Royalty. Also known as Sophie of Simmern or Sophie of the Palatine. Born as the twelfth child of the "Winter King" Friedrich V, Elector of the Palatine, and Elisabeth Stuart, sister of King Charles I of England, at The Hague where her parents had taken refuge. All her life she felt more as an English than a German citizen. She spoke five languages fluently, but preferred English. She was supposed to marry Georg Wilhelm of Lüneburg and they were engaged in 1657 while Georg and his brother Ernst August stayed in Heidelberg for a while. The brothers traveled to Venice for the Carnival where Georg became sick, (with a not closer described illness) and which allegedly made it impossible for him to marry her. He convinced his brother to take his position. They signed a contract in which Georg swore to never marry and declared Ernst August and Sophies children as his heirs. After this treatment she developed a aversion against Georg Ludwig and later Eleonore d'Olbreuse, his wife. Her son Georg Ludwig inherited this aversion which influenced the relationship with his wife Sophie Dorothea. Sophie's marriage was happy in the beginning, but became colder with the years. Seven of her children survived their childhood. The younger sons were excluded from succession. Following the Hanoverian house law all sons were equal heirs which would have meant to divide the country several times. Three of these sons died in different wars. Their only daughter, Sophie Charlotte married the Elector Friedrich III of Prussia. Sophie was the intellectual and cultural center of the court of Hanover. She had a close friendship with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who was the court Liberian and Privy Counselor and already had a world wide reputation as a philosopher, physicist and theologian. She exchanged many letters with Raugräfin Luise von Degenfeld, the second wife of her brother Karl Ludwig. The letters she exchanged with her beloved niece Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orleans, described the life at the two courts and are a source for many historians. In the Act of Settlement from 1701 all catholic members of the house of Stuart were excluded from succession and Sophie became the only heir. She died during a walk in the park of Herrenhausen. Queen Anne died on August 1st, 1714 and Sophies son Georg Ludwig became George I of Great Britain.
Bio by: Lutetia