The story of King Ludwig is well-enough known, but there is a useful illustrated online biography, with references and links, here. There is a recent illustrated article here about the anniversary.
It appears clear that whatever the problems dormant in him, at his accession he was very popular, and indeed retained the affection of many until his death.
King Ludwig II in the uniform of a general and coronation robe.
Ferdinand von Piloty, Munich, 1865.
Whatever explanation there is for the King's eccentric behaviour - and it is not too difficult to see why many Bavarians had their concerns about their King - there is no doubt that his patronage of the arts, both in building, notably Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, and in music as the admirer and patron of Wagner, he left a spectacular legacy.
King Ludwig II in the robes of the Order of St George
by Gabriel Schachinger, completed in 1887.
As a monarch in his era he appears to have retreated from the mundane requirements of office into his own sense of what Kingship was about. Hence the delight in ceremony and the setting for monarchy, but not the practical necessities of sitting at the desk with state papers, or indeed, avoiding near bankruptcy for the dynasty.
In some ways he is reminiscent of some modern figures in the world of entertainment who have everything and lose it all in a whirl of indulgence and eccentricity. The phenomenon may not be unique - what marks out "Mad King Ludwig" is who he was, and the wonderful legacy he left to his country and the world.
There is much that is tragic, or at least painfully sad, about his life and death, and one can at least remember him in one's prayers on this anniversary and pray for the repose of his soul.
The memorial chapel erected near where King Ludwig II drowned in Lake Starnberg in 1886.
King Ludwig II lying in state in the Hofkappelle Munich in 1886.
He is wearing the robes of the Order of St Hubert.