Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Your Majesty

Erudite and multi-lingual, Queen Sofia of Spain (born on this day in 1938) has been a constant, serene presence at the side of her husband King Juan Carlos during turbulent times...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBorn in Athens the eldest child of King Paul I of the Hellenes and his wife Queen Fredericka, Sofia's childhood witnessed the many travails which have beset that royal house from its inception in 1863 (the main one being, of course, that they are Danish and therefore merely squatters). A great deal of uncertainty shaped Her Majesty's childhood, including two bouts of exile, the first one during World War II and finally, for good, in 1964 (which, naturally, didn't affect her, except as a family matter).

Yet with the fortitude (or sense of entitlement) which is a family trait of the House of Schleswig Holstein Sonderburg Gl├╝cksburg, she ended up not doing too badly for herself. In 1954 she met and enchanted then-Prince Juan Carlos on a Mediterranean cruise, she competed in the 1960 Olympics (representing Greece in sailing), and in 1962 she married her Prince, who assumed the throne in 1975 after the death of Francisco Franco.

Since then she has concerned herself with charity, the rightful occupation of royalty. Through her Foundation she carries out numerous engagements, and is in particular interested in refugee relief, the treatment of drug addiction, fine arts, and micro-finance (working closely with Muhammad Yunus the Nobel laureate in the process).
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4 comments:

Seumas Gagne said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know Spain still had a royal family. Good heavens!

michael sean morris said...

Well now you do... Thanks to the Pop Culture Institute.

TankMontreal said...

She's gotta be born of the same blood as Queen Elizabeth II. Don't you agree there's a stunning resemblance to Her Majesty, the queen's sister Margaret and daughter Anne?

P.S. Sorry I've not played here in the Institute so much these days. I've got election fever and am glued to Huffington.

michael sean morris said...

Queen Sofia and QE II are descended from Queen Victoria - as are most of them - that's why most European royals look alike.

No problem about the past few weeks - it's been tense for all of us. It's all I can do lately to write the thing!