'Queen Charlotte' Fans, Here's the Real Royal Who Inspired the New 'Bridgerton' Show

queen charlotte a bridgerton story india amarteifio as young queen charlotte in episode 101 of queen charlotte a bridgerton story
Who Is Queen Charlotte in 'Bridgerton' Based On?Liam Daniel/Netflix

And with a "dearest reader," Lady Whistledown has officially ushered us back to the Ton. The Netflix spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story centers on the royal betrothal of Queen Charlotte and King George III — queue the violins — and their love-hate union.

"This is the story of Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton," narrates Julie Andrews. "It is not a history lesson. It is fiction inspired by fact. All liberties taken by the author are quite intentional. Enjoy."

Now, exactly where that inspiration comes from ... We skimmed the history books to uncover all you need to know about the real Queen Charlotte, ahead.

Who is Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton based on?

queen charlotte a bridgerton story india amarteifio as young queen charlotte in episode 105 of queen charlotte a bridgerton story
India Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.Liam Daniel/Netflix

While Queen Charlotte is a fictional television drama from the mind of Shonda Rhimes, its main characters are indeed based on two real-life historical monarchs: King George III, who ruled the United Kingdom from 1760 until 1820, and his wife Queen Charlotte, who he eventually shared 15 children with.

The Netflix show traces the 17th century matriarch born Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who hailed from German royalty. History says that she was educated in botany and natural history with a passion for reading. She was described as sweet and good-humored, with a "lively but equable temper."

Was Queen Charlotte black?

Portraying a young Queen Charlotte in the Bridgerton spin-off, India Amarteifio captures the strong-willed regal as first introduced onscreen by Golda Rosheuvel. The actual Queen Charlotte, some historians believe, may have had some African ancestry. That conversation around Queen Sophia Charlotte’s race inspired the series, per Netflix.

portrait of princess charlotte of mecklenburg strelitz 1744 1818, queen of great britain, 1762 found in the collection of nationalmuseum stockholm photo by fine art imagesheritage imagesgetty images
A portrait of Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz.Heritage Images

The theory says that Queen Charlotte may be the first mixed-race or Black British royal based on the 1967 genealogical research of historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom. He wrote in a PBS article that she directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese royal house.

“We wanted to take that in a different direction than what the history books have said happened — which was basically to bury that and not deal with it," executive producer and director Tom Verica told Netflix. "We wanted to shine a light on that element,” Verica said. This decision led to Queen Charlotte’s Great Experiment, which is unique to the Bridgerton universe."

The real relationship between Queen Charlotte and King George

Like the premise of Queen Charlotte, King George III succeeded to the throne at 22 and finding a wife became pertinent to securing his family's lineage. After an extensive search that included having a match of aristocratic birth and Protestant faith, he selected Charlotte, sight unseen, to wed.

queen charlotte a bridgerton story l to r india amarteifio as young queen charlotte, corey mylchreest as young king george in episode 101 of queen charlotte a bridgerton story
Liam Daniel/Netflix

That garden wall attempted escape? Not real. Charlotte turned out a perfect match for the intellectual yet reserved, George. The two shared a joy for music, the countryside and their quiet residence at Kew Palace, while letters affirmed their status as a happy coupling. Here's Charlotte's own words from 1797:

“I have this instant been made very happy with Your very Affectionnate [sic] & kind letter, for which I want words to Express both my joy & happiness, but I can say with great Truth that tho my Pen cannot express my feeling my Heart most does most deeply feel."

Bridgerton explored a hint of these dynamics — but at the pairing's tail end. The King's first bout of mental illness reportedly happened in 1765 (though Queen Charlotte was kept unaware at that time). That signaled a bill that proclaimed Charlotte as Regent should the King become permanently unable to rule.

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'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story'


By 1789, Charlotte’s hair turned white under the stress of his illness, reports say. The real king was declared insane in 1811. After the onset of George's permanent madness, the prince of Wales became Regent, but Charlotte remained her husband's guardian until her death in 1818.

Showrunner Tom Verica went on to say that this became a large part of their story, showing the coupling's "perseverance of their love and draw some modern parallels.”

He added: “I think it’s very important not only within [King George and Queen Charlotte’s] relationship and marriage, but important in terms of Queen Charlotte’s character and how she came to handle and deal with this as we come to see in Bridgerton."

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