Yes, 'Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte Was Definitely Based On A Real Royal

is queen charlotte a real person
Is 'Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte A Real Person?2023 © Netflix - Netflix

Cancel your weekend plans. After roughly a year of waiting, the new Bridgerton prequel spin-off, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, just dropped on Netflix, and it's bringing back all the Regency-style drama, scandal, and gossip you've been missing in your life.

ICYDK, Bridgerton is a romantic historical-fiction show that takes place during the Regency era in England (or the early years of the 19th Century). However, don't get it confused with The Crown. Some of the show is based in true history, but other parts are simply fictional storylines that move the plot along.

Actor Regé-Jean Page, who starred as Simon Basset (a fan favorite in Season 1), described the show as "Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl" in an interview with Variety in 2020. Trust me, Bridgerton isn't your average period piece.

queen charlotte
Queen Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) in the new Bridgerton spin-off.Netflix

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is a one-off limited series centered around Queen Charlotte, a character in the original series. Since Bridgerton seems to follow a pretty believable plotline, you might be wondering how much of Queen Charlotte's story is accurate. Spoiler: A lot. Women's Health has all the deets:

Who is Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton?

The new Bridgerton spin-off jumps from the Regency era (when Bridgerton takes place) to the Georgian era (around 1760).

The story picks up as the show's main character, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, played by actress India Amarteifio, begrudgingly marries King George III of England. Of course, the pair end up falling for each other, and it's rather steamy, based on the trailer. But would you expect anything less from a Bridgerton story?!

queen charlotte
Queen Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) and King George III (Corey Mylchreest) in Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.Netflix

If you're an original Bridgerton fan, you'll still get your dose of actress Golda Rosheuvel, the OG Queen Charlotte. She will appear in the spin-off as her character's older self, since the plot jumps between timelines. However, the show primarily focuses on the younger Charlotte's life as she leaves her aristocratic home in Germany to marry King George III.

Queen Charlotte dives deeper into the relationship that buds between Charlotte and George, and viewers will follow along as Charlotte finds her place in London's royal court.

Is the show's 'Queen Charlotte' based on a real person?

Yes! Queen Charlotte is, in fact, a real person. Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born on May 19, 1744, per the royal family's website. She ruled as Queen of England from 1761 to 1818.

In 1761, King George III succeeded the English throne at age 22, and 17-year-old Charlotte was the "obvious" choice as his wife, because of her family's duchy status in Germany.

queen charlotte
Queen Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) in Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.Netflix

A group of British royal officials traveled to Germany in August 1761 to bring Charlotte back to England. Charlotte arrived in England on September 8, 1761, and reportedly married King George III that same night. A few weeks later, on September 22, 1761, the pair had their coronation, per the royal family's website.

The real Queen Charlotte had 15 children.

Yep, Queen Charlotte had 15 children with King George III. Their first son (who became King George IV) was born less than a year after they married. The 14 children who followed were born in rapid succession between 1762 and 1783.

Here is a list of all Queen Charlotte's children, and their lifetimes:

  • George, Prince of Wales (and later King George IV), 1762-1830

  • Prince Frederick, 1763-1827

  • Prince William, 1765-1837

  • Princess Charlotte, 1766-1798

  • Prince Edward, 1767-1820

  • Princess Augusta, 1768-1840

  • Princess Elizabeth, 1770- 1840

  • Prince Ernest, 1771-1837

  • Prince Augustus, 1773-1843

  • Prince Alphonsus, 1774-1850

  • Princess Mary, 1776-1857

  • Princess Sophia, 1777-1848

  • Prince Octavius, 1779-1783 (died at age 4 from smallpox)

  • Prince Alfred, 1780-1782 (died just before age 2 from smallpox)

  • Princess Amelia, 1783-1810

queen charlotte 1744 1818, with her two eldest sons, 1769 artist ramsay 1713 1784
Queen Charlotte with her two eldest sons. Heritage Images - Getty Images

Queen Charlotte was interested in botany and music.

The royal took on many hobbies during her time as queen, but she's primarily known for her amateur skills in botany and music. She even hired Johann Christian Bach, the son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, as her music-master, per the royal family website.

close up image of the vibrant bird of paradise flower also known as strelitzia reginae, in south africa it is commonly known as a crane flower
Strelitzia reginae comes from Queen Charlotte’s full name, Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.Jacky Parker Photography - Getty Images

Charlotte's interest in botany meant she spent a lot of time at a cottage in Kew Gardens, (or Kew Palace), which King George III bought in 1781. She loved plants so much that a South African flower, the Strelitzia reginae (a.k.a. the Bird of Paradise), was named after her.

Queen Charlotte may have been the first Black British royal.

While there is much debate on the subject, several experts, including African disapora historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom, believe that Charlotte could be the first British royal of African descent, according to The Washington Post.

charlotte of mecklenburg
A portrait of Queen Charlotte Print Collector - Getty Images

Specifically, some historians think Charlotte is a direct descendant of Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese royal house, as well as Martin Alfonso de Sousa Chicorro, King Alfonso III of Portugal's illegitimate son, per PBS Frontline.

Alfonso III reportedly had three children with a woman named Madragana, whom historians think could have been African or Moorish, The Guardian reported. Her background has never been confirmed.

In a 1996 Frontline PBS documentary, Valdes explained that Alfonso had "conquered a little town named Faro from the Moors" and "demanded [the governor's daughter [Madragana] as a paramour," per The Washington Post.

Many cities have been named after Queen Charlotte.

You've probably traveled to a city named after Queen Charlotte, as she has quite a few namesakes around the world. Some locations named after the British monarch include Charlottesville, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina (the county it sits in, Mecklenburg County, is also named after her); and Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island, Canada, per the royal family website.

queen charlotte
Queen Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) and King George III (Corey Mylchreest) in Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.Netflix

Queen Charlotte died in 1818.

Queen Charlotte died in 1818 at Kew Palace in the presence of her eldest son, the future King George IV. In the final years of her life, Charlotte acted as her husband's guardian as he suffered from severe mental illness later in life. He was considered "permanently insane" in 1811 until his own death in 1820.

You can learn more about Queen Charlotte (or just enjoy the steamy show) in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which is available to stream on Netflix now.

You Might Also Like