SUBALBUM:  Sophie von der Pfalz

As this is being written, the Scots are ready to eject the Royal Navy’s Trident submarines from their Scottish base. Sophie von der Pfalz has a lot to do with today’s Trident troubles. Sophie von der Pfalz was the granddaughter of James VI of Scotland/James I of Britain (and his Queen, Anne of Denmark) via James’ and Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth Stuart. Sophie was a descendant of British royalty. When Stuart Queens Mary II and Anne produced no durable heirs, Sophie became heiress-presumptive to the British throne under the 1707 Act of Union (that underlies basing Trident subs in Scotland). She died before Queen Anne died so Georg, her son by Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg Ernest Augustus, assumed the British throne as George I. (Georg had a very poor marriage to Sophia Dorothea of Celle.) All subsequent British monarchs are thus her descendants. She also had a daughter, Sophia Charlotte, who became Queen of Prussia, For practical purposes, Brunswick-Lüneberg = Hanover (Hannover).

Leimomi Oakes had this about Sophie von der Pfalz (Pfalz = Palatinate) in her blog, the Dreamstress:  "Sophia was the daughter of the Winter King & Queen of Bohemia (and he was also the Elector Palatine), the granddaughter of the King of England, the wife of the Prince-Elect of Hanover, and finally, the heir to the throne of England. She was first Sophie, Princess Palatine of the Rhine and then Duchess Sophia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, before becoming Sophia of the Palatinate, Electress of Hanover. She missed out on being Queen Sophia I of England by less than two months. So princess in every possible way!

She was also awesome. She was learned, witty, openminded, interested in the whole world, a loving wife, a good mother (mostly). As a young woman she showed unexpected spirit and a remarkable amount of wisdom when she told her first cousin Charles II of England to stuff off, because he was courting her for her money and to strengthen his position as heir to the English throne (should it be restored), not because they would suit (probably not in those words, but that’s how I like to imagine it). As an old woman, she was still so handsome and lively that I suspect the ill middle-aged Queen Anne of England stubbornly hung on to life to make sure she outlived Sophia, and didn’t have the final ignomy of out-done by her octogenarian successor. Sophia finally died at 83 after collapsing after a run (no, I’m not making that up), Anne heard of her death and passed away, age 49, within a fortnight.” (A fortnight is two weeks.)

Her Wikipedia article is here.

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