Was Queen Charlotte real? Everything we know about the inspiration behind Bridgerton’s Queen

Was Queen Charlotte real? We've done some digging...

Bridgerton. Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in episode 206 of Bridgerton.
(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022)

Having binge-watched all of Bridgerton season 2, viewers are no doubt searching for answers about all their favorite characters. Whether it’s who Edwina Sharma marries or what Queen Charlotte was sniffing through the show—there's always something new for us to discover. And speaking of her royal highness, fans are also curious as to whether Queen Charlotte was real or just another fictional character for the show. Here’s what we know…

While we know there are several differences between the Bridgerton books vs the Netflix series, including the Bridgerton season two South Asian representation and the fact that Theo Sharpe, and indeed, Queen Charlotte did not exist—that doesn’t mean they weren’t people IRL.

Fans will be interested to know that Queen Charlotte was indeed a real Queen of England, with a larger-than-life personality and embroiled in quite the love story—much like her onscreen counterpart.

Was Queen Charlotte real? 

Bridgerton. (L to R) Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, Hugh Sachs as Brimsley in episode 201 of Bridgerton.

(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022)

The short answer is yes, yes she was! Queen Charlotte or Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was born on May 19th, 1744, according to the official Royal website (opens in new tab), and was the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Elizabeth Albertina of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Charlotte married King George III  in 1761. Once he assumed the throne, King George traveled to Germany on August 14th1761, where they signed the marriage certificates—and upon the couple's return to England—they were married within six hours. Now those are some speedy nuptials! 

Their coronation took place in September of that same year.

How many children did Queen Charlotte have? 

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and her husband King George III had 15 children together, with their first child and son being born a year after their marriage in 1762—who would go on to become King George IV.  They were married for 60 years and have been described as a true love match—something they do portray in Bridgerton.

In the series, we don’t see their children but they are alluded to when Charlotte reminisces with her husband George during a lucid moment for the King. George is portrayed as having physical and mental illnesses which are also historically accurate.

Queen Charlotte ethnicity: Was Queen Charlotte black?

Bridgerton. Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in episode 201 of Bridgerton.

(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022)

Queen Charlotte's ethnicity and race have been the subject of many debates between historians, with many believing her portraits hold evidence of her being mixed-raced. A historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom for PBS Frontline (opens in new tab) has also reported that she was a descendent of Margarita de Castro e Souza, a 15th-century noblewoman with African ancestry. 

While it’s not been officially confirmed,  the theories definitely inspired Shonda Rhimes and Chris Van Dusen's decision to cast Golda Rosheuvel.

Van Dusen told Collider (opens in new tab): “It's something that really resonated with me because it made me wonder what could that have really looked like. And, what would have happened? What could she have done? Could the queen have elevated other people of color in society and granted them titles, and lands and dukedoms?”

Was Queen Charlotte in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books? 

While she was was not actually a character in the books, Bridgerton is set during her reign, so it makes sense that Rhimes chose to include her in the TV adaptation.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, trends, fashion, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life. She also tests and reviews beauty and skincare products and tries out the latest TikTok hacks for My Imperfect Life.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.