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Princess Sophia's Naturalization Act, 1705

Sophia, Electress of  Hanover (1630-1714) was the grand-daughter of James I.  Following the death of Queen Anne's only surviving child in 1700, and the subsequent passage of the Act of Settlement in 1701, Sophia became Anne's heir. As she was not English-born, it was necessary for her to be ‘naturalised' to allow for her succession to the throne.  In 1705 an Act for this purpose was passed.

In the event Sophia died only a few weeks before Anne in 1714 and  it was her son, Georg Ludwig, who inherited the throne, becoming King George I. In 1948, the British Nationality Act repealed much of Sophia's Naturalisation Act of 1705.  However, in 1957, following legal proceedings, Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover was able to claim British nationality through the original Naturalisation Act as the ‘issue of Princess Sophia's body'. 


An Act for the Naturalization of the Most Excellent Princess Sophia, Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, and the Issue of her Body.



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1705/4&5An4