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A Georgian Queen returns to our screens: as all new Bridgerton hits Netflix, meet the real Charlotte

A Netflix favourite has returned to screens once again and brought a Georgian Queen back into the spotlight- the third season of Bridgerton premieres this week and once again, all eyes turn to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, consort of George III. But who was the real Queen Charlotte? 

Sophia Charlotte was born in 1744 to Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow and Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The small German principality was a quiet court and the young Charlotte’s education largely focused on running a household and religious teachings. 

Queen Charlotte

Charlotte was chosen at 17 to marry the young King George III of Great Britain in 1761. They married within half a day of meeting one another on 8 September and then celebrated their joint coronation on 22 September. 

The young Queen struggled with her new life in England originally. Her mother-in-law, Augusta, Princess of Wales, insisted that all formalities of court be observed, making it difficult for the teenager to make connections. She also spoke very little English upon her arrival in England, though would become fluent. 

Queen Charlotte and King George III with some of their fifteen children

Queen Charlotte did have some influence on politics through her husband, but she dedicated much of her time patronising the arts, as well as botany. She invited a young Mozart to court and continued to support his career as he became a composer. 

Charlotte’s love of botany can still be seen at Kew today. She spent much of her time there, and the Kew Gardens collection was expanded significantly under her. 

Queen Charlotte endured much sadness, especially in her later years (Royal Collection Trust)

The queen also had several notable friends. She asked author Frances Burney to serve as Keeper of the Robes, a position at court. Charlotte was also friends with tragic French Queen Marie Antoinette, and regularly corresponded with her until the French Revolution began.

While the Queen Charlotte of Bridgerton may not be an identical copy of the Georgian queen, she certainly brings more attention to the historical Charlotte. 

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