Princess Sophie of Albania

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Princess Sophie
Princess of Albania
File:Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg.jpg
Born (1885-05-21)21 May 1885
Potsdam, Brandenburg, German Empire
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Fântânele, Romania
Spouse William, Prince of Albania
Issue Princess Marie Eleonore
Carol Victor, Hereditary Prince of Albania
Full name
Sophie Helene Cecilie
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; 21 May 1885 – 3 February 1936) was the consort of Prince William of Wied. With her husband's ascension 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.

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 Fantanele 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

Royal Standard of Sophie.
Styles of
Princess (Queen)[4] Sophie of Albania
Principality of Albania (Princess' standard).svg
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.[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]

William of Albania and his wife Princess Sophie arriving in Durrës the capital of Principality of Albania, (now Albania) on 7 March 1914

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]


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Family of Princess Sophie of Albania
16. Otto, Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg
8. Otto Viktor, Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg
17. Princess Henriette Reuß-Köstritz
4. Otto, Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg
18. Louis Frederick II, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
9. Princess Thekla of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
19. Landgravine Karoline of Hesse-Homburg
2. Victor, Hereditary Prince of Schönburg-Waldenburg
20. –
10. Apollinaris Labunski
21. –
5. Pàmela Labunska
22. –
11. Iuliana Popow
23. –
1. Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg
24. Christian Heinrich, 1st Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
12. Prince August of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
25. Countess Charlotte Friederike of Leiningen-Westerburg
6. Prince Emil of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
26. Karl Franz Allesina von Schweitzer
13. Franziska Allesina gen. von Schweitzer
27. Angélina de Wynne
3. Princess Lucia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
28. Prince Constantin Cantacuzene
14. Prince Nicolae Cantacuzene
29. Pulcheria Rosetti
7. Princess Pulcheria Cantacuzene
30. –
15. Princess Lucie Palladi
31. –

See also


  1. The Ghica family was a Greek Orthodox Phanariote dynasty of Albanian origin
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  3. [1]
  4. Outside the country and in diplomatic correspondence, she was styled "Princess Consort", but in Albania she was referred to as Queen.
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  6. 6.0 6.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
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External links

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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