: The reason is a recent event in his native
: town, attended by Prince Leopold and his
: wife, Princess Ursula. At first, those
: names didn't ring any bells in me -- and no
: wonder: they're only fringe members of the
: House of Wittelsbach. ...
Prince Leopold of Bavaria may not be familiar to most English-speakers, but it's possible that he is more recognised by Bavarians than even his cousin Francis, head of the house. While most members of the house of Wittelsbach avoid the news media, Leopold frequently appeared on magazine covers when he was a younger more dashing race-car driver.
: So he is only a distant relative of the current head of the house; ...
Almost all the members of the house of Wittelsbach see each other regularly. All the adult dynasts were invited to the family luncheon for Francis' 80th birthday party.
: Also, the 2005 wedding of his elder son
: (Prince Manuel) and Princess Anna of
: Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was a great
: society event attended by many guests,
: including King Carl. BTW: how exactly is
: Princess Anna of Bavaria connected to
: Princess Benedikte of Denmark and her
: family? What exactly is her religious
Anna is Lutheran as were both of her parents. Her mother is from the Swedish family of the counts Wachtmeister. Anna's elder brother is also married to a Catholic.
: Anyhow, it seems that Prince Leopold, in
: addition to being a former race car driving
: champion, is also an avid opera buff ... at
: least his wife is. When I asked about him
: on a Jonas Kaufmann fan forum on Facebook, I
: was told that Princess Ursula and her
: husband even have their own special box at
: the Bavarian opera house, in Munich.
I think that Prince and Princess Leopold use the Royal Box at the National Theatre in Munich. Even one hundred years after the end of the Great War, the Wittelsbachs retain their right to sit in the Royal Box. There are restrictions, however (e.g. when a member of the house dies, no other member of the house may appear in the royal box during the official mourning period - I've seen the notification which goes to family members).
Noel S. McFerran