Happy Birthday to Queen Sofia of Spain, who turns 79 today! The eldest child of King Paul of Greece and Princess Frederica of Hanover, she is the sister of King Constantine II and Princess Irene, and spent parts of her childhood in Egypt and South Africa (during WWII) before returning to Greece. Educated in Germany, she studied childcare, music and archeology in Athens, and at Cambridge. In 1962, she married Infante Juan Carlos of Spain. The couple have three children, and spent the first few years of their married life in exile, before returning to Spain, where King Juan Carlos acceded to the throne, after the death of Franco in 1975. The first Queen Consort since the abolishment of the monarchy in 1931, Queen Sofia has undertaken an extensive round of official duties and patronages, with a special interest in programs against drug addiction, carving out a unique role for herself and future consorts, including Queen Letizia. Since her husband’s abdication and the accession of her son, unlike her husband, Queen Sofia has continued her duties and patronages, and remains as active as ever. I wish HM a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!