Sophie, Princess of Albania
|Princess Consort of Albania|
|Born||21 May 1885|
Potsdam, Brandenburg, German Empire
|Died||3 February 1936 (aged 50)|
|Spouse||Wilhelm, Prince of Albania|
|Issue||Princess Marie Eleonore of Albania|
Carol Victor, Hereditary Prince of Albania
|House||House of Schönburg-Waldenburg (by birth) |
House of Wied-Neuwied (by marriage)
|Father||Victor, Hereditary Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg|
|Mother||Princess Lucia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg|
Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg (Sophie Helene Cecilie Prinzessin von Schönburg-Waldenburg; 21 May 1885 – 3 February 1936) was the consort of Prince Wilhelm of Wied. With her husband's accession to the Albanian throne she became the Princess of Albania (Albanian: Princeshë e Shqipërisë). Outside the country and in diplomatic correspondence, she was styled "Princess consort", but in Albania she was referred to as Mbretëreshë, or Queen.
Princess Sophie was born in Potsdam, Brandenburg, Prusia, as daughter of Hereditary Prince Otto Karl Viktor I von Schönburg-Waldenburg (1856-1888) and Princess Lucie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1859-1903). Her paternal grandparents were Prince Otto Friedrich von Schönburg-Waldenburg (1819-1893) and Polish noblewoman Pamela Łabuńska (1837-1901), while her maternal grandparents were Prince Emil Karl Adolf zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1824-1878) and Princess Pulcheria Cantacuzene (1840-1865). Prince Emil was the son of Prince August Ludwig of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1788–1874) and Franziska Allesina gennant von Schweitzer (1802–1878).
Marriage and issue
On 30 November 1906 at Waldenburg, Saxony Princess Sophie married Prince Wilhelm of Wied, son of Prince Wilhelm von Wied (1845-1907) and Princess Marie of the Netherlands (1841-1910). Sophie's husband, Prince Wilhelm was closely related to Wilhelm II, German Emperor, being his second cousin. They had two children:
- Princess Marie Eleonore of Albania (1909–1956) ⚭ Prince Alfred von Schönburg-Waldenburg (1905-1941), son of Prince Heinrich von Schönburg-Waldenburg and Princess Olga zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg ⚭ Ion Octavian Bunea (1899-1977)
- Carol Victor, Hereditary Prince of Albania (1913–1973) ⚭ Eileen de Coppet née Johnston (1922-1985)
She had some remote Albanian ancestry, being a descendant of Princess Elena Callimachi, daughter of Prince Scarlat Ghica (1715-1766), who was Prince of Moldavia and Prince of Wallachia and Princess Ruxandra Muruzi. She also descends from Princess Ruxandra Ghica, daughter of Grigore I Ghica (1628-1675), Prince of Wallachia and Princess Maria Strurdza. Although officially Romanian, Princely Ghica family has Albanian roots.
Princess of Albania
Princess (Queen) Sophie of Albania
|Reference style||Her Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Highness|
Princess Sophie was close to her husband's aunt Queen Elisabeth of Romania, whom she had known since moving to Romania after the death of her parents. Princess Sophie and Queen Elisabeth sang, painted, composed and played musical instruments together. Queen Elisabeth played an important role in getting Princess Sophie's husband William the Albanian throne by asking Take Ionescu to persuade the great powers to select William. Princess Sophie and Queen Elisabeth both worked to overcome William's reluctance to accept the throne.
Eventually William agreed, and on 21 February 1914, Prince William and Princess Sophie hosted a delegation of Albanian notables at their castle in Neuwied, where William was formally offered the throne. The Albanian delegation then visited Waldenburg, Saxony, where they paid their respects to Princess Sophie's family.
Sophie and her husband arrived in Albania on 7 March 1914, in Durrës, the provisional capital. However, her Albanian adventure proved short-lived. On 3 September 1914, with the country in turmoil, Princess Sophie and Prince William left Albania, never to return. However, she officially remained the Princess of Albania until 31 January 1925, when the country was declared a republic.
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|Ancestors of Sophie, Princess of Albania|
- Heaton-Armstrong, Duncan (2005). The Six Month Kingdom: Albania 1914. I.B.Tauris. pp. xii, 14. ISBN 1-85043-761-0.
- http://www.ghika.net/Histoire/Question_Orient.pdf The Ghica family was a Greek Orthodox Phanariote dynasty of Albanian origin
- Outside the country and in diplomatic correspondence, she was styled "Princess Consort", but in Albania she was referred to as Queen.
- Edinburgh, Marie of (1971). The story of my life. Ayer Publishing. pp. 541, 542. ISBN 0-405-02761-3.
- Pearson, Owen (2006). Albania in the Twentieth Century: a history. I.B.Tauris. pp. 50, 377. ISBN 1-84511-013-7.
- Hall, Richard C. (2000). The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. pp. 131. ISBN 0-415-22946-4.
- Marek, Miroslav. "A listing of Princes of Schönburg-Waldenburg since 1800 and their descendants". Genealogy.EU.
Sophie, Princess of Albania
Cadet branch of the House of SchönburgBorn: 21 May 1885 Died: 3 February 1936
|New title|| Princess of Albania
7 March 1914 – 3 September 1914
Title next held byGeraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi
as Queen of the Albanians