After the overwhelming hate Meghan Markle, the rumored Black girlfriend of Prince Harry, received on social media following British media’s reports of their love affair, NewsOne thought it necessary to point out the African ancestry of Britain’s royal family––directly embodied by Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Here are four things you may or may not know about Britain’s first Black queen:
1. Queen Charlotte, the eighth child of Duke Charles Louis Frederick and Elizabeth Albertine, was born on May 19, 1744, according to PBS Frontline. She descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House, the report says. Queen Charlotte eventually married King George III and bore 15 children, 13 of whom survived, African-American Registry writes. She is the great, great, great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth II.
2. Artists who depicted the Queen were told to downplay her African features for fear of revealing the monarch’s history of intermixing and inbreeding, writes Frontline: “The Negroid characteristics of the Queen’s portraits certainly had political significance since artists of that period were expected to play down, soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subject’s face.” She was an avid supporter of the arts and a novice botanist, and helped found Kew Gardens, a leading institution in plant biology, according to the Registry.
3. Johann Christian Bach was reportedly a friend and supporter of Queen Charlotte, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated his Opus 3 in her honor, the Registry writes.
4. Queen Charlotte died on November 17, 1818, but her legacy lives on in America-––the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, or the “Queen City,” is named in her honor, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
31 Black Women Who Died In Police Custody
1. Kathryn Johnston, 92Source:Getty 1 of 26
2. Tarika Wilson, 26Source:Getty 2 of 26
3. Shereese Francis, 30Source:Getty 3 of 26
4. Shantel Davis, 23Source:Getty 4 of 26
5. Alesia Thomas, 35Source:Getty 5 of 26
6. Malissa Williams, 30Source:Getty 6 of 26
7. Darnesha Harris, 17Source:Getty 7 of 26
8. Shelly Frey, 27Source:Getty 8 of 26
9. Miriam Carey, 34Source:Getty 9 of 26
10. Yvette Smith, 47Source:Getty 10 of 26
11. Michelle Cusseaux, 50Source:Getty 11 of 26
12. Aura Rosser, 40Source:Getty 12 of 26
13. Tanisha Anderson, 37Source:Getty 13 of 26
14. Eleanor Bumpurs, 66Source:Getty 14 of 26
15. Natasha McKenna, 37Source:Getty 15 of 26
16. Janisha Fonville, 20Source:Getty 16 of 26
17. Meagan Hockaday, 26Source:Getty 17 of 26
18. Alexia Christian, 25Source:Getty 18 of 26
19. Sandra Bland, 28Source:Getty 19 of 26
20. Gynnya McMillen, 16Source:Getty 20 of 26
21. Symone Marshall, 22Source:Getty 21 of 26
22. Korryn Gaines, 23Source:Getty 22 of 26
23. Deborah Danner, 66Source:Getty 23 of 26
24. Alteria Woods, 21Source:Getty 24 of 26
25. Charleena Lyles, 30Source:Getty 25 of 26
26. Cariann Denise Hithon, 22Source:Getty 26 of 26
Watch The Throne: Meet Queen Charlotte, Britain’s First Black Queen was originally published on newsone.com