England’s First Black Queen

ENGLAND’S First Black Queen – over 250 years ago

Her skin was light brown. Her features were African. And, even though she was sought out as the most eligible European lady at the moment to marry, she herself was of Portuguese/African descent. She was Princess Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, born May 19, 1744 in the house below. She was crowned Queen Charlotte of England at Westminster Abbey.

Photo Credit: FanPop

She was the royal descendant of Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House. She was very African in her appearance, but little mention of that is made in history and it is said that Royal painters did not go to great lengths to lighten her skin or modify her features to suit the masses.

She and King George III had fifteen children together, most of whom survived. Other queens have had as many if not more pregnancies, but most of the children did not survive, particularly into adulthood. Queen Phillippa had 14 children and would be a close runner-up, but I think the only other monarch who had such a large, surviving brood into adulthood was Queen Victoria, who had nine children. Upon Charlotte’s death, she had nearly 150 grandchildren, great and great-grandchildren combined throughout the monarchies and aristocracy of Europe.

Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Statue

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