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The Métis British Queen featured in Netflix hit Bridgerton.

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Some say when Prince Harry and Meghan got married, Queen Charlotte nodded.

CHARLOTTE, NC The hit Netflix series Bridgerton brings renewed attention to the Métis British Queen for whom our city is named.

Tom Hanchett, Charlotte Community Historian, said, Queen Charlotte is of course the namesake of our city.

He said WCNC Charlottes Sarah French as Queen Charlotte was a German born princess from Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany. However, its ancestral roots go back to King Alfonso III of Portugal.

Before her German ancestry, she had roots in a Portuguese royal family, the family of King Alfonso III, ”Hanchett said.

Until the 1100s, there was an Arab and African occupation of Portugal. It was there that King Alfonso III found his wife, who was a Moor. At that time, the word was used to describe people of Arab or African descent.

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French spoken with Tekla Johnson, historian of African-American studies.

Referring to King Alfonso III, Johnson said, he somehow marched with his troops to a Moorish town called Faro and he demands the governor’s youngest daughter. ”

It was not a marriage. It was more of a concubinage, but it comes from a very high order, ”Johnson said.

Their son, Martn Alfonso, then married into a family of African descent – the Sousa family – further strengthening Queen Charlotte’s black heritage.

Remember back in the 1300s we weren’t engaged in the slave trade yet, so there wasn’t the stigma that came later, ”Johnson explained.

Shonda Rhimes puts a black actress in the role of Queen Charlotte and now everyone is talking about history, ”French said.

I think it’s great! I also think it’s good because it provokes conversations like this, ”Johnson replied.

Queen Charlotte will marry King George III, the British monarch who lost the Revolution and the colonies.

He marries a teenage girl. She is 17, Johnson said of Queen Charlottes’ marriage to King George III.

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The 18th century portrait of Queen Charlotte, by Sir Allan Ramsay, was used as propaganda in the colonies to win over enslaved blacks to Britain during the War of Independence. It is now hung in the Mint Museum, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Any schoolboy who comes to the museum remembers seeing this portrait of Queen Charlotte, Jonathan stuhlman, Senior Curator of American Art at the Mint Museum, said.

In 2007, artist Ken Aptekar was commissioned by the Mint Museum to explore Sir Allan Ramsays’ portrait of Queen Charlotte.

This sparked a dialogue that led to six images and a variety of interpretations of the Queen.

The six panels are what Aptekar created in response to Queen Charlotte. His work is truly community driven and driven, Stuhlman said.

Can you talk about what people saw when they saw his portrait? French asked.

There are phrases like Black, White, Other on one of them. There’s another one that says just immigrant, ”Stuhlman replied.

Some say when Prince Harry and Meghan got married, Queen Charlotte nodded. They were married on her birthday and were awarded the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Queen Charlotte’s son was the very first Duke of Sussex.

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As you drive around the queen city and see Statue of Queen Charlotte in Charlotte Douglas or her portrait at the Currency Museum, you will now know a little more about the fascinating story of the woman who bears the name of our city.

More resources recommended by Johnson:



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