Sophia of Hanover would have been Queen of Great Britain if she had lived just a few months longer. In the end, she died only two months before Queen Anne, and it was Sophia’s eldest son who became King George I of Great Britain. The youngest daughter of the famous Winter Queen, Elizabeth Stuart, and thus a granddaughter of King James VI and I, it hardly seemed likely that Sophia would one day rule in her own right. Yet, as the Stuart line died out or was exiled for being Catholic and Sophia’s elder siblings were excluded for being Catholics, the succession was vested in Sophia’s Hanoverian line.
Sophia married the future Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover at the age of 28 – rather late for the time. They went on to have seven children who lived to adulthood. Her daughter Sophia Charlotte became Queen of Prussia.
Catherine Curzon traces the life of the would-be Queen from her childhood days in exile to her married life. Sophia: Mother of King’s is well-researched and easy to read, even if you are not well-read on the subject. It’s a must-read if you’re interested in the Hanoverian dynasty – Sophia certainly would have made a formidable Queen. The only negative point for me – which is a matter of taste – is the cover. It just doesn’t do her justice at all.