One of the most popular characters in Bridgerton‘s first season was one of the rare actually inspired by a real person, Queen Charlotte. Because of her Moorish heritage, she is considered by many historians to be the first biracial queen of England, although there are still disputes over the fact.
Queen Charlotte is not in Julia Quinn‘s books, it was added by showrunner Shonda Rhimes‘ team, but was effectively sovereign in the period in which the story takes place, between the years 1761 and 1818. Her character has aroused so much interest that there is a project in development as a spinoff. On screen, actress Golda Rosheuvel won praise for her accurate portrayal of the monarch.
Charlotte was born in 1744 as Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, daughter of a German duke, and married the future King of England, George III, when she was just 17 years old. It was only in the late 1960s that her ethnicity began to be investigated. All because she would have descended from an arm of the Portuguese Royal family linked to the Moors, through her relative, Margarita de Castro y Sousa, in turn, heiress of a mistress of King Alfonso III, Ouruana, who would be a black Moor. According to historians, there are documents from the Queen’s doctors where she is called a “mulata” and described as having “a very thick nose and lips”, in addition to having been portrayed with a non-Caucasian skin in the paintings of her time, but still “lightened by ”, as was typical of the artistic period. Very racists comments, but that sustain the argument for her being possibly, biracial.
What historians dispute is the translation of what the “blackmoors” would be. For one current, blackmoors was not literally a description of blacks, but of Muslims in general, given that there are white Muslims in North Africa as well.
Be that as it may, Charlotte spent her life in England, where she had no fewer than 15 children with George III, 13 of whom survived to adulthood. The marriage, a rarity for the time, was happy at first, but ended up absorbing the consequences of the mental illness that the King suffered. The truth was withheld from his wife for many years and it was not until the crises became more frequent, and he became known as the “Mad King”, that Charlotte understood the depth of the problem. George abdicated in 1811 and the queen looked after him until her death in 1818. George III died in 1820.
Queen Charlotte is buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. As shown in Bridgerton‘s first Season, she was a patron of the Arts, playing the harp and discovering the talent of a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at just 8 years old. It was during her reign too that the Royal Family took up residence at Buckingham Palace, and it was also Charlotte who had Frogmore Cottage built, near Windsor Palace. That’s right, more than 200 years later, the place was the official residence of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in England.
Charlotte’s reign lasted 57 years. In Bridgerton she is determined to find out and unmask who the Lady Whistledown is, which we already know who she is. How will this story end? It will only be 6 episodes!