Saturday, November 2, 2013

Royal Profile: 75 Facts of Queen Sofia of Spain

In order to celebrate Queen Sofia of Spain's 75th birthday, here are some random facts! Enjoy!
  1. She was born Princess Sophia of Greece & Denmark in Athens, Greece on 2 November 1938 {Source}
  2. She was the eldest daughter of King Paul and Queen Federica of the Hellenes{Source}
  3. She is the elder sister of King Constantine & Princess Irene of Greece {Source}
  4. One of her godparents was Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother {Source}
  5. She spent part of her childhood in Egypt and South Africa because her family was forced into exile during the Second World War{Source}.
  6. She returned to her homeland in 1946{Source}.
  7. She completed her secondary education in the Schloss Salem boarding school in Germany{Source}.
  8. After studying in Germany, she returned to Greece where she specialized in childcare, music and archaeology{Source}. 
  9. She was a reserve member of the Greek sailing team at the Olympic Games held in Rome in 1960{Source}.
  10. Princess Sophia met Infante Juan Carlos of Spain on a cruise in the Greek Islands in 1954
  11. They met again at the wedding of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, at in June, 1961.
  12. On 14 May 1962, she married Infante Juan Carlos de Borbon y Borbon, in Athens. 
  13. Her bridal party consisted of{Source}:
    1. Princess Irene of Greece & Denmark (her sister)
    2. Infanta Pilar of Spain (her sister-in-law)
    3. Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark (her sister-in-law)
    4. Princess Alexandra of Kent (her 2nd cousin via King George I of Greece)
    5. Princess Tatiana Radziwill  (her 2nd cousin via King George I of Greece)
    6. Princess Benedikte of Denmark (her 3rd cousin via Christian IX)
    7. Princess Irene of The Netherlands
  14. Upon her marriage, she altered the spelling of her name from Sophia to Sofia.
  15. She has three children{Source}: 
    1. The Infanta Elena (20 December 1963)
    2. The Infanta Cristina (13 June 1965)
    3. Prince Felipe of Austrias(30 January 1968)
  16. She also has a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law{Source}:
    1. Princess Letizia of Asturias
    2. Don Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert, Duke of Palma de Mallorca
  17. She has eight grandchildren{Source}: 
    1. Don Felipe de Marichalar y de Borbón (1998, son of Infanta Elena)
    2. Don Juan Urdangarín y Bórbon (1999, son of Infanta Christina)
    3. Doña Victoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón (2000, daughter of Infanta Elena)
    4. Don Pablo Nicolás Urdangarín y Bórbon (2000, son of Infanta Cristina)
    5. Don Miguel Urdangarín y Bórbon (2002, son of Infanta Cristina)
    6. Doña Irene de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y Bórbon (2005, daughter of Infanta Cristina)
    7. Infanta Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz of Spain (2005, daughter of the Prince and the Princess of Asturias)
    8. Infanta Sofía de Borbón y Ortiz of Spain (2007, daughter of the Prince and the Princess of Asturias)
  18. She is a godmother to:
    1. Infanta Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz of Spain (2005, her granddaughter)
  19. In addition to her official and institutional engagements, the Queen devotes much of her time to social and welfare activities{Source}. 
  20. She is the Executive President of the Queen Sofia Foundation{Source}. 
  21. She is also the Honorary President of the Foundation for Aid for Drug Users and of the Royal Trust for the Handicapped, as well as of various cultural and musical institutions, including the Queen Sofia Higher School of Music{Source}.
  22. She also participates in a number of international projects for the promotion of rural women and for the development of micro-credits for the disadvantaged{Source}.
  23. The Queen is an Honorary Member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and of the Royal Academy of History{Source}.
  24. She has received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Rosario (Bogota), Valladolid, Cambridge, Oxford, Georgetown, Evora, New York and Seisen (Tokyo){Source}.
  25. She speaks several languages including Greek (native tongue), Italian, French, Spanish, German and English.
  26. She is known to have been outspoken against Gay Marriage,  military intervention in Afghanistan, abortion, publicity for gender violence, for religious education in schools, among other topics{Source}
  27. She is not a fan of bull fighting {Source}
  28. She is a vegetarian  {Source}
  29. During the 1967 Greek military coup, she was on a private visit to Greece to see her brother 
  30. Afterward, she only visited Greece twice between 1967-1998
    1. For the funeral of her mother in 1981
    2. On an official visit from Spain to then President Stephanopoulus
  31. She is related to several reigning monarchs in the Europe:
    1. Queen Elizabeth II is her 3rd cousin via Queen Victoria
    2. King Carl XVI Gustaf  is her 3rd cousin via Queen Victoria
    3. King Harald  is her 3rd cousin via Queen Victoria
  32. She has a handbag with her grandchildren's photos on it {Source}
  33. She holds the following Spanish honors:
    1. Grand Cross of The Royal and Distinguished Order of Charles III (10 May 1962) {Source}
    2. Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa (1,193rd lady on 14 May 1962)
    3. Dame Collar of The Royal and Distinguished Order of Charles III (31 October 1983) {Source}
  34. She also holds honors from the following countries:
    1. Austria {Source}
    2. Argentina {Source}
    3. Belgium {Source}
    4. Brazil {Source}
    5. Chile {Source}
    6. Columbia {Source}
    7. Denmark
    8. Ecuador {Source}
    9. Egypt {Source}
    10. Estonia {Source}
    11. Finland {Source}
    12. France {Source}
    13. Germany {Source}
    14. Greece {Source}
    15. Guatemala {Source}
    16. Holy See
    17. Iceland {Source}
    18. Italy {Source}
    19. Japan {Source}
    20. Jordan (2) {Source} {Source}
    21. Latvia {Source}
    22. Lebanon {Source}
    23. Lithuania {Source}
    24. Luxembourg {Source}
    25. Among numerous others....
  35. She seems to be a doting grandmother {Source, also see points #32 and #33}
  36. She is named for her grandmother.
  37. Her youngest granddaughter is named for her.
  38. It was her idea that her husband be named as heir to the Spanish throne by the Spanish State in 1969 {Source}
  39. She is related to Queen Victoria on both her maternal and paternal sides{Source}.
  40. From the paternal side she was a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria{Source}
  41. From the maternal side she was the great-great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria {Source}
  42. Which means, that Yes, until she converted to Catholicism, she was distantly in line for the throne
  43. Coincidentally, so is her husband. They are 3rd cousin 1x removed through Queen Victoria  on her (King Juan Carlos is Queen Victoria's greatx3 grandson through Princess Beatrice, she is greatx2 granddaughter on her both sides thorough Princess Victoria, The Princess Royal)
  44. She relinquished her of the birthright that she had upon the throne of Greece upon marrying King Juan Carlos {Source}.
  45. At birth, she was 1st in line for the Greek throne until her brother was born. Presently, if she were still in line, she would be no higher than 13th place.
  46. She is recepient of the Order of the Golden Heart {Source}
  47. She is very close with both her siblings.
  48. Princess Irene has lived in a Spanish Royal apartment at the Casa Real de Espana since the death of their mother in 1981.
  49. She has two nieces and three nephews from her brother Constantine. They are:
    1. Princess Alexia of Greece
    2. Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
    3. Prince Nikoloas of Greece
    4. Princess Theodora of Greece
    5. Prince Philippos of Greece
  50. She also has numerous great-nieces and nephews:
    1. Princess Maria-Olymia of Greece (Pavlos, 1996)
    2. Prince Constantine-Alexio(Pavlos, 1998)
    3. Prince Achileas-Andreas(Pavlos, 2000)
    4. Arrietta Morales y de Grecia (Alexia, 2002)
    5. Ana María Morales y de Grecia (Alexia, 2003)
    6. Prince Odysseus-Kimon (Pavlos, 2004)
    7. Carlos Morales y de Grecia (Alexia, 2005)
    8. Amelia Morales y de Grecia (Alexia, 2007)
    9. Prince Aristidis-Stavros( Pavlos, 2008)
  51. By marriage, she also is aunt to the following:
    1. Doña María de Fátima Simoneta Luisa Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (Pilar)
    2. Don Juan Filiberto Nicolás Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (Pilar)
    3. Don Bruno Alejandro Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (Pilar)
    4. Don Luis Beltrán Ataúlfo Alfonso Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (Pilar)
    5. Don Fernando Humberto Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón (Pilar)
    6. Don Alfonso Juan Carlos Zurita y de Borbón (Margarita)
    7. Doña María Sofía Emilia Carmen Zurita y de Borbón (Margarita)
  52. By marriage, she is also great-aunt to the following:
    1. Luis Juan Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo (1991, Simoneta)
    2. Pablo Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo (1995, Simoneta)
    3. María de las Mercedes Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo (2000, Simoneta)
    4. Alejandro Juan Gómez-Acebo y Cano (2004, Bruno)
    5. Guillermo Gómez-Acebo y Cano (2005, Bruno)
    6. Luis Felipe Gómez-Acebo y Ponte (Luis, 2005)
    7. Laura Gómez-Acebo y Ponte (2006, Luis)
    8. Álvaro Gómez-Acebo y Cano (2011, Bruno)
    9. Nicolás Gómez-Acebo y Carney (2013, Juan)
  53. Her full title is: Her Majesty Queen Sofia Margaret Victoria Frederica of Spain {Source}
  54. She is named:
    1. Sofia/Sophia: For her grandmother
    2. Margarita/Margaret: No idea.
    3. Victoria: For her greatx3 grandmother
    4. Fredrica/Fredrika: For her mother
  55. She has visited the Philippines at least 4 times {Source}
  56. Even at the age of 74, she still was making official visits outside of Spain {Source}
  57. She has visited the US, Mozembique & Portugal this year {Source}.
  58. Recently, she recieved the receive the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award{Source}.
  59. The "Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia" and the airport in Tenerife are named after her{Source}.
  60. She is a niece of{Source}:
    1. Princess Elena of Greece
    2. Princess Katherine of Greece
    3. King George I of The Hellenes
    4. King Alexander of The Hellenes
    5. Princess Irene of Greece
  61. Her first cousins consist of:
    1. King Michael of Romania{Source}.
    2. Princess Alexandra of Yugoslaiva
    3. The Duke of Aosta
    4. Richard Paul George Andrew Brandram
  62. She has the following 1st cousins 1x removed:
    1. Crown Princess Margarita of Romania (1949)
    2. Princess Elena of Romania(1950)
    3. Princess Irina  of Romania (1953)
    4. Princess Sofia of Romania (1957)
    5. Princess Maria of Romania (1964)
  63. She has the following 2nd cousins:
    1. HRH Prince Nicholas (1985)
    2. Mr. Michael de Roumanie Kreuger (1985)
    3. Miss Angelica de Roumanie Kreuger (1986)
    4. Miss Karina de Roumanie Medforth-Mills (1989)
    5. Miss Elisabeta-Maria Bianca Elena Biarneix (1999)
  64. Her father died in 1963, when she was 25.
  65. Her mother died when she was 43.
  66. She reportedly has a good relationship with her daughter-in-law.
  67. She reportedly has not had much physical contact with King Juan Carlos since their children were young.
  68. She once sued a US-Based website for a photoshopped photo of her {Source}. 
  69. Two different people have reportedly come forward claiming to be illegitamate children of King Juan Carlos {Source}
  70. Her future Queen of a granddaughter speaks English with her {Source}
  71. Her birthday comes just two days after her future Queen of Spain.
  72. She was booed by a crowd when she arrived to open a new hotel in July {Source}
  73. Although invited, she snubbed Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee luncheon due to the dispute over who has claims over Gibaltar {Source}
  74. In 2009, she came to the aid of an elephant at the Barcelona Zoo {Source}
  75. In 2010, she was photographed with baby pandas at the Madrid Zoo {Source}

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