Princess Sophia of Gloucester

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Princess Sophia
Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester - Beechey 1803-5.jpg
c. 1803-5 portrait by Sir William Beechey
Full name
Sophia Matilda
House House of Hanover
Father Prince William Henry
Mother Maria Walpole
Born (1773-05-29)29 May 1773
Mayfair, Middlesex
Died 29 November 1844(1844-11-29) (aged 71)
Blackheath, Kent
Burial St George's Chapel, Windsor

Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester (29 May 1773 – 29 November 1844) was a great-granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and niece of King George III.

Early life[edit]

Princess Sophia as a young child.

She was born in Grosvenor Street, Mayfair. Her father was Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the third eldest son of The Prince Frederick, Prince of Wales. Her mother was the Duchess of Gloucester, the illegitimate daughter of Edward Walpole. As a great granddaughter in the male line of George II, Sophia was styled Her Highness Princess Sophia of Gloucester from birth.

The princess was privately christened at Gloucester House on 26 June 1773, by Charles Moss, The Bishop of St David's. She had three godparents: The Duke of Cumberland, her paternal uncle; The Duchess of Cumberland, her aunt by marriage; and The Queen of Denmark and Norway, her paternal aunt (who was represented by a proxy). The King had been asked to stand as godfather, but he refused, upset by his brother's marriage to Maria Walpole, a commoner.[1]

Royal Highness[edit]

On 22 July 1816 Sophia's brother, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, married their cousin, The Princess Mary, a daughter of George III. On their wedding day, the Prince Regent bestowed the style of His Royal Highness on the Duke of Gloucester. The next day, Sophia was also bestowed with the style Her Royal Highness, to give her equal rank with her brother. From then on, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia of Gloucester.

Sophia was considered as a potential bride for the Duke of Clarence (who later ruled as King William IV), but she expressed no enthusiasm for the match.[2] Sophia never married nor had any children. She lived at New Lodge in Winkfield, near Windsor in Berkshire and held the office of Ranger of Windsor Great Park. She died on 29 November 1844 and is buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Ancestry[edit]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles[edit]

  • 29 May 1773 – 22 July 1816: Her Highness Princess Sophia of Gloucester
  • 22 July 1816 – 29 November 1844: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia of Gloucester[3]
    • before 16 December 1834 – 29 November 1844: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  2. ^ Williams, Kate (2010). Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch. Ballatine Books. p. 145. ISBN 0-345-46195-9. 
  3. ^ a b The London Gazette styles her "Princess Sophia of Gloucester" consistently [1][2][3] up to and including The Duke of Clarence's Wedding, 14 July 1818. After this point, (or at least after her brother's death (his funeral Gazette, 16 December 1834) the Gazette consistently styles her "Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucster" [4][5][6]

See also[edit]