Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Queen consort of Prussia
Tenure 28 November 1708 – 25 February 1713
Born (1685-05-06)6 May 1685
Grabow Castle, Grabow
Died 29 July 1735(1735-07-29) (aged 50)
Schwerin Castle, Mecklenburg
Spouse Frederick I
Full name
Sofie Luise
House Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Father Frederick I of Mecklenburg-Grabow
Mother Christine Wilhelmine of Hesse-Homburg

Sophia Louisa of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Sofie Luise; 6 May 1685 – 29 July 1735) was a princess of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The third wife of King Frederick I of Prussia, she died childless, having gone mad.


She was the fourth child of Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Grabow, and Christine Wilhelmine of Hesse-Homburg. She was an aunt of Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia, who was herself mother of Ivan VI. She was a princess of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin by viture of her birth.


On 28 November 1708 she became the third and last wife of Frederick I of Prussia; they had no children. The Sophienkirche in Berlin is named after her. Sophia Louise's marriage was arranged by the powerful Prussian Minister-President Johann Kasimir Kolbe von Wartenberg, who pressured King Frederick to marry for the sake of the succession after he had been widowed for a second time. Upon her marriage, she was at first known as the "Mecklenburg Venus", but she soon alienated herself from Prussian court life in Berlin.

She had received no education except in French and music, was described as introverted and serious, and thus was not able to replace her brilliantly cultivated predecessor at court, Queen Sophia Charlotte. Sophia Louise, along with Mademoiselle Gravenitz, made attempts to convince Frederick to convert from Calvinism to the Lutheran faith. Her efforts led to severe arguments with her husband.

Sophia Louise was not equal to the intrigues of the Berlin court. Her principal opponent, Catharina Rickers, was both the wife of the Count of Wartenberg and the king's mistress. Under the influence of August Hermann Francke, Sophia Louise took refuge in Pietism. She fell into mental derangement in the royal palace and frightened King Frederick into believing that she was the legendary "White Lady" who would foretell his death.

Finally, she fell into deep depression, and was eventually unable to perform her ceremonial duties. In January 1713, only a few weeks before his death, Frederick sent her back to her family in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. From then on she lived in Grabow castle, and on her death she was buried in the Schelfkirche St. Nikolai in Schwerin.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Title and styles


Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 6 May 1685 Died: 21 January 1735
German royalty
Title last held by
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
Queen consort in Prussia
28 November 1708 – 25 February 1713
Succeeded by
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
Electress consort of Brandenburg
28 November 1708 – 25 February 1713
Title last held by
Anne Geneviève de Bourbon
Princess consort of Neuchâtel
28 November 1708 – 25 February 1713
Title last held by
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
Princess consort of Orange

28 November 1708 – 25 February 1713
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