Princess Sophia of Gloucester
c. 1803-5 portrait by Sir William Beechey
29 May 1773|
|Died||29 November 1844
|Burial||St George's Chapel, Windsor|
|Father||Prince William Henry|
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 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.
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. 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.
|Ancestors of Princess Sophia of Gloucester|
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 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
- 16 December 1834 – 29 November 1844: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester
- Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
- 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.
- The London Gazette styles her "Princess Sophia of Gloucester" consistently  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"