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The Imprisoned, Uncrowned Queen of King George I

Updated on March 12, 2020

Sophia Dorthea, Wife of King George I

Sophia, wife of King George I and Her Children
Sophia, wife of King George I and Her Children

Sophia Dorthea

She was born on 15 September 1666 in Germany. Her father was George William, Duke of Brunswick; her mother was Eleonare Desmier d' Olbreuse. She married on 22 November 1682, George I of Great Britain (1682-1694). George was her cousin, and the marriage was an arranged one, and as it turned out, an unhappy one from the start.

In 1714 he inherited the Principality of Laneburg after the death of his father-in-law, and soon, in 1714, he inherited the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and became King George I. This was through his mother, Dutchess Sophia, a granddaughter of James VI and I.

Poor Sophia Dorthea, she was met by hatred from his family, especially his mother. George did not try to hide his distaste for his wife and continuously bullied her, criticizing her for her lack of etiquette. They always argued, often very loud. He even attempted to choke her, leaving bruises on her throat.

King George I

King George I
King George I

Sophia Dorthea's Parents

Sophia Dorthea's Parents
Sophia Dorthea's Parents

King George I, His Mistress

Melusine von der Schulenburg
Melusine von der Schulenburg

Christopher Philipp von Konigsmarck

Christopher Philipp von Konigsmarck
Christopher Philipp von Konigsmarck

The adulterous affairs

Both King George and his wife had affairs. King George, I brought his mistress of many years, Melusine von der Schulenburg, with him when he took the crown in Great Britain. When she arrived in England, he created the title of Dutchess of Munster for life. Melusine had the nickname 'Maypole' by the people. She and King George, I had three illegitimate daughters: Anna Luise Sophia 1692, Petronilla Melusina 1693 and, Margarethe Gertrud 1701. After George died, a raven flew into her bed chambers. She believed it was the soul of King George and kept the raven as a pet. She died unmarried in 1743.

Sophia Dorthea, who was humiliated by his family and ignored and abused by George, took comfort with a Swedish count, Christopher Philipp von Konigsmarck. She was convinced he was her savior, and they had plans to escape from England. They planned to meet to discuss their ideas and met in July 1694. Christopher was abducted and killed. It was rumored his body was dismembered and thrown into the Leine River. Many thought it was on George's instructions to eliminate Christopher.

Sophia's Imprisonment.

Ahlden House
Ahlden House

Divorce and Imprisonment

King George, I was going to get his revenge even though he had his mistresses. It was not uncommon in that era for men to have mistresses. But the idea George's wife would humiliate him left him no choice. He and Sophia Dorthea divorced December 22, 1694, not on adultery but her desertion. His conditions were that he would banish her forever to Ahlden House, deny her ever to see her children again, not allowed out of the courtyard at Ahlden House, but granted a carriage ride only and with supervision.

Sophia Dorthea would never see her two children again. Her daughter, Sophia Dorthea (1686) who later would marry King Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia and give birth to the future Frederick the Great. Or her son, George Augustus B: 1683. Her son would later become King George II.

Sophia Dorthea would spend thirty years in isolation imprisoned by a bully, King George I.

Sophia became ill sometime in August 1726 and died in November 1726, age 60. One would think of a broken heart, but the cause of death was liver failure. Upon hearing of her death, King George I announced it in the London Gazette, and he would not allow any mourning. He had heard that his daughter's court in Berlin wore black to honor her mother and was furious at her actions. Four weeks later, after Sophia Dorthea's death, King George I died.

Sophia is buried beside her parents in Stadtkirche.



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