King of Bavaria was a title held by the hereditary Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria in the state known as the Kingdom of Bavaria from 1805 until 1918, when the kingdom was abolished. It was the second kingdom, almost a thousand years after the short-lived Carolingian kingdom of Bavaria.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Pressburg concluded 26 December 1805 between Napoleonic France and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, several principalities allied to Napoleon were elevated to kingdoms. One of the staunchest of these had been the prince-elector of Bavaria, Maximilian IV Joseph, and on 1 January 1806, he formally assumed the title King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. He was a member of the Wittelsbach branch Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken.
Maximilian's successors resisted German nationalism, and Bavaria became the protector of smaller states whose leaders felt threatened by Prussia or Austria in the German Confederation. Religious ties linked the state more to Austria until their defeat in the Austro-Prussian War. King Ludwig II signed an alliance with Prussia on 22 August 1866, effectively relinquishing Bavarian independence.
With the treaty of 23 November 1870 Bavaria was integrated into the new German Empire, but permitted a relatively large degree of self-determination. The Kings of Bavaria maintained their titles, and maintained separate diplomatic and military corps. When the German Empire was abolished in November 1918 after the end of World War I, the last king of Bavaria, Ludwig III, was deposed.
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||House||Official title||Note|
|Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria||Elector of the Palatinate
King of Bavaria
|1799||1825||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Maximilian Joseph, King of Bavaria||Son of Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken.
Distant cousin of his predecessor Elector Charles Theodore; Count Palatine of Zweibrücken from 1795.
In the chaos of the wars of the French Revolution, the old order of the Holy Roman Empire collapsed. In the course of these events, Bavaria became once again the ally of France, and Maximilian IV Joseph abandoned his Electoral title — as there would soon be no Emperor to elect — for the title of King of Bavaria, becoming Maximilian I on 1 January 1806.
|Ludwig I Augustus||King of Bavaria||1825||1848||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Ludwig, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine.||Son of Maximilian I Joseph.
Abdicated in the Revolutions of 1848
|Maximilian II||King of Bavaria||1848||1864||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Maximilian, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine.||Son of Ludwig I Augustus|
|Ludwig II||King of Bavaria||1864||1886||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Ludwig, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine.||Son of Maximilian II|
|Otto I||King of Bavaria||1886||1913||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Otto, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine.||Son of Maximilian II.
Otto was mentally ill throughout his reign, and his functions were carried out by the following prince regents:
|Prince Regent Luitpold||Prince Regent of Bavaria||1886||1912||Wittelsbach||His Royal Highness Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, Duke of Bavaria, of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine||Son of Ludwig I, Prince Regent of Bavaria for the Kings Ludwig II and Otto.|
|Ludwig III||Prince Regent of Bavaria
King of Bavaria
|1913||1918||Wittelsbach||His Majesty Ludwig, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine.||Son of Prince Luitpold and grandson of Ludwig I.|
Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern (born 14 July 1933), styled His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria, is head of the Wittelsbach family, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria.