Hereditary Princess Sophie
Hereditary Princess Sophie von und zu Liechtenstein, née Duchess in Bavaria and Princess of Bavaria (born in Munich, Germany, on 28 October 1967) is the wife of Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein, Regent of the Principality since 2004.
Family Background, Childhood, and Education
Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie Elizabeth Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria, Duchess in Bavaria, was born on 28 October 1967 in Munich, Bavaria; she is the eldest daughter of Prince Max-Emanuel, Duke in Bavaria, and his wife Princess Elizabeth, Duchess in Bavaria, née Countess Douglas. Prince Max-Emanuel is the youngest son of the late Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, head of the royal family from 1955 to his death in 1996 and himself the son of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and his first wife Duchess Maria, née Countess Draskovich von Traskotjan; Princess Elizabeth is the daughter of Swedish diplomat Count Carl Ludvig Douglas (1909-1961) and his German-born wife Countess Ottora Maria, née Haas-Heye (1910-2001). After Sophie’s birth, Prince Max-Emanuel and Princess Elizabeth became parents of four more daughters: Marie Caroline (b.1969, married to Duke Philipp of Wurttemberg), Helena (b.1972), Elisabeth (b.1973, married to Mr. Daniel Terberger) and Maria Anna (b.1975, married to Mr. Klaus Runow).
Princess Sophie was brought up in Wildbad Kreuth, Bavaria, with her parents and her sisters, where she attended primary school until 1978 and then Girls’ Home Primary School of the English Lady in Heiligenstatt.From 1980 to 1984 she attended Girls’ Secondary Boarding School Hohenburg, in Lenggries, and then Adolf Weber Gymnasium in Munich, where she graduated in 1988.
After graduation, she spent several months in London, where she attended tutorial classes at the Inchbald School of Interior Design; her main interests there were the various styles of interior furnishings. When she returned to Bavaria, Princess Sophie studied history and English language and literature at the Catholic University in Eichstätt.
Life as Hereditary Princess
On 3 July 1993 in St. Florin Church in Vaduz, Princess Sophie married Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein, the eldest son and heir of Prince Hans Adam II and his wife Princess Marie. After their marriage, Sophie moved firstly to London with Alois, where he worked from September 1993 to May 1996, then to Vaduz Castle, the seat of the princely family.
Sophie and Alois are parents of four children: Joseph Wenzel (born on 24 May 1995), Marie-Caroline (born on 17 October 1996), Georg (born on 20 April 1999), and Nikolaus (born on 6 December 2000).
Although the proper style for members of Liechtenstein royal family and their wives is Serene Highness, Sophie is still recognized as Royal Highness, because this style is higher then her husband’s. Sophie is also the heir presumptive of the Jacobite claim to the British throne after the current claimant, her uncle Duke Franz of Bavaria, who is unmarried and has no children, and her father Prince Max-Emanuel, Duke in Bavaria. These claims will be inherited by her first son, Joseph Wenzel.
Hereditary Princess Sophie spends her time partly taking care of her family and partly attending to her royal duties. In 2006, she established the “Sophie von Liechtenstein Stiftung für Frau und Kind” (“Sophie of Liechtenstein Foundation for Woman and Child”), a foundation aimed at giving psychological support to women unintentionally pregnant and their children; the foundation also supports consulting centres in Liechtenstein and Austria.
Patrick Van Katwijk/DPA/Fotoglif, with permission.