"The transition from a petty ship captain taking her orders from better-experienced superiors to becoming the supreme commander of all North German Forces was not a smooth one. Sometimes I wonder if Papa abdicated just to get me back home."
- S.K.K.M. Sophie, in a private conversation with Eberhard Waldenstein, her former comrade-in-arms
Sophie (Sophie Maria Adelheid von Hohenzollern; born 16 August 1992) is the North German Empress and Federal President, Queen of Prussia, Duchess of Limburg, and the Stadtholder of Berlin. She is the supreme authority of the Church of North Germany and the Commander-in-Chief of the North German Federal Defense Force. Sophie became heir apparent to her father only a year after she was born when the Reichstag recognized the Prussian Landtag's bill to switch to absolute primogeniture.
Breaking a five-sovereign long tradition, she joined the Navy upon reaching majority, preferring to serve her country as a seawoman. She was trained as a Sea Infantry in the Permanent Jumpboard Station in Reichshafen, deployed in both North German naval missions in the Argentine-Chilean war. She again participated in the third Battle of the Taman Bay in 2013, playing a crucial part in cutting the Russian forces inside Crimea off from mainland support. After three years of service as a marine, Sophie was forced to return home to succeed her father upon his early abdication on 16 July 2014.
On her accession, she became the second female North German Empress and Prussian Queen and one of the first female monarchs in North Germany proper. She has not married yet, and has no children of her own, thus her successor remains her younger brother Karl Friedrich (born 1996).
Sophie was born at 06:40 (CET) on 16 August 1992 during the reign of her father Friedrich II to Emperor Friedrich II and Empress Johanna. She was delivered at New Palace, the favorite palace of her father's namesake and the preferred residence of the North German Sovereigns ever since the same. She was baptized in the private chapel of New Palace on 7 September and named Sophie after her mother (Sophie Johanna Maria), Maria after her grandmother (and the first Prussian Queen), and Adelheid, which was her mother's favorite name. She was cherished by her grandfather Ludwig, and during his serious illness in 1992-94, her regular visits were considered to raise his spirits and give him calm during the latter stages of his terminal illness.
Sophie's only sibling (and current successor) Karl Friedrich was born in 1996. Her education included early tutoring, four years in a private primary school in Potsdam, and eight years in Wilhelmsgymnasium, Königsberg in which she was educated in law, history, literature, music, and two foreign languages. She was also taught her own family history and her duties as the future sovereign.
In the interest of egalitarianism and in order to continue the tradition of the Prussian Soldier-Kings, Sophie served in the North German Defense Force. She was conscripted on 18, and requested to enlist in the North German Navy instead of the army, the traditional branch for the royalty to serve in. This was originally seen as a scandal. While North Germany maintains one of the most powerful navies in the world, the Army was the branch that was the most involved in the military theaters of the world at the time, while the world enjoyed a short -indeed unique- peace in the International Waters.
This was accepted by Sophie's father Friedrich who preferred his daughter and heir not to view real combat, fearing for her safety out of paternalistic misogyny. Sophie enlisted in the navy in 27 August 2010, but despite her father's wishes, enlisted as a Sea Infantry, the second most elite force in North German military. She underwent Sea Infantry Training for 28 weeks, she was promoted to Leutnant zur See (Lieutenant at Sea) and deployed as part of IV. Seebataillon to North German West Indies in Reichshafen.
When the Reichstag voted in favor of intervention in the war between Argentina and Chile in 2011, 4th Sea Battalion was deployed to the theater as part of the expeditionary force. Sophie fought under Flottillenadmiral Ludwig von Trotha for the duration of the war. The battalion relieved the Siege of Santiago (April-October 2011) on 18-19 October through engaging with the Argentine fleet, blocking the invaders from their naval and air support. During this battle, the XII. Seekompanie was part of the force that boarded and seized the Argentine flagship ARA La Argentina, a Almirante Brown-class Destroyer.
Sophie was later part of North Germany's only marine mission in the war as she was part of the force that would blockade Buenos Aires and lay siege to it on February 2012. Sophie was awarded the Iron Cross and the War Commemorative Medal for her performance in the war effort and promoted to Corvette Captain and given command of S.M.S. Reichswut, a Reichshafen-class Corvette in I. Seebataillon.
In 2013, the Russian Tsardom violated the Ukrainian-Russian borders after a short and unresolved diplomatic standoff between the two nations. The Russian Tsar had in a number of earlier speeches (2008-2013) called for the return of Crimea to Russia through diplomatic means. A non-binding plebiscite was eventually held in Crimea in 11 January 2013, with the majority (66.43%) of a low turnout (42%) voting against Crimean independence from Ukraine. This was protested by the Russian Tsardom which had encouraged the plebiscite, with the Russian Prime Minister accusing Ukraine of "electoral fraud" on 13 February 2013. This resulted in a diplomatic standoff between the two nations. Russia and Ukraine revoked their respective embassies in the other country and all diplomatic missions in the two nations were stopped.
The Crimean Crisis culminated in the Russian Aggression for Crimea starting on 20 February. A total of 20,000 Russian forces made land in Crimea through Taman Bay without a prior declaration of war, occupying the region with the help of local collaborators in the next month. The Ukrainian government announced that they considered this an act of war and called for the Hague Treaty Organization -which it was part of- to intervene on its behalf. The Reichstag and Bundesrat ratified the HTO declaration for intervention against the Russian State on March 28 2013, only two days after the Ukrainian State's request was answered by the Hague.
Sophie, now in charge of S.M.S. Reichswut in I. Seebataillon, was part of the expeditionary force that was deployed to Ukraine. The larger part of North Germany's expedition manifested in the Livonian-Russian border, aiding a larger Livonian force in helping Sweden lay siege to St. Petersburg. Sophie was participant in the batallion's only mission in the short intervention on 29 April 2013, cutting off the 45,000-man-strong Russian troops from mainland support. The Sea Battalion engaged Russian Black Sea naval forces in the Black Sea, eventually defeating the larger but outdated hostile fleet, blocking Taman Bay, and deploying the batallion in a marine mission to occupy Kerch Strait Bridge. This battle, immediately followed by a Bulgarian incursion into Crimea, forced the larger Russian host in Crimea to surrender. Russia later accepted an armistice and returned to status quo ante in May 2013 after the fall of St. Petersburg, not willing to take the war to its next level by beginning an all-out war at this point.
Sophie and her compatriots were returned to their base in Kiel after the victory in Crimea. Her return roughly coincided with the end of her compulsory active duty. She was put to reserve on September 2013. During this time, and particularly due to the rising threat of a possible war with Malaya over Singapore, she preferred to stay in Kiel in order to return to active duty in a moment's notice. During this time, she was rumored to have been amorously linked to Lt. Captain Eberhard Waldenstein, one of her comrades in I. Seebataillon. While Waldenstein remains one of her confidantes and a close friend, neither has confirmed nor denied the rumors.
On 10 July 2014, Friedrich II announced his intention of abdicating on his Coral Jubilee on 9 July 2014, ironically enough. After a short period of conversation between the Reichstag, Bundesrat, and the royal family, Friedrich proclaimed his abdication at the steps of his residence of Stadtschloss on 13 July 2014. Sophie would be crowned Duchess of Limburg in Limbourg on 13 July and then the Queen of Prussia seven hours later in Königsberg on 14 July. Her claim as the Queen and Duchess would not be recognized until she returned to the Federal-Imperial capital in Berlin on 15 July. Sophie was recognized as the North German Empress by the Reichstag, Bundesrat, and the 10 reigning monarchs of North Germany on 16 July 2014.
At her accession at 22, she was Europe's youngest monarch. On the inauguration of Queen Catharina of the Netherlands in 19 August 2015 at the age of 19, she became and remains Europe's second-youngest monarch. She is the second female North German Empress and Prussian Queen.
Sophie was not a popular monarch in the immediate months after her accession. Her attitude, in particular her crude, unflinchingly blunt personality and her carefree yet disciplinarian outlook (both a result of her service in the Sea Infantry) as well as her history of libertine, nontraditional lifestyle in 2014-14 painted the picture of an irresponsible and immature girl with a crown to big for her head both in the eyes of her fellow Heads of State and the Reichstag, Bundesrat, and her fellow North German monarchs. This coincided with the short malaise she felt due to the abrupt change in her lifestyle and the sudden incursion of new duties upon the woman who had not even served her seven years of service completely. Sophie's first year as the North German Empress reportedly caused the largest and most dramatic surge of popularity for republican sentiments ever since the earlier period of the Progressive Era immediately after the Great War.
Sophie changed her outlook and attitude by the time the first anniversary of her coronation had come around. An intervention by the North German Imperial Family about her attitude, mixed with a subtle threat by a Bundesrat delegate to call for her abdication forced the Empress to begin integrating her duties into her life. It began with her making consistent appearances in Bundesrat meetings, making her opinion on decisions and debates known, but also with the beginning of her personal crusade in upgrading the North German navy. Despite being one of the most powerful, the considerably-large blue-water navy was beginning to fall behind, contested by the sudden expansion in American and Japanese navies that threatened to surpass it. Sophie supported and called for expansion of North German shipyards, subsidization of the related industries, and an expansion of the North German fleets -merchant, civilian, and military, even funding it from her personal wealth. This caused her to be known in Prussia as the Sailor Queen (Seemannskönigin) as Prussia was affected the most among North German states of this affair. Sophie would be continued to known as the Sailor-Queen both in the international scene and among North Germans for much of her later life.
The North German Empress became increasingly more active in politics after 2016. By the time the second anniversary of her coronation day had arrived, she had made a habit of having biweekly meetings with the Chancellor and his cabinet, speaking regularly with the ministers and the general staff. She plays an active part in the Bundesrat, participating in debates regarding any proposed bill (by Bundesrat or Reichstag) though she only votes in case of ties and assents bills passed by the two chambers -even if reluctantly.
The North German Empress does not look as imposing as she may in reality be. A young, slender woman in her late twenties, Sophie is crude, blunt, and frank while interacting with others. She can often be seen in a man's formal wear -black tailcoat and waistcoat, white shirt, black trousers, black hat- or in her ceremonial Sea Infantry uniform, only wearing appropriate regalia while on the most formal of ceremonies. Sophie is a competent marksman, proficient with a number of small arms and service rifles, and experienced with various forms of hand-to-hand combat, she is proud of her military service, seldom appearing in public without her military awards.
She inches closer to the Bund end of the Rechtsspektrum, viewing herself as the highest representative of the North German people. Due to this, she believes that her primary role is to "allow the will of the people to take place, and only to step in when necessary". In line with this view, Sophie on principle does not refuse to assent to a bill passed by both the Reichstag and Bundesrat with a noticeable majority, not matter what her own opinion on that matter be. Of course she is outspoken on issues she has an opinion on and participates in debates in Bundesrat, not to mention with the Chancellery and its ministers.
The Empress' hobbies include fencing -which she became interested in due to her brother-, hunting, and recreational marksmanship. Her social life is noticeably more subdued than it had been during her military experience, but she has an amiable relationship with most her peer monarchial heads of state and her subordinate monarchs in North Germany. Sophie enjoys travelling, having visited -on state visit and otherwise- every member-nation of the German Confederation as well as many others.
Sophie is a member and the supreme governess of the Church of North Germany (KvN), adhering to what was before the union during Ludwig's era the Prussian Union of Churches like every Hohenzollern in Northern Germany after Frederick William III. Unlike every Prussian monarch ever since the same, she personally adheres to a Calvinist tradition, breaking a long line of Lutheran Monarchs.
Sophie is the current head of the Imperial North German and Royal Prussian House of Hohenzollern. She was born to Maria of Istenburg (Empress Consort) and Frederick II of Hohenzollern and has family ties with nearly every royal in Europe, in particular the sovereigns of Ruthenia, Romania, and Livonia are of her own dynasty, with Romania being under an alternate Catholic Cadet Branch. She is currently spouseless and childless. This means that Karl Friedrich, Prince of Prussia and her brother is her current heir presumptive.
Ancestry of Sophie, North German Empress
16 August 1992 – 18 June 1993: Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Prussia
Ihre Königliche Hoheit, Prinzessin von Preußen
18 June 1993 – 16 July 2014: Her Imperial and Royal Highness, the North German Crown Princess, Crown Princess of Prussia
Ihre Kaiserliche und Königliche Hoheit, Norddeutsche Kronprinzessin, Kronprinzessin von Preußen
16 July 2014 – Present: Her Imperial and Royal Majesty, the North German Empress, Queen of Prussia
Ihre Kaiserliche und Königliche Majestät, Norddeutsche Kaiserin, Königin von Preußen
Iron Cross 1st Class
War Commemorative Medal of 2011/12
Commemorative Medal of Krim
North German decorations
"I do not want a war, especially this early in my reign, but God help the idiot that threatens the territorial integrity of the North German Nation."
- HI&RM Sophie, part of a speech in response to a Malayan claim on Singapore circa July 2015
"I am only the first servant of the Prussian People, I do not wish my praises to be how the state I represent is recognized in the international order. Stop hailing my crown like an Albion and know our colors again."
- HI&RM Sophie, about the anthem of Prussia. Prussia would resume using Preußsenlied as its official anthem in 18 August 2015