Princess Denmark
Greek-Danish princess
Princess Denmark
Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark was the fourth child and youngest daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, making her the elder sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Sophie was born at Villa Mon Repos on the island of Corfu in Greece.
Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark's personal information overview.
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  • 2001
    Age 86
    Until her death on 3 November 2001 in Munich, Sophie was a frequent visitor to her brother, Prince Philip and her sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II.
    More Details Hide Details She was a godmother to their son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Sophie was often seen at events such as the annual Windsor Horse Show in the presence of her brother and his family. She was survived by her second husband, seven of her eight children and her younger brother, Prince Philip.
  • 1946
    Age 31
    Sophie's second marriage was to her cousin Prince George William of Hanover (who was a second cousin through Christian IX and a third cousin through Victoria to Sophie, and he also was a first cousin-once-removed of Sophie's first husband, Christoph, in descent from Victoria, Princess Royal) on 23 April 1946 in Salem, Baden.
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  • 1943
    Age 28
    On 7 October 1943, he was killed in an airplane accident in a war zone of the Apennine mountains near Forlì, Italy.
    More Details Hide Details His body was found two days later. They had five children, nine grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren:
  • 1937
    Age 22
    Although permission to marry had been granted by George VI in 1937 to George William's sister, Frederika of Hanover, future Queen of the Hellenes, when Sophie became engaged to George William, a German citizen, it was 1945 and the United Kingdom was at war with Germany.
    More Details Hide Details When George William's father, Ernest Augustus III, Duke of Brunswick and Head of the House of Hanover, submitted the request to marry on his son's behalf—a formality his branch of George III's descendants had continued to observe even after obtaining the German crowns of the Kingdom of Hanover (in 1837) and the Duchy of Brunswick (in 1913)—despite the fact that the dynastic titles and peerages of the Hanovers had been suspended since 1919, no British monarch had withheld marital authorisation to any kinsman or kinswoman who sought it. Although there was apparently no question of officially denying the request, the British government advised the king that it would be of dubious "propriety" to give royal assent to his cousin's petition. George VI then sought to arrange to have the Hanovers informally advised that the exigencies of war, rather than personal disapproval, prevented him from approving the marriage to Sophie (whose brother, Philip, would become informally engaged to the King's elder daughter, after years of courtship, a few months later). But after internal consultation the British government blocked the endeavour on the grounds that any such communication could be subsequently misconstrued.
  • 1930
    Age 15
    Although the youngest of four sisters, Sophie was the first to wed, marrying her second cousin-once-removed Prince Christoph of Hesse (1901–1943) on 15 December 1930 in Kronberg, Berlin; she was 16.
    More Details Hide Details A younger son of Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse and Princess Margaret of Prussia, Christoph was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria through her eldest daughter Victoria, Princess Royal, wife of Frederick III, German Emperor. A director in the Third Reich's Ministry of Air Forces and a commander in the German Air Reserves, Christoph held the rank of Oberführer in the Nazi SS.
    Meanwhile, Sophie's father remained in contact with his children, but lived apart from them, settling in Monaco. Sophie and her sisters lived under the care and at the expense of relatives, all four princesses marrying German princes between December 1930 and August 1931.
    More Details Hide Details Their brother Philip, not yet 10 years old, was sent to various boarding schools and, later, to a British naval academy.
  • 1924
    Age 9
    Banished with King George in 1924, the dynasty would not again be reinstated on Greece's throne until 1935, by which time Sophie had married and was raising a family in Germany.
    More Details Hide Details During these periods of exile Sophie, her parents, and siblings lived abroad in reduced, though never uncomfortable, circumstances, sometimes in hotels and sometimes with relatives in France, England or Germany. In the late 1920s, her mother, Alice, became increasingly mentally unstable and was committed to a series of sanitariums in Germany by her mother, Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt, Marchioness of Milford Haven. Eventually released, Alice wandered Europe until, following the death in a plane crash of Sophie's sister, Cecilie, in November 1937, she resumed contact with her children and took up a life dedicated to religious charity in Athens.
  • 1917
    Age 2
    In 1913 Sophie's grandfather, King George I, was assassinated and in 1917 most of the Greek royal family went into exile when her uncle, King Constantine I, was deposed in favour of his younger son, King Alexander I. The family returned to Greece upon the brief restoration of Constantine to the throne when Alexander died in 1920, but left again when he abdicated in 1922, inaugurating the even briefer reign of Constantine's eldest son, George II.
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  • 1914
    Born on June 26, 1914.
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