Queen Sophie Charlotte
Name: Queen Sophie Charlotte
Known As: Queen Charlotte
Birthday: 19 May 1744
Place of Birth: Mirow, Duchy of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (Germany)
Died: December 1818
Best Known For: Being the first black queen of England and Scotland
Many people believe that there has never been a Black King or Queen in the United Kingdom. This is not true. The very first black queen of England lived over 200 years ago and she was named Princess Sophie Charlotte (although many people simply called her Princess Charlotte).
Princess Charlotte was born in Germany, her family were originally from an African branch of the Portuguese Royal House. Princess Charlotte’s father (Charles Louis Frederick) was the King of the land. Princess Charlotte was known to be very beautiful and at the age of 17 she married King George III of England and became the Queen of England and Ireland.
Sadly at this time in history, the English royal family along with many others believed that Black people were not worthy of royalty or respect and that they should be owned to work as slaves. The English royal family came up with a cruel plan to hide the fact that Queen Charlotte was black from the people of England.
As this was many, many years ago photographs had not yet been invented and ordinary people relied upon paintings to see how royalty lived. The artists who painted the lovely Queen Charlotte were told to paint her using very pale colours so she would look as if she where white and not black.
One brave artist named Sir Allan Ramsey decided that he wanted to paint Queen Charlotte as she really was; he wanted the world to know that Queen Charlotte was in fact Black. Sir Allan Ramsey believed that black people should be treated the same as everybody else and that they should not be kept as slaves. Both Queen Charlotte and King George III rejected the pictures showing the Queen as she really was. Luckily the pictures painted by Sir Allan Ramsey have survived to this very day and this is how we know what the Queen truly looked like.
Queen Charlotte loved her country very much and did many things to help to make England a beautiful place. She helped to create an extremely beautiful and well known garden centre in London called Kew Gardens, which still grows the most beautiful and unusual flowers from all over the world under one roof. She also created the Queen Charlotte Maternity hospital in London which is the oldest maternity care organisation in England.
Queen Charlotte and King George lll had fifteen children, thirteen of whom survived to adulthood. Their fourth eldest son was Edward Augustus the Duke of Kent who later fathered Queen Victoria making our current Queen of England a direct descendent of Queen Charlotte the first Black Queen of England.