Sophia of Prussia

Queen consort of the Hellenes / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sophia of Prussia (Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice, Greek: Σοφία; 14 June 1870 – 13 January 1932) was Queen of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922 as the wife of King Constantine I.

Quick facts: Sophia of Prussia, Queen consort of the Helle...
Sophia of Prussia
Queen Sophia of Greece in 1913
Queen consort of the Hellenes
Tenure18 March 1913 – 11 June 1917
Tenure19 December 1920 – 27 September 1922
Born(1870-06-14)14 June 1870
New Palace, Potsdam, Kingdom of Prussia
Died13 January 1932(1932-01-13) (aged 61)
Frankfurt, Hesse-Nassau, Free State of Prussia, Weimar Republic
Burial16 January 1932
Greek Orthodox Church, Florence, Italy
22 November 1936
Royal Cemetery, Tatoi Palace, Greece
(m. 1889; died 1923)
Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice
FatherFrederick III, German Emperor
MotherVictoria, Princess Royal
ReligionGreek Orthodox
previously Lutheran

A member of the House of Hohenzollern and child of Frederick III, German Emperor, Sophia received a liberal and Anglophile education, under the supervision of her mother Victoria, Princess Royal. In 1889, less than a year after the death of her father, she married her third cousin Constantine, heir apparent to the Greek throne. After a difficult period of adaptation in her new country, Sophia gave birth to six children and became involved in the assistance to the poor, following in the footsteps of her mother-in-law, Queen Olga. However, it was during the wars which Greece faced during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century that Sophia showed the most social activity: she founded field hospitals, oversaw the training of Greek nurses, and treated wounded soldiers.

However, Sophia was hardly rewarded for her actions, even after her grandmother Queen Victoria decorated her with the Royal Red Cross after the Thirty Days' War: the Greeks criticized her links with Germany. Her eldest brother, German Emperor William II, was indeed an ally of the Ottoman Empire and openly opposed the construction of the Megali Idea, which could establish a Greek state that would encompass all ethnic Greek-inhabited areas. During World War I, the blood ties between Sophia and the Emperor also aroused the suspicion of the Triple Entente, which criticized Constantine I for his neutrality in the conflict.

After imposing a blockade of Greece and supporting the rebel government of Eleftherios Venizelos, causing the National Schism, France and its allies deposed Constantine in June 1917. Sophia and her family then went into exile in Switzerland. Sophia's second son, Alexander, replaced his father on the throne. At the same time, Greece entered the war alongside the Triple Entente, which allowed it to grow considerably. After the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War in 1919 and the untimely death of Alexander the following year, the Venizelists abandoned power, allowing the royal family to return to Athens. However, the defeat of the Greek army against the Turkish troops of Mustafa Kemal forced Constantine to abdicate in 1922, at which point his eldest son became King George II. Sophia and her family were then forced to a new exile, and settled in Italy, where Constantine died one year later, in 1923. With the proclamation of the Republic in Athens the following year, Sophia spent her last years alongside her family, before dying of cancer in Germany in 1932 at the age of 61.