Oval zinc alloy (‘Kriegsmetall’) medal with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the heads of King Ludwig III and his wife, Queen Maria Theresia, facing right within a laurel wreath, roses above and below; the reverse inscribed ‘ZUR ERINNERUNG AN DIE GOLDENE HOCHZEIT’ (In Commemoration of the Golden Wedding) and dated ‘20 • FEBR • 1918’ above two crowned escutcheons, that on the left bearing the arms of Bavaria, that on the right the arms of Austria-Este, both imposed on a rose branch; on correct, possibly original ribbon.
The Medal was instituted on 20 February 1918, the fiftieth anniversary of the wedding of the King and Queen. It was struck at the Hauptmünze in Munich and just 2,711 examples awarded.
King Ludwig III (1845-1921) was the eldest son of Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria from 1886 to 1912 and himself became Regent on his father’s death in December 1912. King Otto had long been incapable of reigning and the law was amended to allow Ludwig to become King, which he did on 5 November 1913.
Ludwig had married Archduchess Maria-Theresia of Austria-Este on 20 February 1868. Theirs was a happy marriage and they had no less than 13 children. Ludwig’s loyalty to Prussia in the later stages of World War I and his conservative Catholicism led to increasing unpopularity and he effectively abdicated on 13 November 1918. Maria Theresia died in February 1919 and Ludwig in October 1921. They are interred in the crypt of Munich cathedral.
The medal is rare.