Happy 83rd birthday to HM Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess of Greece and Denmark

Happy 83rd birthday to HM Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess of Greece and Denmark 1

Queen Sophia Of Spain was born as Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark on 2 November 1938, at Tatoi Palace in Acharnes, Athens, Greece, the eldest child of King Paul and his wife, Queen Frederica. Sofia is a member of the Greek branch of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty. Her brother is the deposed King Constantine II and her sister is Princess Irene.

Princess Sophia spent some of her childhood in Egypt where she took her early education in El Nasr Girls’ College (EGC) in Alexandria. She lived in South Africa during her family’s exile from Greece during World War II, where her sister Irene was born. They returned to Greece in 1946. She finished her education at the prestigious Schloss Salem boarding school in Southern Germany, and then studied childcare, music and archeology in Athens. She also studied at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.
She was a reserve member, alongside her brother Constantine, of Greece’s gold medal-winning sailing team in the 1960 Summer Olympics.
Sofía met her paternal third cousin the then Infante Juan Carlos of Spain on a cruise in the Greek Islands in 1954; they met again at the wedding of the Duke of Kent, her paternal second cousin, at York Minster in June 1961. Sofia and Juan Carlos married on 14 May 1962, at the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Dionysius in Athens.
Sofia converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism to become more palatable to Catholic Spain, and thus relinquished her rights to the Greek throne. Along with this, the usual Latinisation of her Greek name was changed from Sophia to the Spanish variant, Sofía.
The couple has three children: Elena (born 20 December 1963); Cristina (born 13 June 1965); and Felipe (born 30 January 1968).
And eight grandchildren Their four grandsons and four granddaughters are Felipe and Victoria de Marichalar y de Borbón, Juan, Pablo, Miguel and Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón, and Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Sofía, all of whom are in the line of succession to the Spanish throne.

Following the abdication of her husband as King in 2014, Sofía focused on her sponsoring activities, spending her time between La Zarzuela in Madrid and, in the Summer months, the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca she also visit often Greece with her sister Princess Irini who lives with Her since the exile of Greek Royal Family in 1967 to meet their brother HM King Constantine who with Queen Anna Maria lives since 2013 in Porto Heli in Peloponnesus