The intimate friend of Sophia Albertina, Caroline Rudenschöld, refers to these issues of the father of her daughter in a letter from 1792, where she mentions two love interests of Sophia Albertina. Rudenschöld mentioned that she was concerned about a confidence the Princess had given her, but that she was assured that Sophia Albertina would “do everything that is in your power to do, to overcome this unfortunate passion” and to “use your sense to overpower it”, and she ads: “I can understand that this inclination of yours is so much more unfortunate than the last one”. Ulla Möllersvärd has been rumored to be her daughter.
Lolotte Forssberg affair
In 1795, the Lolotte Forssberg affair occurred, which caused considerable attention. Lolotte Forssberg was the chamber maid and foster sibling of Sophia Albertina. In 1795, an anonymous letter was found by Sophia Albertina, which pointed out Lolotte Forssberg as her secret sister. Sophia Albertina issued an investigation, and believed herself to have reasons to believe that Forssberg was indeed her sister, and therefore decided to take responsibility for her welfare and treat her officially as a sister.
Sophia Albertina believed for a time that Forssberg was her legitimate sister, whose births her parents had reasons to hide, and therefore demanded that Lolotte Forssberg should be officially recognised. This caused a scandal, not only in Sweden, but also in the Holy Roman Empire, where her maternal relatives, the Prussian royal family, expressed their disapproval of what they perceived as a deception of which she had been a victim.
It is likely, that Lolotte Forssberg was in fact her sister, but her illegitimate half sister by her father and a lady-in waiting, Ulla von Liewen. In 1799, Sophia Albertina herself stated that Lolotte Forssberg was her illegitimate halfsister, and arranged a marriage with her courtier, Count Magus Stenbock, and had her presented at court. Gossip would later suggest, that Lolotte Forssberg was the illegitimate child of Sophia Albertina herself, but as Forssberg was born in 1766, she was evidently not the same woman as the alleged secret daughter of Sophia Albertina and Frederick Hessenstein, who had been born in 1785. Lolotte Forssberg was to remain with Sophia Albertina her entire life, and was named as her heir in her will.
Reign as Princess-Abbess
In 1767, by the grace of her maternal uncle Friedrich the Great (Friedrich II of Prussia), Sophia Albertina was made Coadjutrix of Quedlinburg Abbey, a convent of Lutheran women.
In 1787, one or two years after allegedly secretly giving birth, she succeeded her maternal aunt, Anna Amalia of Prussia, as Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg. As such, she was the reigning head of a German state directly under the Holy Roman Empire, and thus a monarch in the Empire.
When she succeeded as abbess, Friedrich II of Prussia offered to “relieve” her from the position by buying the realm of Quedlinburg and annexing it to Prussia. She declined the offer by saying that she was sure that he was not serious. Sophia Albertina travelled to Quedlinburg in 1787, and took her oath as abbess on October 15.
As Princess-Abbess, she was active in the rule of the city of Quedlinburg, and her rule has been described as a popular one. She founded schools for poor children, established the first theatre in the city, and increased the salary of the clergy. Gossip pointed out Quedlinburg as a place where noblewomen went to give birth to their illegitimate children in secret. She brought with her a court of 50 people, and often entertained guests, particularly her German relatives, during her stays at Quedlinburg. Sophia Albertina was present in Quedlinburg from 1787 to 1788, a second period from 1792 until 1795, and a third period from 1799 until 1803. She managed the affairs of the state in cooperation with her chancellor Sebastian von Moltzer.
In the German Mediatization, the state of Quedlinburg was dissolved and incorporated into Prussia. This was done after the Treaty of Lunéville, when the French First Republic allowed the German secular monarchs to annex the German church states. Sophia Albertina was simply told on July 11, 1802 that the state was now a part of Prussia and that she was thereby deprived of all political authority. She was however allowed to keep the title and income for life. She remained with her court until September 1803.