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  #1  
Old 08-01-2011, 12:55 PM
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Sophia, Electress of Hanover (1630-1714)

lived very long by the standards of those years, almost was queen and would've been the oldest newly crowned monarch
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:37 PM
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I never have really understood why she was chosen. Of all the people ahead of her in succession was she really the first protestant??
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:28 PM
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I never have really understood why she was chosen. Of all the people ahead of her in succession was she really the first protestant??
Yes. Her grandfather was James VI./I. Only two of his children survived into adulthood: Charles I. and Princess Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia and Electress of the Palatinate.
The last descendant of Charles I to rule as King in direct line was James II./VII. Before him his brother Charles II. had died without legitimate children, their sister Henriette Anne had married to France and her children were catholics. Their other sister Mary married to the Netherlands, her son became husband and co-king of Mary II. as William III. James had two older daughters Mary (II.) and Anne, who both were protestants, became queens but died without leaving children. James' son James Francis was a catholic, as were his descendants.

So this left the descendants of Elizabeth Stuart. Her sons died before the search of a successor for queen Anne began and either left no legitimate children or were catholics. Two of her daughters became abbesses, one a Catholic in France, the other a Protestant in Germany. So Sophia, her youngest child, was the only one to be protestant and to have children who were protestants. She had married the prince elector of Hannover, thus the Hanoverans became the reigning dynasty, as Sophia died shortly before queen Anne and her son George I. inherited the crown.

Except for the Hanoverans, there were no other protestant around who were both descendants of Henry VII. Tudor of England and Mary Stuart of Scotland, so no one else could claim both thrones on the condition that the monarch had to be a protestant. The direct line including the catholic descendants would lead today to Duke Francis of Bavaria, the Head of the Royal House of Wittelsbach, who is the senior descendant including female inheritance rights to Charles I. via his daughter Henrietta Anne. The duke does not claim to be king of the UK, he accepts the ruling of the British parliament which excluded catholic descendants of James I./VI. of England and Scotland.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:30 PM
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Parliament wanted to cut off James Francis Edward Stuart's claim to the throne and it did. Poor Sophia, she could have been Queen even though she was quite a bit older than Anne (I think by 30 years or more) but unfortunately she died a couple of months before Anne, thereby leaving the throne to her son, George I.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:40 PM
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Is it really so "Poor Sophia"? She was an Electress, isn't that good enough? I ask because I don't know what an Electress is because I'm not studying the German states.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:43 PM
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Thank you so much Kataryn! Such a thorough reply :) What a complicated and confusing time it must have been Between James II and George I... I'm glad we have a nice stable monarchy today (even though it's not technically my monarchy :)).
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:19 AM
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Thank you so much Kataryn! .
You're welcome, Prince Patrick!

As for Sophia: no, she definately wasn't a poor Sophia, because she was raised a German and liked, probably even loved the husband chosen for her. She had an interesting live and managed to build a beautiful palace at Hannover-Herrenhausen including the "Great Garden" - one of Europe's most beautiful palace gardens. She was a well-educated lady who encouraged philosophers, correspondeded with many interesting persons and was well loved in Hannover. Still, as she was only the consort of the Elector, she surely would have loved to be queen in her own right, as she was a character to pull this through. But she had always known that chances were slim as she was so much older than her cousin's daughter Queen Anne (who was a great-granddaughter of James I./VI. while Sophia was a grand-daughter) - so I don't think she minded that much as long as her son was going to inherit.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:13 AM
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If anyone gets the chance, I would recommend that they read The Georgian Princesses by John Van Der Kiste.

From the book flap:

Sophia of the Palatinate, the twelth child of an exiled German King, could scarcely have imagined that she would beocme of a royal dynasty of England. But as a great grandson of James VI and I, it was her son, George I, who became the first of the Hanoverian monarchs on the death of Queen Anne.

The Georgian Princesses uncovers the stories of the privileged women of the dynasty -- over a period of 200 years, from teh ENglish Civil War to first twenty years of Queen Victoria's reign.

------------------

Its a pretty decent book as they go into detail IMO in Sohpia's life. They also talk about the daughters of the George's (I, II, III, and IV). I found it quite interesting as the Georgian daughters are not generally discussed much with the exception of Caroline Mathilde of Denmark, Charlotte of Wales and Victoria of Kent.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
Is it really so "Poor Sophia"? She was an Electress, isn't that good enough? I ask because I don't know what an Electress is because I'm not studying the German states.
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You're welcome, Prince Patrick!

As for Sophia: no, she definately wasn't a poor Sophia, because she was raised a German and liked, probably even loved the husband chosen for her
My dears XeniaCasaraghi and Kataryn,

I meant no disparagement to Sophia. I only used the adjective "poor" to convey what I feel was a shame that Sophia, although much older than Queen Anne, was so close to being Queen of England. From what I have read, Sophia's death was unexpected and came about as a result of running to escape a thunderstorm! Anne survived Sophia for less than two months. So Sophia missed being Queen by less than 60 days.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
My dears XeniaCasaraghi and Kataryn,

I meant no disparagement to Sophia. I only used the adjective "poor" to convey what I feel was a shame that Sophia, although much older than Queen Anne, was so close to being Queen of England. From what I have read, Sophia's death was unexpected and came about as a result of running to escape a thunderstorm! Anne survived Sophia for less than two months. So Sophia missed being Queen by less than 60 days.
I have utterly zero sympathy for Sophia of Hannover, and no reason to feel sorry that she died before she could become Queen of England. Well educated she may have been, loved by the public - ok - but her personal relationships left a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

The truth of the matter is, Sophia had her chance to be Queen of England in her youth.. She was courted by Charles II as a potential bride, but she rebuffed him because she thought he was using her to get money.. so she married Ernest Augustus instead.

And then she turned around and did the exact same thing to her son and heir George, when she arranged his loveless, unhappy and abusive marriage to Sophia Dorothea of Celle. That marriage was most definitely made for money, because Sophia of Hannover personally hated her daughter-in-law and did everything she could to make life hell for Sophia Dorothea. In that, I think she was brilliantly successful..

I don't think she had a healthy relationship with George either, and he grew up to be a cold, hard and unkind man, who was hated by his own children.

Her daughter, Sophia Charlotte, seemed to be equally cold. Here was a woman whose husband was completely in love with her.. yet she preferred to live in her own palace with her own court, and the King of Prussia was only allowed there by invitation! No wonder she only gave birth to two children (only one reached maturity).

Sophia's other five sons, who all reached adulthood, never married.. probably to avoid their mother's machinations. One of them did die at the age of 21, so he was the only real exception. The others all embraced a military life, and the youngest escaped into the church.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:57 AM
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Wow, thanks for all the insight into Sophia! I must admit I haven't looked into her much. Very interesting!
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:59 PM
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I have utterly zero sympathy for Sophia of Hannover, and no reason to feel sorry that she died before she could become Queen of England. Well educated she may have been, loved by the public - ok - but her personal relationships left a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

The truth of the matter is, Sophia had her chance to be Queen of England in her youth.. She was courted by Charles II as a potential bride, but she rebuffed him because she thought he was using her to get money.. so she married Ernest Augustus instead.
It is known from her letters that Sophie was loved by her family - from her siblings to her grandchildren, so I wonder where this info came from?

As for Charles II. -when he courted his cousin Sophie he was still a Prince of Wales living in exile in Den Haag while his father was a prisoner in England while she was the daughter of a successless ex-king who had lost his own lands of the Palatinate and his rank as premier Prince Elector of Germany to his Bavarian cousin. Hardly a good match for either of them. Okay, in 1649 Charles I. was beheaded and Charles became king in exile, while Sophie's brother had managed to get part of his late father's estate back but still is was not a good marriage prospect for either of them.

Sophie married for love - she ended her engagement to the heir of Hannover and chose his poorer brother instead (who eventuallý inherited from his brother as he died childless) and settled in a simply yet comfortable life in the German province.

It is known that the English and Scottish throne never was considered such a prize in European court circles as the British were known to be keen on upheavals during the years from 1649 to 1689. So there was not much demand with those closer to the throne than Sophie to change their faith from Catholic to Protestant in order to secure their right to the British throne against the "legitimate" king in the eyes of the Catholic Royals of Europe: James II/VII who lived in exile in Rome and had legitimate offspring.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:57 AM
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During the early part of his exile, Charles II did indeed try to persuade Sophia to ask her family’s longtime friend and financial supporter, William Craven, to give him money. Charles flirted with her but it was clear he wasn't serious about anything besides getting that money. Sophia realized she was being used and decided to go to Germany and find a husband there now that the Thirty Years War was finally over and she’d been granted a small Imperial dowry.


The only way that Charles and Sophia could have married would have been over the dead bodies of both of Charles’s parents. Sophia’s eldest surviving brother, Karl-Ludwig, Elector Palatine, spent the years 1644-1649 in London, where he was very nice to Parliament, which was making war on his Uncle Charles (Charles I) and his own brothers Rupert and Maurice. Karl-Ludwig hoped to persuade Parliament to honor the royal pensions given to him and his mother, Elizabeth the ‘Winter Queen’ of Bohemia, who sent friendly letters to Parliament begging for money too. Karl-Ludwig hoped that he could mediate between his Uncle Charles and Parliament and end the war ASAP so that he could borrow troops and bring them to Germany and regain his lost territory there. The problem was that his uncle never forgave him for coming to London while Parliament never could quite figure out whose side he was really on, so Karl-Ludwig wound up distrusted by everyone. There is reason to believe that Karl-Ludwig tried to help the Stuarts behind the scenes, including his cousin Elizabeth, who was being held prisoner in London, and who started writing clever letters to Parliament after her cousin Karl-Ludwig showed up. I also suspect Karl-Ludwig pulled a lot of strings to make sure that his brothers Rupert and Maurice were allowed to leave England alive. There is also reason to believe that when Karl-Ludwig returned to Europe in 1649, he tried to persuade Parliament to let him take his Stuart cousins Henry and Elizabeth with him. For reasons that are not clear, Parliament decided not to let him have custody of the children, and that was that.
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:30 PM
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It was interesting to learn that Charles II had courted Sophia as a possible bride when he was still the Prince of Wales living in exile.
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