Queen Sofia of Spain

Want to learn more about Queen Sofia of Spain? Read on for facts and info on the consort of Spain by virtue of her being the wife of King Juan Carlos…

Born on 2 November 1938, Queen Sofia is remembered as being the wife of King Juan Carlos which made her the consort of Spain. She was born in the city of Athens, Greece to the royal pair of King Paul I of Hellenes and Queen Frederika. In terms of our royal lineage the Queen was part of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty.

Queen Sofia’s siblings also acquired royal positions during their lifetime. Her brother was once the King Constantine II of Greece but was later deposed. Her sister was the princess of Greece and Denmark. However with the passage of time as the monarchy was abolished the royal titles of the family members were disavowed by the Constitution of Greece.

Early Life

As a child Queen Sofia had the opportunity to spend some years in Egypt as well as in South Africa. This was during World War II when her family was actually exiled from Greece. The family returned to their home country in 1946 following which she finished her education at one of the most prestigious educational institutions known as the Salem Boarding School. She further specialized in child care and music as well as archaeology in the Greek city of Athens. One of the most unique aspects of Queen Sofia’s life was the fact that she represented her country in the 1960s Summer Olympics sailing events.

Marriage and Rise to Throne

The marriage of Princess Sophia to Infante Juan Carlos took place in 1962. The pair had met during a cruise trip to the Greek Islands in 1954. Her marriage relinquished her of the birthright that she had upon the throne of Greece. She also accepted the Roman Catholic faith which was a transition from the Greek Orthodoxy into which she was born. This change was to make the couple more acceptable to the Catholic country of Spain.

Even her name was transliterated into Latin from Greek and hence from Sophia it became Sofia. One of the major influences that she had on her husband was that she managed to free him of the overpowering influence of his father following which Juan Carlos now leaned towards Franco. The Spanish state officially recognized Juan Carlos as the Prince of Spain in the year 1969. It was Queen Sofia who actually suggested this title. In 1975 Juan Carlos officially rose to the throne as the King of Spain.

The couple had three children . They were HRH Infanta Cristina, Infanta Elena and HRH Infanta Felipe. They were further blessed with eight grandchildren.  Four of which were boys and four girls. The ancestral lineage of Queen Sofia connects her with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom from both paternal and maternal sides. From the paternal side she was a great-great-granddaughter of the Queen and from the maternal side she was the great-great-great granddaughter. This lineage also connected her with all of the royal families that were spread throughout Europe which is why she was well known in royal circles.

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