The idea that Queen Charlotte was part-Black was popularized by one historian. But others say that’s a myth.

The Queen Charlotte in “Bridgerton,” played by Golda Rosheuvel, commanded the screen with her icy stare, towering wigs, and lavish gowns. She also stood out for her role as a Black monarch reigning over a reimagined, racially integrated London.

The upcoming spinoff show, “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” goes back in time and explores Charlotte’s and King George III’s love story, and “how it sparked a societal shift, creating the world of the ton inherited by the characters in ‘Bridgerton,'” Netflix announced in September.

But the real Regency Era from 1811 to 1820 was nowhere near as diverse as the shows have reimagined. Slavery wasn’t abolished in England until 1833, and people of color were relegated to domestic work.

“Bridgerton” leans into one historian’s theory that Queen Charlotte was descended from a Black branch of the Portuguese royal family.

But other scholars have since disputed this assertion.

“The problem with the theory is that it’s been knocking around on the internet, reported on by the likes of The New York Times, and gained a veneer of respectability,” historian Lisa Hilton told Insider.

“But one can say there is absolutely no credible evidence that she was Black.”

India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte in the Bridgerton spinoff series on Netflix.
India Amarteifio plays the young Queen Charlotte in the upcoming “Bridgerton” spinoff. Netflix
Who was Queen Charlotte?
Princess Charlotte was born into the royal family of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in a small duchy in Germany. As a minor German princess with major sway in politics, she was deemed a suitable match for George III, who inherited the British throne in 1760.

Within six hours of her arrival in London on September 8, 1761, Charlotte married King George III, becoming the Queen of Great Britain.

The new queen spoke no English at first, but quickly learned the language and acclimated to British society, earning the approval of her subjects.

“She was quite popular at the time: a good, pious Protestant woman who had a successful marriage with King George,” Hilton said.

When King George’s mental and physical illness worsened in 1788, Queen Charlotte stepped in to effectively govern as regent, though she was never formally appointed as such. She supported her husband throughout his mental illness until her death in 1818.

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