Sophia of Prussia
Greek Queen consort
Sophia of Prussia
See also Duchess Sophie of Prussia. Princess Sophie of Prussia was Queen of the Hellenes as the wife of King Constantine I.
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  • 1932
    Age 61
    She finally died surrounded by her children in the hospital, on 13 January 1932.
    More Details Hide Details Sophia's body was transferred to the castle of Friedrichshof, where she rested a few days before being sent to the Russian church of Florence, where she was buried alongside her husband and mother-in-law. They stayed there for four years until the restoration of George II on the Greek throne in 1935. After his restoration on the Greek throne, George II organized the repatriation of the remains of members of his family who died in exile. An important religious ceremony that brought together, for six days in November 1936, all members of the royal family still alive. Sophia's body was buried at the royal burial ground at Tatoi Palace, where she still rests today.
  • 1931
    Age 60
    After the New Year celebrations of 1931, Sophia gradually stop eating and her health declined rapidly.
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    Apparently recovered by December, she took full advantage of her strength and during 1931 she traveled to Great Britain, Bavaria and Venice.
    More Details Hide Details But in September, her condition deteriorated again and she had to return to Frankfurt, where she underwent surgery. It was during this time that the doctors diagnosed advanced cancer and they gave the Dowager Queen a few weeks to life.
  • 1930
    Age 59
    Sick for many years, Sophia saw her condition worsen from 1930, which forced her to go to a hospital in Frankfurt to follow a treatment.
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    In 1930, Princess Helen also came live with her mother after her disastrous marriage with King Carol II of Romania ended in divorce.
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  • 1929
    Age 58
    In 1929, she went to Doorn in the Netherlands for 70th birthday of her brother, the former Emperor William II, whom she had not seen since 1914.
    More Details Hide Details In her older years, Sophie became increasingly religious. She remained orthodox, but also attended Anglican offices when she had the chance. The Queen Dowager was also interested in the Protestant literature, especially in the works of the Episcopalian pastor Samuel Shoemaker (particularly Religion That Works and Twice Born Ministers) and the Episcopalian Rev. James Reid (In Touch With Christ). Finally, she has a close correspondence with the Anglican pastor R. W. Cole, whom she met in Birchington, and spent long hours praying.
  • 1924
    Age 53
    Sophia, now Dowager Queen, left Southern Italy with her daughters Irene and Katherine and moved to Tuscany, in the Villa Bobolina of Fiesole. From 1924 to 1927, the three women were joined by Princesses Aspasia and Alexandra, much to Sophia's delight, because she was very attached to her granddaughter.
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    The republic was then proclaimed in Greece on 25 March 1924 and Sophia and the other members of the royal family were stripped of their Hellenic nationality.
    More Details Hide Details However, the Greek royals maintained their Danish titles since George I ascended to the Greek throne in 1863 and King Christian X of Denmark almost immediately gave them Danish passports.
  • 1923
    Age 52
    However, Constantine I died of a brain hemorrhage shortly before their departure, on 11 January 1923, and Sophia found herself even more isolated than she was previously.
    More Details Hide Details After the death of her husband, Sophia wanted to repatriate his remains to be buried in Tatoi but the Greek government refused, with George II being unable to do anything. In fact, the situation of the new King was increasingly precarious and at the end, he himself went into exile in Romania a few months after the death of his father, on 19 December 1923.
  • 1921
    Age 50
    In fact, the main source of joy for Sophia after her return to Greece was the birth of her granddaughter Alexandra, on 25 March 1921.
    More Details Hide Details Although initially opposed to the marriage of Alexander I with Aspasia Manos, the Queen welcomed their daughter with delight and pressed both her husband and eldest son to give her granddaughter the status and titles reserved to members of the royal family. After initial success, the situation of the Greek army was increasingly precarious in Anatolia. Constantine I decided to travel there in May 1921 to support the morale; however he wasn't the dynamic Commander-in-chief that led his country to victory in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Seriously diminished by illness, he had to return to Greece in September, which was perceived as a real military desertion by some. As for Sophia, she couldn't do more than support her husband and reassume her nursing work with wounded soldiers. The Greco-Turkish War continued until the Greek defeat of Sakarya in August–September 1921, and the siege and burning of Smyrna (now İzmir) by the Turks in September 1922. After these events, the country plunged into a deep political and moral crisis. While Mustafa Kemal and his armies gradually reconquered Anatolia and east Thrace, thousands of Greeks were murdered and others fled from Asia Minor to find refuge in Greece. This was called the "Great Disaster", which was definitive a few months later with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923).
  • 1920
    Age 49
    The return of Constantine I and Sophia to Athens on 19 December 1920, was accompanied by large demonstrations of joy.
    More Details Hide Details Everywhere in the streets, portraits of Venizelos were pulled and replaced by those of the royal family. Above all, a huge crowd surrounded the royal couple in the streets of the capital and, after returning to the Royal Palace, they had to appear repeatedly on the balcony to greet the people who cheered them. However, the presence of the sovereigns in Greece didn't bring the expected peace by the people. Even more, it prevented the country to receive the support of the major powers in the war that Greece faced against the Turkey of Mustafa Kemal since 1919. In fact, the former allies didn't forgive the King and Queen's attitude during World War I and they weren't ready to provide their support. The hatred of the great powers to Constantine I and Sophia appeared also clearly on the occasion of the marriage, in Athens, of Princess Helen and Crown Prince Carol of Romania. Present at the wedding, the ambassador of Great Britain and his wife pointedly refused to salute the Greek King and Queen when they publicly showed their respects to Queen Marie of Romania. For Sophia, the snub was more difficult to bear because she has always been on good terms with the United Kingdom representatives before the deposition of Constantine I and she continued to nurture loving feelings for the country of her mother.
    The new Prime Minister Dimitrios Rallis, therefore asked Dowager Queen Olga to assume the regency until the return of her son, on 19 December 1920.
    More Details Hide Details For about a month, she was the head of the Greek kingdom but her role was roughly limited to prepare the restoration of Constantine I. In the meanwhile, in Switzerland, the royal family was preparing the wedding of two of their children with children of King Ferdinand I of Romania. A few weeks before the death of Alexander I, the Diadochos George was engaged to Princess Elisabeth of Romania, which gave the opportunity for Princess Helen of Greece to meet Crown Prince Carol of Romania and become engaged with him in turn. But if Sophia was satisfied with her son's upcoming wedding, she disapproved of her daughter's romance with the Romanian Crown Prince. Still saddened by the loss of Alexander I, the Queen did not want to lose another of her children. Above all, Sophia had no confidence in the future Carol II, whose marriage and divorce with Zizi Lambrino had already shocked her.
  • 1917
    Age 46
    With the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the deposition of Nicholas II, Constantine I and Sophia had lost the last of their supporters in the Triple Entente.
    More Details Hide Details Thus, on 10 June 1917 Charles Jonnart, the Allied High Commissioner, asked the Greek Government for the abdication of the King and his replacement by another prince because the Diadochos George was considered a pro-German too. Under the threat of an invasion of 10,000 troops in Piraeus, Constantine I thus relinquished power in favor of his second son, Prince Alexander. Nevertheless, the sovereign refused to abdicate and he explained to his second son that he should not be regarded otherwise than as a kind of regent, in charge of the throne until the return of the legitimate monarch. On 11 June, the royal family secretly left the Royal Palace, surrounded by a group of loyalists and arrived to Tatoi. The next day, Constantine I, Sophia and five of their children left Greece from the port of Oropos, taking the road to exile. This was the last time that Sophia saw her second son, now proclaimed King as Alexander I. In fact, after their return to power, Venizelists prohibited any contact between the new sovereign and the rest of the royal family.
  • 1916
    Age 45
    After these events, the attitude of the royal family to Germany changed considerably. Between December 1916 and February 1917, the Queen, who had long been less germanophile than her husband, sent several telegrams to her brother asking when the troops of the Centrals would be able to intervene in Macedonia.
    More Details Hide Details However, Sophia still had some resentment against the Emperor because of his attitude at the time of her marriage and her conversion to Orthodoxy; but the violation of Greece's neutrality by the Triple Entente and the threats against the life of her husband and children gradually changed her views against the Allies. In October 1916, Eleftherios Venizelos set up in Thessaloniki, where he organized a provisional government against the one lead by Spyridon Lambros in Athens: this was the beginning of the called National Schism (Ethnikos Dikhasmos). In the meanwhile, a Franco-British fleet commanded by Vice-admiral Louis Dartige du Fournet, occupied the bay of Salamis to put pressure on Athens, while various ultimatums, mainly concerning the disarmament of his army, were sent. With the blockade, the supply of the capital was increasingly difficult and famine began. Sophia therefore redoubled her efforts to help the poor. With the Patriotic League of Greek Women, she managed to distribute 10,000 meals a day, as well as clothing, blankets, medicines and milk for children. Still, the situation became even more difficult.
    Therefore, the Greek government had a policy more favorable to the Triple Alliance. The population officially protested against the transfer of the Serbian army in Corfu and then to Thessaloniki. Orders were also given to the officers present at the borders to not oppose a possible Bulgarian advance in the country, which took place on 27 May 1916.
    More Details Hide Details Finally, Constantine I proclaimed symbolically, in April 1916, the annexation of Northern Epirus to Greece in response against the Italian intervention in Albania. Now considered enemies of the Triple Entente, the royal couple now faced an increasingly violent opposition to them. The French developed various projects of kidnapping or assassination of the sovereigns. On 14 July 1916, a mysterious fire (probably a deliberate act of arson made by agents of Paris) broke out in the forest surrounding Tatoi. In the confusion of the event, Sophia saved her youngest daughter, Princess Katherine, and ran over 2 km. into the woods with the child in her arms. Several members of the royal family, including Constantine I himself, were wounded and the residence of the rulers was largely destroyed by the fire, which lasted for forty-eight hours. Above all, sixteen (or eighteen, depending on sources) soldiers and other members of the palace Staff were killed.
  • 1915
    Age 44
    Things got complicated when the Triple Entente engaged in the Gallipoli Campaign in February 1915.
    More Details Hide Details Desiring to release the Greek populations of Asia Minor from Ottoman rule, Constantine I, at first, was ready to offer his support to the Allies and bring his country into the war. However, the King faced with the opposition of his Staff and, in particular, Ioannis Metaxas, who threatened to resign if Greece entered the war because the country didn't have the means. Constantine I therefore desisted, causing the wrath of Venizelos. Convinced that the royal couple was in connivance with the Emperor, the Prime Minister tried to bring his country into war despite the opposition of the Crown. But, facing the united front of the King, the army and the majority of the government, the politician ended up giving his resignation on 6 March. Weakened by all these events, Constantine I became seriously ill after this crisis. Suffering from pleurisy aggravated by a pneumonia, he remained in bed for several weeks and nearly died. In Greece, public opinion was outraged by a rumor, spread by Venizelists, who said that the King wasn't sick but was in fact wounded with a knife by Sophia during an argument where she wanted to force him to go to war alongside her brother. Certainly the Queeen kept a frequent communication with her brother. In the words of G. Leon, "She remained a German, and Germany's interests were placed above those of her adopted country which meant little to her.
  • 1914
    Age 43
    At the outbreak of World War I on 4 August 1914 Sophia stays at Eastbourne with several of her children while her husband and their daughter Helen were the only representatives of the dynasty still present in Athens.
    More Details Hide Details But given the gravity of the events, the Queen quickly returned to Greece, where she was soon joined by the rest of the royal family. While the greater European states entered one by one in the conflict, Greece officially proclaimed his neutrality. Grandchildren of the called "Father-in-law and Grandmother of Europe" (as King Christian IX of Denmark and Queen Victoria were known, respectively), Constantine and Sophia were closely related to the monarchs of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. Above all, the King and Queen were aware that Greece was already weakened by the Balkan Wars and was not ready to participate in a new conflict. However, the population did not share the opinion of the sovereigns. Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos hoped that thanks to the start of the war, they would carry the Megali Idea and continue defeating the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1913
    Age 42
    When Sophia gave birth to her sixth and last child, a daughter named Katherine on 4 May 1913, a persistent gossip stated that the child was the result of her own affairs.
    More Details Hide Details The rumors, true or false, didn't affect Constantine, who easily recognized his paternity. In private, the Crown Princely couple communicated in English and it was mainly in this language that they raised their children, who grew up in a loving and warm atmosphere in the middle of a cohort of tutors and British nannies. Like her mother, Sophia inculcated in her offspring the love for the United Kingdom and for several weeks every year, the family spent time in Great Britain, where she visited the beaches of Seaford and Eastbourne. However, the summer vacations of the family were spent not only in Friedrichshof with the Empress Dowager, but also in Corfu and Venice, where the Greek royal family went aboard the yacht Amphitrite. The First Balkan War ended in 1913 with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian and Montenegrin coalition. The Kingdom of Greece fate greatly expanded the conflict but soon disagreements are felt between the Allied powers: Greece and Bulgaria indeed compete about the possession of Thessaloniki and its region.
  • 1910
    Age 39
    Back in Greece on 21 October 1910, after over a year of exile, Sophia nevertheless remained very suspicious of the new government and the militia.
    More Details Hide Details She refused any contact with Venizelos, blaming him as partly responsible for the humiliation suffered by the royal family. The Princess also had problems with her father-in-law, whom she accused of having been weak during the crisis. After the arrival of Venizelos in power and under the supervision of Diadochos Constantine, the Greek army was modernized and equipped with the support of French and British officers. New warships are also controlled by the Navy. The aim of the modernization was to make the country ready for a new war against the Ottoman Empire. But to defeat the enemy and achieve the Megali Idea, Greece needed allies. That was why, under the Prime Minister, Greece signed alliances with its neighbors and participated in the creation of the Balkan League in June 1912. Thus, when Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire on 8 October 1912, they were joined less than ten days later by Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. This was the beginning of the First Balkan War. While the Diadochos and his brothers took command of Greek troops, Queen Olga, Sophia, and her sisters-in-law (Marie Bonaparte, Elena Vladimirovna of Russia and Alice of Battenberg) took in charge the aid to wounded soldiers and refugees. In one month, the princesses collected 80,000 garments for the military and gathered around them doctors, nurses and medical equipment. The Queen and Crown Princess also opened a public subscription in order to create new hospitals in Athens and on the front.
  • 1909
    Age 38
    On 15 August 1909, a group of officers gathered in the "Military League" (Stratioticus Syndesmos) and organized the so called Goudi coup.
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  • 1901
    Age 30
    A few months later, in the summer of 1901, Sophie went to Friedrichshof to look after her mother, whose health continued to decline.
    More Details Hide Details Five months pregnant, the Crown Princess knew that the Dowager Empress was dying and, with her sisters Viktoria and Margaret, she accompanied her until her last breath on 5 August. In the space of seven months Sophia lost two of her closest relatives. However, her new maternity helped keep her from feeling sorry for herself. In Greece, political life remained volatile throughout the first years of the 20th century and the Megali Idea (Megáli Idéa, "Great Idea") continued to be a central concern of the population. But in 1908, the Cretan authorities unilaterally proclaimed the attachment of their island to the Kingdom of Greece. But for fear of Turkish reprisals, the Greek government refuses to recognize the annexation, although the island was, de facto, detached from the Ottoman Empire. In Athens, the pusillanimity of the King and government was shocking, particularly to the militia.
  • 1897
    Age 26
    But the reality was quite different: officers continued to hold the Diadochos responsible for the 1897 defeat.
    More Details Hide Details The situation became so tense that King George I's sons had to resign from their military posts to save their father the shame of having to expelled them. In September, the Diadochos, his wife and their children also chose to leave Greece and seek refuge in Germany at Friedrichshof, now owned by the Princess Margaret of Prussia. Meanwhile, in Athens, discussions began about dethroning the House of Glücksburg to establishing a republic or replacig the sovereign with either a bastard son of Otto I, a foreign prince or with Prince George, with Sophia as regent. In December 1909, Colonel Zorbas, head of the Military League, pressured George I to appointed him Head the government in place of Prime Minister Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis. The sovereign refused but the government undertook reforms which favored the military. The staff was reorganized and supporters of the Diadochos, including Ioannis Metaxas, were expelled. At the same time, French soldiers were called to reorganize the Greek army, which threatened both Sophia and her husband, as they helped develop republican ideas within the militia. Despite these reforms, some members of the Military League continued to oppose the government in order to take power. They then traveled to Crete to meet the Head of government of the island, Eleftherios Venizelos, and offered him the post of Prime Minister of Greece. But the Cretan leader didn't want to appear in Greece to be supported by the army and convinced them to arrange for new elections.
    This promotion, however, caused some controversy among the army, which still considerd the Diadochos as the main person responsible for the defeat in 1897.
    More Details Hide Details Back in Greece with her husband, the Crown Princess resumed her charity work. However, the health of both her mother and English grandmother deeply concerned her. The Empress Dowager of Germany was indeed suffering from breast cancer, which caused her extreme suffering. As for the Queen of the United Kingdom, she was approaching the age of eighty and her family knew that the end was close. But the last years of Queen Victoria's reign were marked by the Second Boer War, during which the United Kingdom suffered terrible losses facing the Afrikaner resistance. Sophia was concerned that the difficulties suffered by the British in South Africa would undermine the already fragile health of her grandmother. Queen Victoria finally died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 22 January 1901 in Osborne House. Very affected by the death of the sovereign, Sophia traveled to the United Kingdom for her funeral and attended a religious ceremony in her honor in Athens with the rest of the Greek royal family.
  • 1891
    Age 20
    Sophia officially converted on 2 May 1891; however, the imperial sentence was ultimately never implemented.
    More Details Hide Details Nevertheless, relations between William II and his sister were permanently marked by Sophia's decision. Indeed, the Emperor was an extremely resentful man and he never stopped making his younger sister pay for her disobedience. Throughout her life in Greece, Sophia was actively involved in social work and helping the underprivileged. Following in the footsteps of Queen Olga, she led various initiatives in the field of education, soup kitchens and development of hospitals and orphanages. In 1896, the Crown Princess also founded the Union of Greek Women, a particularly active organization in the field of assistance to refugees from the Ottoman Empire. Fascinated by arboriculture and concerned by the fires that regularly ravaged the country, Sophia was also interested in the reforestation. In addition, she was one of the founders of the Greek Animal Protection Society. However, it was during the wars that Greece suffered during late 19th early 20th century that Sophie showed the most social activity. In 1897 and at the outbreak of the Thirty Days' War against the Ottomans about the possession of Crete which ended with a humiliating Greek defeat, Sophia and other female members of the royal family actively worked with the Greek Red Cross in order to help wounded soldiers. In the thessalian front, the Crown Princess founded field hospitals, visited the wounded and even directly administered care for victims of the fighting. Sophia also facilitated the arrival of English nurses in Greece and even participated in the training of young women volunteers to provide assistance to wounded soldiers.
  • 1890
    Age 19
    Sophia took a trip to Germany with her husband for the occasion of the wedding of her sister Viktoria to Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, in November 1890, and personally announced her brother her intentions to change her religion.
    More Details Hide Details As expected, the news strongly displeased the Emperor and his wife, the very pious Empress Augusta Victoria. The latter even tried to dissuade her sister-in-law to convert, triggering a heated argument between the two women. Once made aware, William II was so angry that he threatened Sophia with excluding her from the Prussian royal family. Pressed by her mother to appear conciliatory, Sophia ended up writing a letter to her brother explaining the reasons for her conversion. But the Emperor would not listen, and for three years he forbade his sister to enter Germany. Upon receiving his reply Sophie sent a telegram to her mother: "Received answer. Keeps to what he said in Berlin. Fixes it to three years. Mad. Never mind."
    Less than nine months after her marriage, on 19 July 1890, the Crown Princess gave birth to her first child, a slightly premature son who was named George after his paternal grandfather.
    More Details Hide Details But the birth went wrong and the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck, almost choking it. Fortunately for the mother and child, the German midwife sent by the Dowager Empress Victoria to help her daughter in childbirth managed to resolve the situation and no tragic consequences occurred. After the birth of her eldest son, Sophia decided to embrace the faith of her subjects and to converted to the Orthodox faith. Having requested and received the blessing of her mother and grandmother, the Crown Princess informed her in-laws of her intention and asked Queen Olga for instruction in orthodoxy. The Greek royal family was delighted by the news, because the announcement of the conversion would be popular among the Greeks. But King George I insisted that Germanus II, Metropolitan of Athens and Head of the Autocephalous Greek Church would instruct Sophie in the Orthodoxy, rather than his wife. Of Russian origin, Queen Olga was indeed considered by some Greek nationalists as an "agent of the Pan-Slavism" and King George I therefore preferred that Germanus II would guarantee the task that could otherwise create difficulties for the Crown. Though the news of her conversion was greeted calmly by most members of her family, Sophia feared the reaction of Emperor William II, who took his status as Head of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces very seriously and hated disobedience more than anything.
  • 1889
    Age 18
    On 27 October 1889, Sophie married Constantine in Athens, Greece in two religious ceremonies, one public and Orthodox and another private and Protestant.
    More Details Hide Details They were third cousins in descent from Paul I of Russia, and second cousins once removed through Frederick William III of Prussia. Sophie's witnesses were her brother Henry and her cousins Princes Albert Victor and George of Wales; for Constantine's side, the witnesses were his brothers Princes George and Nicholas and his cousin the Tsarevich of Russia. The marriage (the first major international event held in Athens) was very popular among the Greeks. The names of the couple were reminiscent to the public of an old legend which suggested that when a King Constantine and a Queen Sophia ascended the Greek throne, Constantinople the Hagia Sophia would fall to Greek hands. Immediately after the marriage of the Diadochos, hopes arose for th Greek populace of the Megali Idea, i.e. the union of all Greeks in the same state. Abroad, the marriage of Constantine and Sophie raised much less enthusiasm. In France, it was feared that the arrival of a Prussian princess in Athens would switch the Kingdom of Greece to the side of the Triple Alliance. In Berlin, the union was also unpopular: German interests were indeed important in the Ottoman Empire and the Emperor didn't intend to help Greece simply because the Diadochos was his new brother-in-law. Nevertheless, in Athens, the marriage ceremony was celebrated with pomp and gave rise to an especially significant pyrotechnic spectacle on the Acropolis and the Champ de Mars.
    But despite the difficulties, Tino and Sophie's wedding was scheduled for October 1889, in Athens.
    More Details Hide Details This period fell on an unhappy time for Sophie's family however, as her father Emperor Frederick III was dying an agonizing death of throat cancer. His wife and children kept vigil with him at the Neues Palais, even celebrating Sophie's birthday and offering her a bouquet of flowers as a gift. The Emperor died the next day. Sophie's eldest brother William, now German Emperor, quickly ransacked his father's things in the hopes of finding "incriminating evidence" of "liberal plots". Knowing that her three youngest daughters were more dependent on her than ever for emotional support, the now-Dowager Empress Frederick remained close to them: "I have my three sweet girls - he loved so much - that are my consolation". Already shocked by the attitude of her eldest son, the Dowager Empress was deeply saddened by Sophie's upcoming marriage and move to Athens. Nevertheless, she welcomed the happiness of her daughter and consoled herself in a voluminous correspondence with Sophie. Between 1889 and 1901, the two women exchanged no less than 2,000 letters. On several occasions, they were also found in each other's homes, in Athens and Kronberg. The preparations of Sophie's wedding were "hardly a surprising development considering the funeral atmosphere that prevailed at the home of her widowed mother".111
    A member of the House of Hohenzollern and daughter of Emperor Frederick III of Germany, Sophia received a liberal and anglophile education, under the supervision of her mother, Victoria, Princess Royal. In 1889, less than a year after the death of her father, she married her third cousin the Diadochos Constantine, Duke of Sparta and heir of the Greek throne.
    More Details Hide Details After a difficult period of adaptation in her new country, Sophia gave birth to six children and became involved in the assistance to the poor, following in the footsteps of her mother-in-law, Queen Olga. However, it was during the wars which Greece faced during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century that Sophia showed the most social activity: she founded field hospitals, oversaw the training of Greek nurses and even she herself healed wounded soldiers. However, Sophia was hardly rewarded for her actions, even after her grandmother, Queen Victoria, decorated her with the Royal Red Cross after the Thirty Days' War: the Greeks criticized her links with Germany. Her brother, Emperor William II was indeed an ally of the Ottoman Empire and openly opposed the construction of the Megali Idea, which could established a Greek state that would encompass all ethnic Greek-inhabited areas. During World War I, the blood ties between Sophia and the German Emperor also cause the suspicion of the Triple Entente, which accuses Constantine I for his neutrality in the conflict.
  • 1887
    Age 16
    After a long stay in England celebrating her grandmother's Golden Jubilee, Sophie became better acquainted with Constantine in the summer of 1887. The Queen watched their growing relationship, writing "Is there a chance of Sophie's marrying Tino? It would be very nice for her, for he is very good". During his stay at the Hohenzollern court in Berlin representing the Kingdom of Greece at the funeral of Emperor William I in March 1888, Constantine saw Sophie again. Quickly, the two fell in love and got officially engaged on 3 September 1888.
    More Details Hide Details However, their relationship was viewed with suspicion by Sophie's older brother William, by now the new Kaiser, and his wife Augusta Victoria. This betrothal wasn't completely supported in the Hellenistic royal family, either: Queen Olga showed some reluctance to the projected union because Sophie was Lutheran and she would have preferred that the heir to the throne marry an Orthodox.
  • 1879
    Age 8
    In Germany, Sophie largely stayed with her parents at two main residences: the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin, and the Neues Palais in Potsdam. Like her sisters Viktoria and Margaret, she was particularly close to her parents and their relationship became even closer after the death, in 1879, of Waldemar, the favorite son of the Crown Princely couple.
    More Details Hide Details In 1884, Prince Constantine of Greece ("Tino") was sixteen and his majority was declared by the government. He then received the title of Duke of Sparta and Diadochos (διάδοχος / diádokhos, which means, "heir to the throne"). Soon after, the young man completed his military training in Germany, where he spent two full years in the company of a tutor, the Dr. Lüders. He served in the Prussian Guard, took lessons of riding in Hanover and studied Political science at the Universities of Heidelberg and Leipzig.
  • 1870
    Born on June 14, 1870.
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