The daughter of Duke Ernst August of Braunschweig - Lüneburg, Elector of Hannover since 1692, and the famous Sophie of Pfalz, Sophie Charlotte was born at Iburg Palace in the Teutoburger Wald region on October 30.th., 1668. Her mother was of the House of Stuart and in 1701 was declared by the English Parliament to be heir to the throne. Her son, the brother of Sophie Charlotte, was crowned in 1714 as King George I of Great Britain.
Sophie Charlotte was bound by a deep and close relationship to her mother. Through her she was introduced to the world of music and to the learned circles of the period. She was also indebted to her mother for her exceptionally high standard of education. Sophie Charlotte had a mastery of Latin, Italian, English and, above all, French - the language in which she conducted her extensive correspondence. She also gained decisive inspiration from her extended travels that took her to Italy in 1680 and to France in 1683. Together with her mother she lived for a year at the Court of King Louis XIV.
Her marriage to the Kurprinz (Elector - Prince) Friedrich in 1684 appears to have been more a marriage of convenience than through mutual attraction, but Sophie Charlotte was intelligent enough to ensure for herself wide - ranging independence. The demanding musical liefe in Lietzenburg displayed the specialist expertise of the lady of the house. As a child she was already a first class player of the harpsichord. Later she was given lessons in reading and writing music, and was said to have composed herself from time to time. Unfortunately none of her works have survived. She directed the harpsichord from Italian opera performances, and loved the intimate charm of chamber music recitals. Great names of Italian music such as Francesco Antonio Pistocchi, Giuseppe Torelli, Giovanni Battista Buononcini and Agostino Steffani were guests at the Palace, and numerous compositions originated there.
Lietzenburg also had a significance in scientific life that should not be underestimated. Sophie Charlotte, receptive to the free thinking intellectuals of her time, was a valued conversational partner in political, religious and philosophical questions. As an example, Leibniz, the official historian at the Court of Hannover and one of the last of the universal scholars, received decisive stimulus for his philosophical writtings at Lietzenburg. His two most popular works, the »Essais de Théodicée« and the »Nouveaux Essais sur l’entendement humain«, sprang from a basis of these conversations.