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Meet Sophia Charlotte, the First Black Queen of England

Queen Charlotte, England's First Black Queen

Queen Charlotte, England’s First Black Queen

Early Years

According to, Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born on May 19, 1744 in Morow, Germany. She was the child of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Elizabeth Albertine. Queen Charlotte was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.

Although intelligent, Charlotte was reported to have received a very mediocre education. Her father, Duke Charles, died when she was but eight-years-old, and was succeeded as Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz by her half-brother Adolphus Frederick III.

Her Portrait and Features

Portraits of Queen Charlotte came under much scrutiny as evidence of her African ancestry were to be hidden, especially in paintings of her. Painters such as Sir Thomas Lawrence, who painted Queen Charlotte in the autumn of 1789, had their paintings rejected by the royal couple who were not happy with the representations of the likeness of the Queen.

Mario de Valdes y Cocom, a historian of the African diaspora, wrote that “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.” Sir Allan Ramsay was the artist responsible for the majority of the paintings of the Queen and his representations of her were the most decidedly African of all her portraits.

She was often described as small and thin with a dark complexion and flared nostrils. Queen Charlotte’s personal physician, Baron Stockmar, described her in his autobiography, as having “a true mulatto face”.

Her Reign

African-American registry notes that Queen Charlotte’s letters indicate that she was well read and had interest in the fine arts. The Queen is known to have supported and been taught music by Johann Christian Bach. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at age eight dedicated his Opus 3 piece to the Queen at her request. Queen Charlotte helped to establish Kew Gardens, bringing among others, the Strelitzia Reginae, a flowering plant from South Africa.

Queen Charlotte’s legacy continues to live on. The city of Charlotte in North Carolina is named after Queen Charlotte and nicknamed The Queen City. Additionally, the Queen Charlotte Maternity hospital was established in London.

What people are saying

38 thoughts on “Meet Sophia Charlotte, the First Black Queen of England

  1. This is bs.
    There was never a Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.
    Margarida de Castro e Sousa, was a 15th-century Portuguese noblewoman, who traced her ancestry to King Afonso III of Portugal (1210–1279) and one of his mistresses, Madragana (c. 1230–?), who was Moorish.

  2. Robert Gill says:

    "bs" you say?..Oh really now. Well Ms. Ferreira, that means that not only are you a person who's well beyond 200-800 YEARS OLD but you also MUST have had personal encounters with this Queen Charlotte and her bloodline. WOW, That's Amazing!!!
    Here's little reality check for you Margy,..Googling up info (or however you came about your info to attempt to debunk the info provided here) recorded about such matters as this does NOT provide any IRREFUTABLE proof that it's true.
    Get out much??..because you are amazingly naive. It seems you don't know much at all about how this world works in regards to most of our so called "recorded history". So here are a couple of so-called quotes on the subject of history. Given their known "recorded history" about geo-politics, I'd feel slightly more comfortable believing THEM over YOU.

    "History is a set of lies agreed upon." – Napoleon Bonaparte
    "History is written by the victors." – Winston Churchill


  3. Cheryl John says:

    Who do you think the moors were ms ferreira

  4. Marie Elsie says:

    we do not expect lss igorance from you who most probably do not see your real identity in the mirror

  5. Marie Elsie says:

    Margarda ferreira does not even post a profile picture. need to say more?

  6. Hugh Holmes says:

    Portuguese are part-Black, hon. Blacks were in Iberia looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong before the Moors. And guess what—there wasn't always a Strait of Gibraltar….

  7. Queen Charlotte was married to King George III of England. The state of Georgia was named after him. He was also the king of England during the time of the American Revolutionary War. Queen Charlotte was also the grandmother of Queen Victoria.

  8. This person is white, or I AM GOING BLIND.

  9. Look at her features Gareth. Further, it article says the artists would change features which may have included her skin tone most likely. She was probably darker but was whitened by the artist under instructions from those who commissioned him to pain the piece. It wasn't unheard of for artist to have to repaint their subjects IF the person who commissioned him didn't like the portrait. Meaning he'd have to start from scratch and paint subjects more in the likeness desired.

  10. More is Africa is it not???? Called black today…no???

  11. Ife Anyi says:

    Jewel Austin-Gonzales Reading is a virtue

  12. You are to research information before you throw allover the place.

    Mario de Valdes y Cocom claimed that Charlotte may have had African ancestry and speculated that Scottish painter Allan Ramsay emphasized the Queen's alleged "mulatto" appearance in his portrait of her to support the anti-slave trade movement.
    Valdes incorrectly said that an early-19th century medical practitioner, Baron Stockmar, was Queen Charlotte's personal physician and that he had described the Queen as having a "mulatto face" in his autobiography. In fact, Christian Friedrich Freiherr von Stockmar was personal physician not to Queen Charlotte, but to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1816, at the time of Leopold's marriage to Princess Charlotte of the United Kingdom.
    On the PBS website page for this episode, Valdes interprets an excerpt of a poem reproduced there as attesting to Charlotte's African features, but it clearly refers to her as descended from the Vandals, an East Germanic tribe.

  13. Ife Anyi ALL OF THIS IS CONJECTURE as you are are basically using your ability to be gullible to strengthen your belief. There is no proof but what you are reading. Her comments are loaded with "ifs" suggesting clearly the absence of proof without a reasonable doubt. Reading is a virtue, maybe to you. Your name is almost an If (Ife). But then you are going to tell me the meaning like it really matters,

  14. Vick McLean says:

    interesting… but who cares black people are always reaching for useless historical information that is always defined in the context of white power its always the first black this the first black that…. but they always need to use "first black" because youre not considered human! nobody ever says the first "white man"! i mean cmon

  15. the best thing are left unsaid sound like your mad because your not the first black this the first black that. but you are the frist losers i read today.

  16. Pop Spriggs says:

    Black Blood Runs through the BLOOD of EVERY Human being and it has been proven so! DENIAL is not very becoming the FIRST HuMan Created were Black!

  17. Mo Niq says:

    Lol who does she think the moors are. Lmfao.

  18. Kala Ca'Ree says:

    i see your point Vick…its not useless but why define it in the context of "first black"….when black was the first to do anything good.

  19. Because Moors have largely been written out od history and history has been WHITEWASHED we are predisposed to re-writing ACTUAL history and not the fake crap taught in school!! So forgive us for upsetting you with our wanting to be PROPERLY represented in historically truth mf!!!

  20. I hope you researched Moors!

  21. Ronald Davis says:

    Marchelle Griffin Man givs his valid opion and he is a loser you need to check yourself….

  22. Btw YOU don't have to like our wanting to redress the historical lies being taught in school!! Your opinion is irrelevant!

  23. I know people who look white in skin color who have African features. Genetics are complex. Can't tell me you haven't seen a white person with kinky hair or a Moor with light skin and Moor feature or even European features but the hair is course. Stop sounding silly please!

  24. Such DENIAL is frightening!!!

  25. Some Latinos want to be white SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BADLY it's embarrassing!!!

  26. Iris Riley says:

    Hugh Holmes The strait is named after General Gabral who is black, Only 20 miles between Spain and Morroco

  27. The portrait of Queen Charlotte the black queen the British call her, can be seen on request in a museum in the United Kingdom!! FACT!!!

  28. Hugh Holmes says:

    Kimber Ramsey And true Caucasians aren't white. Just ask any Russian skinhead.

  29. Hugh Holmes says:

    Iris Riley 9 miles, Iris.

  30. Hugh Holmes says:

    Iris Riley Also–it's named after Tarik, leader of the Moors.

  31. Hugh Holmes says:

    Kimber Ramsey Pygmy skulls have been found in Portugal, antedating the Moors. The blood of Africa, be it the mixed North or Sub-Saharan is in Iberians…

  32. Hugh Holmes says:

    Tisha Campbell could play her in a movie.

  33. Luci Ryan says:

    Who cares what you think or say? I certainly do not. You are irrelevant and attempting to become what you are not. Disappear please.

  34. Tshepo Teele says:

    some indenial europeans need to be told that whether the like it or not their ancestors originate from Africa, they think white color is a previlige while as a matter of fact is a result of genetical hijack and environmental adaptation, before their ancestors walked out of Africa the earlier human specie had already genetically adapted (light skin and straight reddish hair amongst others) to the Eurosian environment and due to inbreeding the population was shrinking and becoming impovirished as a result of susceptability to diseases and epilepsy (deformity and abnormality), when the ancestors (black) of the current europeans reached earosia regions during their migration they found small insignificant groups of earlier human specie and mated with them as a result new colored nation that will later through generations of selective breeding resulted into the current white-man, so what am trying to encourage here is it is not a bad thing or evil to be assocciated with black skin

  35. I just know it now

  36. willissa says:

    WELL you all look at megan, who married harry? have you all accepted the fact that charolette came from germany born in german and mixed raced? her portriate was changed to light??? have you stopped to understand that there are red bones? you all saying that the painter was told to change her color whatt?? it like saying predjudice that is not right. george saw an german and black. he feel inlove with her. by the way i am the decenent of charolette and that is german pourteguse, european, etc. and those royal families are my family.

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