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Countess Palatine Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg

Countess Palatine Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg

Duchess of Parma
The basics
Quick Facts
A.K.A. Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
Gender female
Birth July 5, 1670 (Neuburg an der Donau)
Death September 15, 1748 (Parma)
Mother: Landgravine Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
Father: Philip WilliamElector Palatine
Siblings: Ludwig Anton von Pfalz-NeuburgPhilip William AugustCount Palatine of NeuburgAlexander Sigismund von der Pfalz-NeuburgWolfgang George Frederick von Pfalz-NeuburgFrederick Wilhelm von Pfalz-NeuburgCount Palatine Francis Louis of NeuburgCharles III PhilipElector PalatineJohann WilhelmElector PalatineEleonor Magdalene of NeuburgMaria Anna of NeuburgMaria Sofia of NeuburgCountess Palatine Hedwig Elisabeth of NeuburgLeopoldine Eleonore von der Pfalz
Spouse: Odoardo FarneseHereditary Prince of Parma
Children: Elisabeth Farnesi
The details

Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg (Dorothea Sophie; 5 July 1670 – 15 September 1748) was princess of Neuburg by birth and later Duchess of Parma from 1695 to 1727. She was the sixth daughter of the Elector of the Palatinate, Philip William of Neuburg, and Landgravine Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. Three of her sisters were Queen of Spain, Queen of Portugal and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. She was regent of the duchy of Parma from 1731 to 1735.


Born at the Neuburg Palace, Dorothea was the fourteenth of seventeen children and her parent's sixth daughter. Her older sisters included a Holy Roman Empress (wife of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor), a Queen of Portugal (wife of Peter II of Portugal), a Queen of Spain (wife of Charles II of Spain) and a Crown Princess of Poland (daughter in law of John III Sobieski). Her brothers included Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine and Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine, both her father's successors and Francis Louis of Neuburg, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

Dorothea Sophie was blonde, with blue eyes and tall. She was also known for being arrogant, ambitious, authoritarian and without sense of humour.

On 17 September 1690, she married Odoardo Farnese, Hereditary Prince of Parma, heir to the throne of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The festivities for their wedding were the most splendid that had ever taken place in Parma. In their three years of marriage, they had two children, a son who died in infancy and a daughter, Elisabeth, future Queen of Spain.

Her husband died on 6 September 1693, only a month after the death of their son. On 7 December 1696, Dorothea married Odoardo's half-brother, Francesco Farnese, who had become Duke of Parma when his father died in 1694.

This marriage was decided by Francesco himself, because he didn't want to give up Dorothea's dowry should she marry someone else. Nevertheless, this marriage remained childless.

Francesco died in 1727 and, when his only remaining brother Antonio also died childless in 1731, the Duchy of Parma went to Dorothea's eldest grandchild, the 16-year-old son of Elisabeth Farnese, Charles III of Spain. Dorothea ruled as regent until 1735, when the Duchy was ceded to Austria after the War of the Polish Succession. She died in Parma in 1748 and was buried at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata.


  1. Alessandro Ignazio Farnese (6 December 1691 - 5 August 1693) died in infancy.
  2. Elisabeth Farnese (25 October 1692 - 11 July 1766) married Philip V of Spain and had issue.


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