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Queen Sophia of Greece

Princess Sophie of Prussia (Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice; 14 June 1870 – 13 January 1932) was a Queen consort of Greecemarker.

Princess of Prussia

She was born in Potsdammarker, Prussiamarker, in 1870 to then Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia (later Keiser) and Victoria, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom, herself the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. Sophie, known as "Sossy" during her childhood, (the name was thought to have been picked because it rhymed with "Mossy", the nickname of her younger sister Margarete) was Victoria and Frederick's seventh child and third daughter.

She was a sister ofWilhelm II, German Emperor, Princesses Charlotte, Margrete and Viktoria of Prussia, as well as Princes Heinrich, Waldemar and Sigismund of Prussia. Sigismund died before she was born, and Waldemar when he was 11 and she was 8.

She is the paternal grandmother of her namesake, Queen Sofia of Spain and ex-King Constantine II of the Hellenes. Queen Sofia also has a granddaughter, Infanta Sofia of Spain, who was named in her honor; Infanta Sofia's parents are the queen's son, Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia.

Marriage and children

On 27 October 1889, she married Crown Prince (later King) Constantine of Greece in Athensmarker, Greecemarker. They were third cousins through descent from Paul I of Russia, and second cousins once removed through Frederick William III of Prussia. This led to in-fighting within her family, particularly with Empress Augusta Viktoria, known within her family as Dona, wife of her brother William. In 1890, when Sophie announced her intention to leave her Evangelical faith for Greek Orthodoxy (as she was obliged to do under her new family's House law), Dona summoned her and told her that if she did so, not only would William find it unacceptable, being the Head of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces; she would be barred from Germany and her soul would end up in Hell. Sophie replied that it was none of her business whether she did or not. Dona became hysterical and her son, Prince Joachim, was born too early, causing her to cling to him for the rest of his life as she believed him to be delicate. Evidently, so did William as he wrote to his mother that if the baby died, Sophie would have "murdered it." Sophie and Constantine had six children:


Name Birth Death Notes
George II, King of the Hellenes 20 July 1890 1 April 1947 married Princess Elisabeth of Romania
Alexander I, King of the Hellenes 1 August 1893 25 October 1920 married Aspasia Manos aka Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark
Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark 2 May 1896 28 November 1982 married Carol II, King of Romania
Paul I, King of the Hellenes 14 December 1901 6 March 1964 married Princess Frederika of Hanover
Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark 13 February 1904 15 April 1974 married Prince Aimone of Savoy, 4th Duke of Aosta
Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark 4 May 1913 2 October 2007 married Major Richard Brandram MC (5 August 1911 – 5 April 1994)

In 1916 as the Queen and King were residing in Tatoi, a mysterious fire broke out, destroying the main residence and much of the forest surrounding it. Queen Sophie grabbed her youngest child (Katherine) and ran a mile and a half with her in her arms. The fire lasted for forty-eight hours and was suspected as deliberate act of arson.

Exiles of husband

She left Greece on 11 June 1917 with her husband (who abdicated because of his alleged pro-German sentiments) and they went into exile to Switzerlandmarker, but were recalled to the throne shortly after their second son Alexander's death from an infected monkey bite. Her husband was forced to abdicate a second time after defeat in a war with Turkeymarker in 1922, and he died early the following year.

WWI loyalties

During World War I Queen Sophie had been wrongly seen in Greece as very pro-German because her brother was Kaiser Wilhelm II. Like her mother, she was passionately pro-British.

Death and burial

In her last years Queen Sophie was diagnosed with cancer and died in Frankfurtmarker, Germanymarker, in 1932. With the restoration of the monarchy in Greece, Queen Sophie's remains were re-buried in 1936 at the Royal Burial Ground at Tatoi alongside her husband King Constantine.

Titles from birth

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia of Prussia (1870–1888)
  • Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Greece (1888–1913)
  • Her Majesty The Queen of Greece (1913–1923)
  • Her Majesty the Dowager Queen Sophie (1923–1932)


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