Sophie, Princess of Prussia

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Sophie
Princess of Prussia[1]
Margrave Max of Baden and Princess Sophie of Isenburg.jpg
Princess Sophie with the Margrave of Baden at the funeral of Otto von Habsburg in 2011.
Spouse Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia
Issue Prince Carl Friedrich
Prince Louis Ferdinand
Full name
Sophie Johanna Maria
House House of Isenburg (by birth)
House of Hohenzollern (by marriage)
Father Franz-Alexander, Prince of Isenburg
Mother Countess Christine von Saurma-Jeltsch
Born (1978-03-07) 7 March 1978 (age 36)
Frankfurt, West Germany

Sophie Johanna Maria, Princess of Prussia (née Princess of Isenburg,[1] born 7 March 1978) is the wife of Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, head of the House of Hohenzollern, who reigned as German emperors and kings of Prussia until deposed in 1918.

Family and career[edit]

Princess Sophie was born on 7 March 1978 in Frankfurt, West Germany.[2] Her parents are Franz-Alexander, Prince of Isenburg and his wife, née Countess Christine von Saurma-Jeltsch.[3] He is head of a mediatized Catholic line of Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, whoh lost their independence in 1815.[3] She has two sisters (Archduchess Katharina of Austria-Este and Isabelle, Princess of Wied) and two brothers (Hereditary Prince Alexander and Prince Viktor).[3][4] Growing up at Castle Birstein, the family seat in Hesse, Sophie studied at a primary school in Birstein and at St. Mary's school in Fulda.[4] She then attended the boarding school Kloster Wald and passed her A-Levels as well as a trade test as a dressmaker. The princess undertook internships in her country's Bundestag, and in London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.[2][4] Sophie studied Business Administration at the University of Freiburg and Humboldt University of Berlin and works at a firm that offers consulting services for nonprofit business.[2][5][6]

Marriage[edit]

Coat of arms of the German Empire (1871-1918)
  • HI&RH The Prince
    HI&RH The Princess
    • HI&RH Prince Carl Friedrich
    • HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand
  • HRH Princess Cornelie-Cecile

On 21 January 2011, Georg Friedrich, the head of the House of Hohenzollern, announced the couple's engagement. The civil wedding was conducted in Potsdam's city hall by Mayor Jann Jakobs on 25 August 2011,[7] and the religious wedding took place at the Church of Peace on 27 August 2011, in commemoration of the 950th anniversary of the founding of the House of Hohenzollern.[8][9] Following the ceremony, a reception was held on the grounds of the Sanssouci summer palace of Frederick the Great.[10][11]

Numerous sources called it the most lavish Hohenzollern wedding since the marriage of the bridegroom's aunt, Princess Marie Cécile of Prussia, to Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg in 1965.[5][10] The bride arrived with her father in a silver Rolls Royce and departed with her husband in a horse-drawn landau for the reception at the Hohenzollerns' nearby former palace.[5][12] Her bridal gown was designed by Wolfgang Joop.[13] Although the Prussian branch of the Hohenzollerns reigned as Evangelical Protestants, Princess Sophie will retain her own faith, and a congratulatory message was read aloud at the ecumenical service by Count Gregor Henckel von Donnersmarck,[14] Abbot of Heiligenkreuz,[15] from Pope Benedict XVI and addressed to Seine Königliche Hoheit Prinz Georg Friedrich von Preussen und Ihre Durchlaucht Prinzessin Sophie von Isenburg ("His Royal Highness Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Her Serene Highness Princess Sophie of Isenburg"). Sophie wore the Isenburgs' traditional diamond diadem to the altar, replacing it with the 1905 Prussian Meander tiara of diamonds-and-platinum at the supper. The religious wedding ceremony was broadcast live by RBB, a public television station, over the objections of some leftist politicians, and drew 160,000 viewers – an 18.6% share of television viewership compared with its average 2.6% rating for that time of the day.[16][17][18]

Sophie's husband George Friedrich.

Some 720 guests witnessed the noontime nuptials inside the church, 1300 well-wishers attended a reception at the nearby Neue Kammern afterwards, 370 invitees joined the couple in the evening for the white-tie wedding dinner and ball at the Palace Orangerie (and some had attended a charity concert with the couple at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin the previous night, following their civil wedding).[19]

Germany's political establishment was represented at the wedding by former finance minister Michael Glos and Brandenburg's incumbent and former premiers, Matthias Platzeck and Manfred Stolpe.[20] Vladimir Kotenev, Russia's ambassador to Germany from 2004 to 2010, also attended.[20] From abroad came relatives of the bridal pair who were also the family members or near kin of the reigning monarchs of:[19][20][21] Belgium (King Albert II's brother Prince Laurent); the Netherlands (Queen Beatrix's nephew and niece Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parma and his sister Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma); Sweden (King Carl XVI Gustaf's brother-in-law Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern); the United Kingdom (Queen Elizabeth II's Kent cousin-once-removed and his wife, Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor); Luxembourg (Grand Duke Henri's sister-in-law Princess Sibilla); and Liechtenstein (Prince Hans-Adam II's son the Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife the Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, and Prince Hans-Adam's niece Princess Maria Annunciata); as well as Prince Hassan and his wife, Princess Sarvarth of Jordan.

The hereditary heads, dowagers or heirs of many of the imperial or royal deposed dynasties of Europe also attended the wedding of the dynastic heir of the German Emperors, including:[19][20][21] Franz, Duke of Bavaria; Monika, Dowager Princess of Hanover and her step-grandson the Hereditary Prince Ernst August; the Duke Duarte Pio and his wife Isabel, Duchess of Braganza; Margarita, Princess of Romania; Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia and her son Grand Duke George Mikhailovich (who is paternally a prince of Prussia); Prince Alexander and his wife Princess Gisela of Saxony; and the Duke Carlo and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Castro.

Members of other formerly reigning families were also present, including:[19][20][21] Archduke Georg and his wife Archduchess Eilika of Austria); the Duke Max and his wife, Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria); Duke Philipp and his wife, Duchess Marie Caroline of Wurttemberg; the Margrave Maximilian and his wife Valerie, Margravine of Baden; Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse; Duke Friedrich August (stepfather of the bridesgroom) and his wife Duchess Donata of Oldenburg (mother of the bridesgroom); Margherita, Dowager Archduchess of Austria-Este and her son Archduke Martin and his wife Archduchess Katharina (sister of the bride); Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Armin, Prince of Lippe and Stephan, Hereditary Prince of Lippe; Alexander, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe; the Prince Andreas and his wife Alexandra, Princess of Leiningen, Prince Karl and his wife Princess Isabelle of Leiningen; and the Prince Carl and his wife Isabelle, Princess of Wied (another sister of the bride).

Also in attendance were numerous members of the bridesgroom's family, the House of Hohenzollern, including Prince Christian Ludwig of Prussia, Princess Irina of Prussia, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, Prince Franz Friedrich of Prussia, Princess Anastasia of Prussia and her husband Alois-Konstantin, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Princess Marie Louise of Prussia and her husband Count Rudi von Schönburg-Glauchau (former owner of the Marbella Club Hotel). There, too, were Ehrengard von Preussen and the heir of the senior branch of the dynasty, Alexander, Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern. Absent were Georg Friedrich's paternal uncles, Princes Friedrich Wilhelm, Michael and Christian-Sigismund von Preussen, who were not invited, the first two having renounced their historical rights as Prussian dynasts upon marriage to commoners, and all three of whom had sued for larger portions of the estate and trust of their ancestor, ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II, the lion's share of which had been initially inherited by Georg Friedrich following the death of his grandfather, Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia, in 1994.[22]

Issue[edit]

On 20 January 2013, Sophie gave birth to twin sons, Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander and Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht. Carl Friedrich, the elder of the two, is the heir apparent to the House of Hohenzollern.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b In 1919 royalty and nobility were mandated to lose their privileges in Germany, hereditary titles were to be legally borne thereafter only as part of the surname, according to Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution.
  2. ^ a b c "Sophie The Princess of Prussia". Official website of the House of Hohenzollern. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV. C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, pp.271–275.
  4. ^ a b c Bild. Gottschild, Karen. Sophie Prinzessin von Isenburg: Wer ist die neue Kaiserin?.
  5. ^ a b c Troianovski, Anton (26 August 2011). "No Titles, No Subjects, No Problem: Germans Join Royal Wedding Craze". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Germany has its own royal wedding as the last emperor's descendant marries". Hello!. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Welt[[{{subst:DATE}}|{{subst:DATE}}]] [disambiguation needed]. Van der Kraats, Marion. Die preußische Prinzenhochzeit beginnt ganz privat. 25 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia and Sophie Princes: Germany Set for Its Own Royal Wedding". ABC News. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Peiffer, Kim (31 August 2011). "Princess Sophie of Isenburg's Wedding Dress: All the Details". People. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Liston, Enjoli (27 August 2011). "Kaiser Wilhelm junior gives Germany its own royal wedding". The Independent. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Kaiser heir weds princess in Potsdam". The Local. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  12. ^ The Guardian. AP. German royals marry with pomp. 27 August 2011.
  13. ^ http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2011/08/prince-of-prussias-wedding-bridal-gown.html
  14. ^ Order of Malta: Embassy of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the Republic of Slovenia. Pilgrimage to the Blessed Karl Emperor and King of Austria and Hungary. English. Retrieved 2012/6/20.
  15. ^ http://diepresse.com/home/leben/mensch/767553/Politik-nuetzt-kurze-Fussballpause_Rot-und-Schwarz-feiern-getrennt?_vl_backlink=/home/leben/mensch/index.do
  16. ^ "German royals marry with pomp". The Associated Press. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  17. ^ RBB Berlin Brandenburg Television. [1]
  18. ^ "Prussian prince marries in televised ceremony". CBS News. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  19. ^ a b c d Bunte. Royales Hochzeitsfieber in Potsdam. 24 August 2011.
  20. ^ a b c d e Getty Images. DEU: Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prince Of Prussia And Princess Sophie Of Isenburg Wedding. retrieved 10 September 2011.
  21. ^ a b c Bild. APA PictureDesk Preussen Hochzeit. retrieved 10 September 2011.
  22. ^ Welt. Oswald, Andreas. Der Taggespiegel Adelshochzeit in Potsdam: Wenn das der Kaiser wüsste. 26 August 2011. retrieved 9 September 2011.
Titles in pretence
Vacant
Title last held by
Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia
— TITULAR —
German Empress
Queen of Prussia

25 August 2011 – present
Reason for succession failure:
German monarchies abolished in 1918
Incumbent