Sophia, Queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland

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Sophia Dorothea von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (welf), Queen consort of GB and Ireland, Kurfürstin zu Hannover

Also Known As: "Prinzessin von Ahlden", "''Sophia Of Celle Line''"
Birthplace: Celle, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
Death: Died in Ahlden (Aller), Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
Place of Burial: Celle, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deuschland(HRR)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Georg II Wilhelm, Herzog von Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Elénore Desmier d'Olbreuse, Herzogin zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Fürstin zu Calenberg und L
Ex-wife of George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland
Partner of Philip Christopher von Königsmarck
Mother of George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland; Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and William Augustus
Sister of Unknown Daughter von Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Gräfin von Wilhelmsburg and Unknown Daughter von Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Gräfin von Wilhelmsburg

Occupation: Hereditary Princess of Hanover, Princess Consort of Hanover, Electoral Princess Consort of Hanover, Sophie Dorothea Herzogin von Braunschweig-Lüneburg, ﻉ/ (Anne-oo-ik), Mother, Kurprinzessin von Hannover (1682 - 1694), Duchess Of Brunswick-Luneburg
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sophia, Queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland



Sophia Dorothea of Celle, married her first cousin George Ludwig, aka in 1714 as King George I of England and Ireland, thereby securing additional incomes that would have been outside Salic laws. The marriage of state was arranged primarily as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle. His mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorothea's mother (who was not of royal birth), and because she was concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status. She was eventually won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage.

Sophia Dorothea had a second child, a daughter named after her, in 1687, but there were no other pregnancies. The couple became estranged—George preferred the company of his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, by whom he had two daughters in 1692 and 1693 respectively; and Sophia Dorothea, meanwhile, had her own romance with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. Threatened with the scandal of an elopement, the Hanoverian court, including George's brothers and mother, urged the lovers to desist, but to no avail. According to diplomatic sources from Hanover's enemies, in July 1694 the Swedish count was killed, possibly with the connivance of George, and his body purportedly thrown into the river Leine weighted with stones. The murder was claimed to have been committed by four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers, one of whom (Don Nicolò Montalbano) was paid the enormous sum of 150,000 thalers, which was about one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. Later rumours supposed that Königsmarck was hacked to pieces and buried beneath the Hanover palace floorboards. However, sources in Hanover itself, including Sophia, denied any knowledge of Königsmarck's whereabouts.

George's marriage to Sophia Dorothea was dissolved, not on the grounds that either of them had committed adultery, but on the grounds that Sophia Dorothea had abandoned her husband. With the concurrence of her father, George had Sophia Dorothea imprisoned in Ahlden House in her native Celle, where she stayed until she died more than thirty years later on November 13, 1726. She was denied access to her children and father, forbidden to remarry and only allowed to walk unaccompanied within the mansion courtyard. She was, however, endowed with an income, establishment, and servants, and was allowed to ride in a carriage outside her castle, albeit under supervision.

As of August 26, 2016, the location of remains of her lover, Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck, might have been discovered from human remains found beneath Hannover's Leine Palace. DNA testing by the German authorities is expected to last for about a year.

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Sophia, Queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland's Timeline

September 15, 1666
Celle, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
October 30, 1683
Age 17
Hannover, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
March 16, 1687
Age 20
Hannover, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
November 13, 1726
Age 60
Ahlden (Aller), Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deutschland(HRR)
May 1727
Age 60
Celle, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Deuschland(HRR)