Princess Sophie of Bavaria

Princess Sophie of Bavaria

Sophie Friederike Dorothee Wilhelmine, Princess of Bavaria (27 January 1805 – 28 May 1872) was born to King Maximilian I of Bavaria and his second wife Karoline of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony as wife of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony.

On 4 November 1824, she married Franz Karl, Archduke of Austria. They had six children.


Her ambitions to place her oldest son on the Austrian throne was a constant theme in Austrian politics. At the time she was called "the only man at court". During the Revolution of 1848 she persuaded her somewhat feeble-minded husband to give up his rights to the throne in favour of Franz Joseph. After his accession to the throne, Sophie became the power behind the throne. Sophie is also remembered for her bad relationship with her daughter-in-law, and niece, Elisabeth of Bavaria alias "Sissi", which has been a theme in a long running musical about Elisabeth's life and in several media works that, at times, describe Sophie practically as an evil, ruthless villainess set out almost exclusively to ruin Elisabeth's life in any possible way.

Sophie kept a detailed diary most of her life which reveals much about Austrian court life. She withdrew from public life after the execution of her son, Maximilian, from which she never recovered. She died of a brain tumor in 1872.

After the death of Napoleon II, there were rumors of an affair between the two, although the rumours were never proven. However, it is certain that they were very good friends and that his death affected her very much. She is said to have turned into the cold, ambitious woman described in fiction after he died. Her second son, Maximilian I of Mexico is even rumoured to have been fathered by Napoleon.

Portrayal on stage

*Kenneth MacMillan's 1978 ballet, "Mayerling"
*Michael Kunze's 1992 musical "Elisabeth"

External links

* [ Historical Boys' Royal Costume: King Maximilian I Joseph: Second Family]
* [ Royal and Noble Family Trees]

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1= 1. Princess Sophie of Bavaria
2= 2. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
3= 3. Caroline of Baden
4= 4. Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken
5= 5. Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach
6= 6. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
7= 7. Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
8= 8. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken
9= 9. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken
10= 10. Joseph Karl Emanuel August, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
11= 11. Countess Palatine Elizabeth Augusta Sophie of Neuburg
12= 12. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden
13= 13. Landgravine Karoline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt
14= 14. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
15= 15. Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken
16= 16. Christian II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
17= 17. Countess Katharina Agathe of Rappoltstein
18= 18. Ludwig Kraft, Count of Nassau-Saarbrücken
19= 19. Countess Philippine Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
20= 20. Theodore, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
21= 21. Marie Eleonore of Hessen-Rheinfels
22= 22. Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine
23= 23. Ludwika Karolina Radziwiłł
24= 24. Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Baden-Durlach
25= 25. Princess Amelia of Nassau-Dietz
26= 26. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
27= 27. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Müntzenberg
28= 28. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (= 26)
29= 29. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Müntzenberg (= 27)
30= 30. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken (= 8)
31= 31. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken (= 9)

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