Princess Sophie of Albania

Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg (Sophie Helene Cecilie Prinzessin von Schönburg-Waldenburg; 21 May 1885 – 3 February 1936) was the consort of Prince William 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
Princess Consort of Albania
Born(1885-05-21)21 May 1885
Potsdam, Brandenburg, German Empire
Died3 February 1936(1936-02-03) (aged 50)
Fântânele, Romania
SpouseWilliam, Prince of Albania
IssuePrincess Marie Eleonore of Albania
Carol Victor, Hereditary Prince of Albania
Full name
Sophie Helene Cecilie
HouseHouse of Schönburg-Waldenburg (by birth)
House of Wied-Neuwied (by marriage)
FatherVictor, Hereditary Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg
MotherPrincess Lucia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Family and marriage

Princess Sophie was born in Potsdam, Brandenburg, the daughter of Hereditary Prince Victor of Schönburg-Waldenburg (1856–1888) and his wife Princess Lucia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1859–1903), both members of German mediatised dynasties. She had some remote Albanian ancestry, being a descendant of Ruxandra Ghica, daughter of Grigore I Ghica, Prince of Wallachia.[1]

Her maternal grandparents were Prince Emil of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1824–1878) and his first wife Pulcheria Cantacuzene (1820–1865), a Romanian princess. Emil was the son of August Ludwig, Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1788–1874) and Franziska Allesina gennant von Schweitzer (1802–1878).

Both of Princess Sophie's parents died when she was young so she spent much of her youth at the Fântânele estate in Moldavia, which was owned by her maternal relatives.[2]

On 30 November 1906 at Waldenburg, Saxony Princess Sophie married Prince William of Wied, they had two children.[3]

Princess of Albania

Styles of
Princess (Queen)[4] Sophie of Albania
Reference styleHer Highness
Spoken styleYour 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.[5] 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.[6] Princess Sophie and Queen Elisabeth both worked to overcome William's reluctance to accept the throne.[2]

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.[2]

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.[7] However, she officially remained the Princess of Albania until 31 January 1925, when the country was declared a republic.

Princess Sophie died at Fântânele, Romania.[6]


See also


  1. The Ghica family was a Greek Orthodox Phanariote dynasty of Albanian origin
  2. Heaton-Armstrong, Duncan (2005). The Six Month Kingdom: Albania 1914. I.B.Tauris. pp. xii, 14. ISBN 1-85043-761-0.
  3. Outside the country and in diplomatic correspondence, she was styled "Princess Consort", but in Albania she was referred to as Queen.
  4. Edinburgh, Marie of (1971). The story of my life. Ayer Publishing. pp. 541, 542. ISBN 0-405-02761-3.
  5. Pearson, Owen (2006). Albania in the Twentieth Century: a history. I.B.Tauris. pp. 50, 377. ISBN 1-84511-013-7.
  6. Hall, Richard C. (2000). The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. p. 131. ISBN 0-415-22946-4.
Princess Sophie of Albania
Cadet branch of the House of Schönburg
Born: 21 May 1885 Died: 3 February 1936
Albanian royalty
New title Princess of Albania
7 March 1914 – 3 September 1914
Title next held by
Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi
as Queen of the Albanians
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.