Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Portrait of Sophia Dorothea by Jacques Vaillant, 1682
Her tomb

Dorothea Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (28 September 1636 – 6 August 1689) was a German noblewoman. The highest title she acquired through marriage was Electress of Brandenburg as the wife of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, the "Great Elector".



Sophia Dorothea was born in Glücksburg. She could claim royal blood by reason of her descent from her great-grandfather King Christian III of Denmark, but her parents were of much lower rank: Philip, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, and Sophia Hedwig of Saxe-Lauenburg. She was the sister of Auguste of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

In 1653, Sophia Dorothea married Christian Louis, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, brother-in-law of King Frederick III of Denmark. The marriage was childless. In 1665 her first spouse died, and she moved into Herzberg Castle. On 14 June 1668, she married again, this time to Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. In 1670, she purchased Brandenburg-Schwedt and other fiefs for her sons. In 1676, she became the commander of her own regiment, and in 1678 and 1692 equipped two fleets for the Brandenburg state.

She died in Karlsbad and is buried in Berlin Cathedral. The Dorotheenstadt neighbourhood of Berlin was a present to her from her husband and is named after her.


From her second marriage, Sophia Dorothea had the following children:

  1. Philip William (1669–1711),
  2. Marie Amalie (1670–1739) married Charles, Hereditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, son of Gustav Adolph, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
  3. Albert Frederick (1672–1731),
  4. Charles (1673–1695),
  5. Elisabeth Sofie (1674–1748), who married Christian Ernst of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (6 August 1644 - 20 May 1712) on 30 March 1703.
  6. Dorothea (1675–1676),
  7. Christian Ludwig (1677–1734), recipient of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.


  • This page is a translation of its German equivalent.



Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 28 September 1636 Died: 6 August 1689
German nobility
Title last held by
Luise Henriette of Nassau
Duchess consort of Prussia
14 June 1668 – 29 April 1688
Succeeded by
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
Electress consorts of Brandenburg
14 June 1668 – 29 April 1688
Title last held by
Dorothea of Denmark
Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess of Lüneburg
9 October 1653 – 15 March 1665
Title next held by
Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate and Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Title last held by
Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt
Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess of Calenberg and Göttingen
9 October 1653 – 15 March 1665

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