Most of the country has been obsessed with The Bridgerton’s – a wealthy family who lives in London. The family is the centerpiece of director Shonda Rhimes’ first scripted television series for Netflix. The first two seasons of Bridgerton introduce the families who are in an era where the young marry the noble and launch into society.
These episodes also introduce the viewer to the Queen. And not just any Queen — she’s Queen Charlotte. She comes across as a snooty, sarcastic, not-easy-to-impress royal. And as I watched, I was happy to see that Rhimes depicted Queen Charlotte as I knew her to be — an African-American woman. And Netflix’s latest Bridgerton series will feature her. “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” will stream May 4.
But, here’s the skinny on Queen Charlotte, based on findings from a PBS article. Queen Charlotte was born in 1744 and later married English King George III. She was a direct descendant of Margarita de Castro y Sousa, which is a Black branch of the Portuguese royal house. So Queen Charlotte was born into royalty, although there are some conflicting reports as to her origin. Wikipedia says she was born in Germany into the royal family of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Nonetheless, Queen Charlotte wasn’t always Queen Charlotte. She was born Sophia Charlotte. And was the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg. According to Wikipedia, Charlotte got a pretty basic education. She had tutors for subjects like natural history and language. Her primary focus was household management and religion. She gained experience in princely duties only after her brother succeeded his throne.
She was a minor when she married George III who inherited the British throne. It’s said since Charlotte was a young princess with no interest in politics, George considered her the perfect catch so they married. Their marriage would last 57 years. They had 15 children — 13 who lived into adulthood.
While married to King George III, Charlotte became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As George’s wife, she also became Queen of Hanover in 1814. She would go on to be Britain’s longest-serving queen consort.
You can find statutes or symbols of Queen Charlotte at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and International Trade Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.