Charlotte Sophie of Aldenburg
Charlotte Sophie of Aldenburg (1715–1800), was a Countess regnant of Aldenburg; she was the ruler of Varel and Kniphausen in 1738–1748. She was the daughter of count Anton II of Aldenburg and Wilhelmine Marie of Hesse-Homburg.
She married the Dutch noble Willem Bentinck van Rhoon in 1733, and had two sons: Christian Friedrich Anton (1734-1768) and (the British naval officer and mechanical inventor) John Bentinck, born in 1737. However, she lived in 1737–1748 in a relationship with count Albrecht Wolfgang of Schaumburg-Lippe, something which caused a great scandal in contemporary Germany, and meant that she never knew her sons. In 1748, she was deposed and her throne taken by her spouse as guardian of their sons, and she lived the rest of her life separated from her legitimate family. She made many visits to the courts of Europe seeking support to retake her throne, but was treated like an outcast. In 1767, she took up residence in Hamburg, where she lived in simplicity with her natural son.
She is portrayed in the film Charlotte Sophie Bentinck.
- Elizabeth LeBlond: Charlotte Sophie Countess Bentinck. Her life and times, 1715-1800. 'By her descendant Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond. 2 Volumes. London: Hutchinson 1912
- Biography of Charlotte Sophie, Countess Bentinck (1715-1800), The University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections, online