Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Sophie Donata Luise Helena, 14 May 1862 - 19 August 1924) was the wife of King Pieter II and queen consort of Brunant. She was queen of Brunant from 1881 to her husband's assassination in 1913. Sophie was not extremely popular, due to her very traditional and upper-class upbringing and demeanor and consistent rumors of divided loyalty for Germany, especially during the First World War.
Early life and familyEdit
Sophie was born in Schloss Ludwiglust to Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his first wife, Princess Augusta Reuss zu Köstritz. Her mother died less than a year after her birth. Sophie was well-educated by her father and stepmothers and was always groomed to marry a well-to-do husband, in wealth and in social standing.
Sophie was the sister in law of Wilhelmina of the Netherlands through her half-brother, Henry. She was aunt to Alexandrine, Queen of Denmark, Cecile, Crown Princess of Germany and Juliana of the Netherlands.
Engagement and marriageEdit
In 1879, she met Prince Pieter, Duke of Middleton in Berlin. Shortly after, a marriage was arranged and they were engaged that year. They married in August 1880. She had their first child, Johan shortly after, in 1881. The couple would have four other children, Caroline Amelie (1882), Louis (1884), Hendrik (1886) and Martina Luisa (1891).
Queen of BrunantEdit
During the Liberal Revolution, her husband became embroiled in conflict against his father and in March 1881, stored the Royal Palace with soldiers, leading Johan I to flee the capital and Pieter to become king. In Brunant, the young queen learned Dutch and even spoke some English for public occasions. The queen, though, only spoke to her children in German, which they spoke more than Dutch. She was a very fashionable woman and helped to bring a new, modern look to the court.
During a visit to Brezonde in October 1913, the king, Prince Johan and Princess Martina Louisa were involved in an assassination attempt as part of the October Plot and Coup. Pieter and Johan were injured and her husband died during the night, leading her to an extended period of mourning.
As the government and King Johan looked to enter the Great War in Europe on the side of the allies, the queen began to push for official neutrality or some sort of support for the German side, citing their family ties. She openly opposed entering the war and many felt she still had deep loyalties to Germany above Brunant. The queen, on her part often stated her abhorrence for war and would not support it.
The deaths of six Brunanters on the RMS Lusitania and the Italian entry into the war for the Entente changed the balance in Brunant and on 4 June 1915, the king declared war on Germany. Queen Sophie would not forgive her son for and her influence waned even more once he married in October to Maria Benedita of Braganza.
She could not believe her son would abandon her views and their German ancestry and family over Britain. While she favored war on the German side from the start of the war, she attempted to convince Johan to perhaps seek neutrality again, as her private papers revealed. Writing to her nephew Grand Duke Frederick Francis IV in the summer, she stated << I wish my son would not abandon his origins in this war and in his life >>, and << if the situation was permitting, I might once again return home >>. His mother would then take up a rather more permanent holiday in the south of Spain to get away from Brunant.
Private papers suggest she was not happy with the political atmosphere, nor with the air of distrust by some at court or in government for being German and having purported loyalties to the Reich, though in her letters, she stated she felt Brunant would get more out of siding with Germany as opposed to historical enemy France.
In 1917, while visiting Spain, the queen was shot by an Italian anarchist, Mario Delvecchio. Though she did not die from her wounds, they helped deteriorate her health. Retiring to Huis ten Bergen in the mountains, she lived out the rest of her years in peace. In 1923, she was named godmother to her grandson, Prince Marten. In 1924, she fell and broke her hip and died a week later.