The Crown Prince and his „Millau“

Sibylle Meilhaus (1814-1881), later Baroness of Leonrod, was responsible for the Bavarian crown prince’s education from 1846. He affectionately called her by the pet name "Millau". Most of the time the governess was on her own with her charge. Ludwig only had contact with his peers on Sundays, when children from the various branches of the House of Wittelsbach were invited. He developed a deep affection for his nanny, which resulted in a lifelong relationship of trust. Numerous candid letters that Ludwig wrote to her until her death bear witness to this.

The letter pictured here shows an ornately decorated Christmas letter from 1853. It contains the eight-year-old’s devotional lines: "Take gratitude from me as a gift, my heart carries love and respect for thee, dear one, continue to love me too!" After Sibylle Meilhaus relinquished responsibility for the prince’s upbringing in 1854, she took care of Ludwig’s younger brother Otto (1848-1916). After the death of the baroness in 1881, King Ludwig II donated a tomb to her in the Catholic cemetery on Hermanstraße in Augsburg. The neo-Gothic stone made of Carrara marble bears the inscription "to the faithful guardian of my childhood years".

Julia Misamer