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Sophia-Dorothea of Hanover (March 26, 1687 – June 28, 1757) was a Queen Consort in Prussia as spouse of King Friedrich-Wilhelm I. She was the sister of George II, King of Great Britain, and the mother of Friedrich II, King of Prussia.

Sophia-Dorothea of Hanover

Sophia Dorothea was born in Hanover. She was the only daughter of Georg-Ludwig of Hanover, later King George I of Great Britain, and his wife, Sophia-Dorothea of Brunswick-Celle, the only child of Georg-Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg by his long-term mistress, Eleonore Desmier d’Olbreuse (1639–1722), Countess of Williamsburg, a Huguenot lady, the daughter of Alexander II Desmier, Marquess of Olbreuse. Georg-Wilhelm eventually married Eleonore officially in 1676 (they had been married morganatically previously).

Sophia-Dorothea was detested by her elder brother, King George II of Great Britain.

After the divorce and imprisonment of her mother, she was raised in Hanover under the supervision of her paternal grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, and educated by her Huguenot teacher Madame de Sacetot.


Sophia-Dorothea married her cousin, Crown Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm of Prussia, heir apparent to the Prussian throne, on November 28, 1706. Crown Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm of Prussia was the son of King Friedrich I in Prussia and Princess Sophia-Charlotte of Hanover, the only daughter of Elector Ernst-August of Hanover and his wife Sophia of the Palatinate. Her eldest brother Elector Georg-Ludwig succeeded to the British throne in 1714 as King George I.

They had met as children when Friedrich-Wilhelm had spent some time in Hanover under the care of their grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, and though Sophia-Dorothea disliked him, Friedrich-Wilhelm had reportedly felt an attraction to her early on.

Friedrich-Wilhelm, King in Prussia

When a marriage was to be arranged for Friedrich-Wilhelm, he was given three alternatives: Princess Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, Princess Amalia of Nassau-Dietz, or Sophia-Dorothea of Hanover. The Swedish match was preferred by his father, King Friedrich I, who wished to form a matrimonial alliance with Sweden, and thus the official Finck was sent to Stockholm under the pretext of an adjustment of the disputes regarding Pomerania, but in reality to observe the princess before issuing formal negotiations: Friedrich-Wilhelm, however, preferred Sophia Dorothea and successfully tasked Finck with making such a deterring report of Ulrika Eleonora to his father that he would encounter less opposition when he informed his father of his choice.

A marriage alliance between Prussia and Hanover was regarded as a noncontroversial choice by both courts and the negotiations were swiftly conducted. In order for Sophia Dorothea to make as good an impression as possible in Berlin, her grandmother, Electress Sophia, commissioned her niece Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess of the Palatinate to procure her trousseau in Paris. Her bridal paraphernalia attracted great attention and was referred to as the greatest of any German Princess yet.

The wedding by proxy took place in Hanover on November 28, 1706, and she arrived in Berlin on November 27, where she was welcomed by her groom and his family outside of the city gates and before making her entrance into the capital. Thereafter followed a second wedding, the stately torch-dance, and six weeks of banquets and balls.