Author Topic: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle  (Read 23190 times)

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Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2006, 12:34:47 PM »
Standards of beauty are indeed different now, and thus the way we might judge his mistresses might be different. ;) Anyway, when I first read the Maypole, etc story, I didn't associate it with George I, but I thought it was hilarious. I was just laughing for a while, and I wanted to see portraits of the ladies in question, but there were none in that book I was reading.

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2006, 11:09:35 AM »
I wanted to start a thread on Sophia-Dorothea, who was the German wife of George I. She was the mother of George II, but she was, when fairly young imprisoned in some castle in Germany for adultery, and until her death, was there. She committed adultery with a member of the German nobility, and was not he killed as a result? She and George I were divorced, I believe as well. I have seen a portrait of her, it seems she was a pretty, plump young woman, who looked like a typical German princess. She in personality may have been a bit naive, as adultery in those days for a royal woman was often not a good choice in terms of what their husbands could do to them. ;) I would like more info or portraits of her especially.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2006, 12:49:30 PM »
She was George's first cousin - their father's were brothers. Her mother was a French noblewoman, Eleanor d'Olbreuse (1639-1723). Sophia Dorothea married George in 1682, when she was 16. They had two children - the future George II, and Sophia Dorothea (1687-1757), who became Queen of Prussia. Sophia Dorothea (the elder) had an affair with Count Philip von Koenigsmarck (sp?), a Swedish noble. A previous lover of the count discovered them and alerted George. He divorced Sophia Dorothea in 1694 and imprisoned her in the Castle of Ahlden, eventually making her Duchess of Ahlden, though she was never allowed see her children again. When her daughter became Queen of Prussia, she corresponded with her mother, and rumour says the future George II tried to swim the moat at Ahlden to see her but failed.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2006, 12:51:04 PM »
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2006, 12:52:33 PM »
With her children:

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2006, 01:04:47 PM »
Oh, I forgot to mention - she was born illegitimate. Her father had resolved to remain unmarried, but ended up marrying his longtime mistress (Eleanor) in 1676, and Sophia Dorothea was legitimated. The Swedish count she had an affair with was rumoured to have been hacked to death by George himself  :o or at the very least killed on George's orders.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2006, 03:00:50 PM »
It's astonishing to think by what quirks of fate this man ended up on the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland!

ilyala

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2006, 01:57:32 AM »
he was very good for it though... because of his great lack of interest in ruling great britain, the first constitutional monarchy developed ;D

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2006, 06:38:35 AM »
Yes, his ministers got a lot more influential - ironically, he retained great power in Hanover, which is probably why he liked being there so much. He made his brother Duke of York, by the way.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

palatine

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2006, 11:11:12 AM »
The myths and legends that Sophia Dorothea’s manifold apologists have created over the centuries are a lot more popular and a whole lot funnier than the truth, so here they are, con amore, condensed into a single narrative for your delectation: 

Sophia Dorothea was a pearl of great price cast among Hanoverian swine who hated her because she was superior to them in every conceivable way.  Nothing she said or did could please her ugly, stupid, and boorish husband or her ugly, stupid, and boorish in-laws; they relentlessly persecuted her, aided and abetted by their ugly, stupid, and boorish courtiers, especially the malevolent concubines of her husband and father-in-law.  George and his father, unlike all other royal and noble husbands of that era, thought cheating on their wives was acceptable behavior, which horrified our heroine, who had been gently bred and who came from a highly moral household.  She was too proud to make more than a token protest over the situation, even though the concubines often picked fights with her and made scenes because they were jealous of her spectacular beauty and excellent fashion sense.  She held her head high and stayed aloof from the concubines and from all of the brutish pleasures and crude sensuality of the Hanoverian court.  She met a handsome young Swedish nobleman sans peur et sans reproche named Philip von Konigsmark.  They fell in love, but it was a chaste amour, for they were far too honorable to commit adultery.  Her father-in-law’s concubine fell madly in love with Konigsmark and decided to marry him off to her daughter in the hope that she could seduce him once he became her son-in-law.  Konigsmark rejected the idea and earned her eternal hatred.  Konigsmark came to realize that a tres grande dame like Sophia Dorothea could not remain at Hanover much longer without having her will to live destroyed, so, out of the sheer goodness of his heart, he chivalrously decided to spirit away her big fat…. 

Whoops!  Sorry about that!   

… ravishingly lovely person out of Hanover to a safe haven where they could enjoy a civilized existence funded by his skill at cards and what he could earn as a soldier of fortune.  She decided to leave her children in Hanover because the little ones would slow down their dangerous flight: she knew, out of filial duty, they would want her to put her happiness and peace of mind ahead of any other considerations.  The Hanoverians, who were dead to shame, had intercepted and read her private correspondence, so they knew that she planned to escape from their nefarious clutches.  Instead of going to her, giving her some traveling money, and apologizing on their knees for the craptacular way they’d treated her as decent human beings in their situation would have done, they put their heads together and came up with a horrific plan with the help and advice of the concubines.  Late one evening, as the unarmed Konigsmark was innocently strolling through the palace, George, his father, and his father’s concubine wolfishly ganged up on him.  George and his father stabbed him to death, and the concubine drove the heel of her shoe into his face as he lay dying, and cursed him.  Next, George and his father chopped him to pieces with their swords.  They collected the pieces together, put them in a sack, and tiptoed into Sophia Dorothea’s bedroom.  They quietly pried up some floorboards, dumped the sack into the hole thus created, quietly nailed the floorboards back into place (perhaps they used glue), and tiptoed back to their own lairs.  The poor innocent angel slept through these horrors, and awoke to find that she was under arrest and forbidden to leave her room.  The Hanoverians returned her to her father, who believed all the malicious lies they told him about her.  Her father cruelly imprisoned her in a dank fortress and refused to have any contact with her.  A divorce was rushed through and she was forced, yes, forced to agree to remain a prisoner for the rest of her life and to have no contact with her beloved children.  Oh, the humanity!     ;D
« Last Edit: November 01, 2006, 11:27:27 AM by palatine »

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2006, 12:55:07 PM »
So it was a Swedish noble, not a German one. I tend to believe that the guy most likely was murdered by the orders of George I anyway, at the very least. Rulers in that era didn't deal well with the adultery of their wives although they had many mistresses themselves. ;) Sophia was perhaps not very bright about that, although I can see why she was bored with her husband; he wasn't very interesting. That portrait I had seen before was indeed that of her with her children. I am sure she had lots of time over the years to think about what her adultery cost her. Her ex- husband just went on to have mistresses as dull as he. Wasn't royal divorce a bit unusual then?

bell_the_cat

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2006, 06:24:11 PM »
Yes I agree she may have been a tad overweight, but I still take her side against George. I'm an incurable romantic, I suppose! :-[

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2006, 07:30:39 PM »
Yes, she was plump, but very conventional looking for a woman of that era. ;) She wasn't particularly pretty, but she was plesant looking. In that era, I don't think there was that much of an issue with being plump as there might be in other eras with regards to beauty. Many Restoration beauties and slightly later, might be called plump today. As for taking her side, I think she was like Catherine Howard, that is a bit naive about things, and also perhaps not particularly bright. She seems to have paid for her folly, and she seems the lesser of two evils, so yes, I would say I take her side. I've just always thought her story interesting and wondered why she would be so stupid as to commit adultery, at a time when female royals never did so, for the most part.

Offline Suzanne

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2012, 09:47:31 AM »
There is a new biography that just came out about King George I's mistress Melusine von der Schulenburg "The Maypole"

http://www.royalhistorian.com/the-kings-mistress-by-claudia-gold-book-review/

Offline Превед

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Re: George I & his wife Sophia-Dorothea of Zelle
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2014, 06:58:47 PM »
To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the British-Hanoverian personal union the Hannoversch-Britische Gesellschaft recreates Elector-turned-King George's journey from Celle (start 30th of April) to London through Lower Saxony via The Hague and Greenwich (arrival at St. James's Palace 16th of May) in a coach drawn by a quadriga of Oldenburgian East Frisian horses.

See Wie ein König auf Krönungsreise. On the NDR site you will be able to follow the royal progress and you can even apply to ride in the coach!

And how fitting that the current minister-president of Lower Saxony is a British-German called David McAllister, while the British prime minister is a descendant of the last Hanoverian union monarch! (And I wouldn't be surprised if king George stayed one of the nights underway in the Netherlands in a castle once owned by Samantha Cameron's Tuyll van Serooskerken or Limburg-Stirum ancestors!)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 07:17:50 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)