The release of Shonda Rhimes' latest series, Bridgerton, has some viewers investigating Queen Charlotte's ancestry. Questions regarding Queen Charlotte's ancestry began to arise when the series portrayed the royal leaders of the time as both Black and white.
“A Black character stops to explain, grandly, how and why this society came to be integrated. (Answer: because the queen is a person of color.) Not only does it not make much sense, but it seems like an unnecessary wrench thrown into a completely sensible and revisionary romp: People of color are here because they should have been here all along," television critic Hank Stuever explained.
The royal leader in question is Queen Charlotte. In the 18th century, Charlotte married King George III after meeting him six hours earlier. By doing so, historians believe that she became Britain's first Black queen. Not to mention, her descendants, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, have African ancestors.
Queen Charlotte is also described as having traditionally Black features. Royal Physician Baron Christian Friedrich Stockmar described Charlotte as “small and crooked, with a true mulatto face.” Sir Wallace Scott also said that she was "ill-colored."
“Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick," a prime minister once said about Queen Charlotte.
Adding on, there were several Black British colonies that often honored Charlotte because of her perceived African ancestry. However, historians are not entirely convinced that Charlotte was Black.
"In any case, all European royal families somewhere are linked to the kings of Castile. There is a lot of Moorish blood in the Portuguese royal family and it has diffused over the rest of Europe," historian David Williamson said.
Unfortunately, Queen Charlotte lived so long ago that it appears that this will forever remain a mystery.
Photo Credit: Netflix