission arrived and seized the Ludwig to be taken into custody and was later depositioned of his crown.
On 13th June, King Ludwigs body was found floating in Lake Starnberg. Ludwigs death was ruled out as suicide, but many question this as Ludwig was known as a very good swimmer in his youth and the water he was found in was just waste height to Ludwig.