Sophie Friederike Dorothee Wilhelmine, Princess of Bavaria (27 January 1805 – 28 May 1872) was born to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his second wife Karoline of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony as wife of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony.
On 4 November 1824, she married Franz Karl, Archduke of Austria. They had six children.
Her ambition to place her oldest son on the Austrian throne was a constant theme in Austrian politics. At the time she was called "the only man at court". During the Revolution of 1848, she persuaded her somewhat feeble-minded husband to give up his rights to the throne in favour of Franz Joseph, her son. After Franz Joseph's accession, Sophie became the power behind the throne. Within modern pop culture, Sophie is best remembered for her extremely bad relationship with Franz Joseph's famed wife Sisi, who was also her niece.
Sophie kept a detailed diary most of her life which reveals much about Austrian court life. She was deeply affected in 1867 by the execution in Mexico of her second son Maximilian. She never recovered from that shock, and withdrew from public life. She died of a brain tumor in 1872.
She was also noted for her close relationship with Napoleon II, who lived at the Austrian Court as the Duke of Reichstadt. There were rumors of a sexual affair between them. There was even suspicion that Maximilian, born two weeks before Reichstadt's death in 1832, was actually his child. These claims were never verified, but it is certain that they were very good friends and that his death affected her very much. She is said to have turned into the cold, ambitious woman described in fiction after he died.