Princess Sophie of Romania
|Is||Art collector Photographer Princess Noble|
|From||Romania Holy Roman Empire|
|Birth||29 October 1957, Tatoi Palace, Greece; Athens, Greece|
Princess Sophie of Romania (Romanian: Sofia; born 29 October 1957) is the fourth daughter of King Michael I and Queen Anne of Romania.
Princess Sophie was born at Tatoi Palace in Decelea, Kingdom of Greece. She was baptised in the Romanian Orthodox Church; her godmother and namesake was her father's first cousin Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, later Queen of Spain. She was educated in Switzerland where her family lived and in the United Kingdom.
Sophie studied at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, US, where she studied Fine Arts and Photography for a couple of years. Later she studied Graphic Design and Photography at Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.
Princess Sophie has exhibited her photography for a number of years, and has held exhibitions in France and in Romania. She took part in the Royal Bridges Art Exhibition in Dubai in 2016.
Sophie's involvement in Romania changed significantly after the 1989 Romanian Revolution. She accompanied her older sister Margareta as the first members of the Royal Family to set foot on Romanian soil following the revolution in January 1990. The visit received widespread press coverage and was the beginning of the return of King Michael's family to public life in Romania. During the initial visit, Sophie was horrified at some of the appalling living conditions she encountered and became an active Vice-President of the newly formed Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, involved in both fund raising and the distribution of aid. Sophie and Margareta both moved to their parents's house in Switzerland to help co-ordinate the huge increase in activity in King Michael's office in the months that followed the Revolution. In 1995 Sophie published a collection of children's stories to benefit the Foundation.
After some years of being less frequently in Romania, Sophie has been present in Romania more often in recent years attending the 25th Anniversary of the return of the Royal Family in 2015, the 150th Anniversary of the Royal House in 2016 and the annual reception for the Diplomatic Corps given by Crown Princess Margareta on 29 November 2017. The same day Princess Sophie was invested with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown in a ceremony conducted by Crown Princess Margareta at the Elisabeta Palace.
She was present at the Lying in State of King Michael I in December 2017 and Queen Anne in August 2016 (held firstly at Peles Castle, and then in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in both cases), at their public funerals in Bucharest and at their burials in Curtea de Argeș.
Princess Sophie has a daughter from her former marriage to Alain Michel Léonce Biarneix dit "de Laufenborg" (b. Nancy, France on 10 July 1957). They married on 29 August 1998 in a civil ceremony in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Later they divorced in 2002.
- Elisabeta-Maria de Roumanie Biarneix (b. Argenteuil, France on 15 August 1999).
Titles, styles, honours and awards
Titles and styles
- 29 October 1957 – 29 August 1998: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
- 29 August 1998 – 2002: Her Highness Princess Sophie, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
- 2002 – 10 May 2011: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
- 10 May 2011 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Sophie of Romania
- House of Romania: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Crown
- House of Romania: Chancellor Knight of the Royal Decoration of the Custodian of the Romanian Crown, 1st Class
- United Nations
In 1995 Princess Sophie’s first book, a collection of stories for children written in Romanian was published in Romania. All Royalties till date are donated to her eldest sister, Margareta of Romania’s charity FPMR of which Sophie is the Vice-President.
- Romanian: A.S.R Principesa Sofia a Romaniei: Copilul Soarelui. Bucharest: Dali Publishing House, 1995.
(translated: Children of the Sun by H.R.H Princess Sophie of Romania)
Princess Sophie has had published the below photographic books of her Fine Art landscape and nature photography focused on "the beauty and light of Brittany in France".
- Sophie de Roumanie: When Nature Calls - 05 November 2010
- Sophie de Roumanie:
- French: Au fil des fleurs, Un recueil d'images et de réflexions
- Along the flowers' way, A book of images and reflexions - 10 November 2010
- Sophie de Roumanie:
- French: Petit Clin d'oeil breton
- A Small Wink From Brittany - 03 October 2011
- Sophie de Roumanie: The Book of Gifts - 24 August 2013
- Sophie de Roumanie: Portfolio - 24 October 2013
In January 2017 the Romamanian Publishing House, Curtea Veche announced that its first publication of the year would dedicate the work of Princess Sophie in a 37 page limited edition and individually signed hardback Photographic book.
- Ultramarine. Curtea Veche: Curtea Veche Publishing House, 2017.