Princess Sophie Charlotte Born 1744 Is The Second Black Queen of England


On September 8, 1761, Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a teenage bride, married King George III. Two weeks later, Princess Charlotte was crowned Queen Charlotte of Great Britain and Ireland. We refer to Charlotte, NC as the “Queen City” because our city is named in the honor of Her Majesty. During the past three decades, in small circles, Queen Charlotte’s ancestry has been the subject of intense debate. If you talk to African-American intellectuals, they will tell you that based on Queen Charlotte’s “Negroid” facial features and Moorish ancestry, she certainly had African lineage. On the other hand, if you check with local historians and educators, they deny that Charlotte’s Queen had any connection to Africa. In 2012, The Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC) celebrated the 250 year anniversary of Queen Charlotte’s Coronation which showcased the museum’s permanent Queen Charlotte collection which included paintings, decorative arts, and examples of royal items purchased by Queen Charlotte. No mention of Queen Charlotte’s possible African ancestry was made on the Mint Museum’s website or on the Mint Museum’s YouTube video to commemorate Queen Charlotte’s Coronation. Prior to The Mint Museum’s Queen Charlotte Coronation (March 2009), in The Guardian, a London-based newspaper in an article entitled Was this Britain’s First Black Queen, Cheryl Palmer, Mint Museum Director of Education said the following about Queen Charlotte: “As a woman, an immigrant, a person who may have had African forbearers, a botanist, and a queen who opposed slavery, she speaks to Americans, especially in a city in the south like Charlotte that is trying to redefine itself.”



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