Princess Sophia of Gloucester

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Princess Sophia
Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester - Beechey 1803-5.jpg
Portrait by Sir William Beechey, c. 1803-5
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 Castle
Full name
Sophia Matilda
House Hanover
Father Prince William Henry
Mother Maria Walpole

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.

Life[edit]

Princess Sophia as a young child.

Princess Sophia 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.

She was privately christened in a drawing room 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]

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 Greenwich Park. She died at the Ranger's House, Blackheath, London on 29 November 1844 and is buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Ancestry[edit]

Titles and styles[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]
    • 16 December 1834 – 29 November 1844: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester[3]

As a great-granddaughter in the male-line of George II, Sophia had the style of Highness from birth. On 22 July 1816, Sophia's brother Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester married their cousin, Princess Mary, a daughter of George III. On their wedding day, the Prince Regent bestowed the style of Royal Highness on the Duke of Gloucester. The next day, Sophia was also bestowed with this style, giving her equal rank with her brother.

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]