Was Queen Charlotte real, or is the royal merely a fictional character in the Bridgerton spinoff, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?
By now you've gotten acquainted with Her Majesty (played as a teen by India Amarteifio) and King George III (Corey Mylchreest) in the Netflix prequel of the original Bridgerton series. This new installment in the steamy Regency romance series offers a lot to love, but viewers are eager to separate fact from fiction.
"It's not historically accurate. It's not a work of nonfiction. We're not taking verbatim of anything," Amarteifio revealed to InStyle Australia. "There are moments of truthfulness. We get to see some of their kids. But a lot of it is of fantasy elements."
So, how do Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books differ from the history books? Let's find out!
Was Queen Charlotte real?
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.
Queen Charlotte, or Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was born on May 19, 1744, according to the official Royal website. She 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 14 1761, where they signed the marriage certificates, and upon the couple's return to England, they were married within a speedy six hours! Their coronation took place in September of that same year.
For those who are royally obsessed, here's how Queen Elizabeth related to Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton.
Where was Queen Charlotte from?
The Netflix show touches on Queen Charlotte's origins, but the real-life royal was born into the royal family of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a duchy (i.e. a territory ruled by a duke or duchess) in present-day northern Germany.
How old was Queen Charlotte when she got married?
Both in the TV series and in real life, Queen Charlotte was a young 17 years old when she married King George III.
How many children did Queen Charlotte have?
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and her husband King George III had 15 children together: nine boys and six girls. Their first child, a son who would go on to become King George IV, was born a year after their wedding in 1762. Charlotte and George were married for 60 years and have been described as a true love match—something they portray in Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte.
In the main Bridgerton 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 in both the prequel and the actual Bridgerton series, which is historically accurate.
Queen Charlotte ethnicity: was Queen Charlotte black?
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 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 Guyanese-British actress Golda Rosheuvel as the real-life royal.
Van Dusen told Collider: “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?”
That was exactly Rhimes' intent with the prequel.
“We don't often get to see people of different ethnic backgrounds being presented in powerful and regal roles, unfortunately, because of slave trade, segregation, and race relations in early history,” Amarteifio also told InStyle Australia. “To have that representation is everything.”
How did Queen Charlotte die?
According to the Historic Royal Palaces, Queen Charlotte died in her bedroom in Kew Palace in November 1818 after suffering from pneumonia while attempting to recover from dropsy, something that caused swelling and pain.
Visitors were admitted to see the queen in the palace's dining room, and she was laid to rest at Windsor on December 2, 1818.
Was Queen Charlotte in Julia Quinn's 'Bridgerton' books?
Since Bridgerton is set during the Queen's reign, it makes sense that Rhimes chose to include her in the TV adaptation of Julia Quinn's novels. However, unlike the rest of the Bridgerton series, Queen Charlotte was not initially adapted from one of the romance novelist's stories. However, Quinn did team up with Rhimes to write a book based on the prequel.
Catch Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, now streaming on Netflix. While you're at it, you won't want to miss the top-notch Queen Charlotte soundtrack.
Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.
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.
- Danielle ValenteDigital News Writer
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