Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story | Official Trailer | Netflix

This is particularly interesting because historians continue to debate whether Charlotte was actually Britain’s first Black queen. According to historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom for PBS’ Frontline, she “was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese royal house.” However, other historians dispute his work, as there are still questions about how far removed from her African roots she was.

Image for article titled Was Queen Charlotte Really Black?
Image: The Print Collector/Print Collector (Getty Images)

Per The Guardian, historian Kate Williams, along with others, are convinced the nine generation “distance between Charlotte and her presumed African forebear is so great as to make the suggestion ridiculous.” There’s also the thought that Sir Allan Ramsay, who painted the 1762 portrait of Queen Charlotte, was known for his less dramatized, more accurate works. This meant his portrayal of the queen was closer to her real appearance than other portraits.


Honestly, all these historians have facts to support their position on whether or not Charlotte was actually Black. Considering that she lived in the 18th century, we may never have a definitive answer. But here’s a thought to keep in mind as you enjoy the new drama or check out King Charles’ coronation: If Charlotte was Black, that would make her granddaughter, Queen Victoria, Black, which would lead to questions about the ancestry of Europe’s entire royal lineage. And we all know there are a lot of powerful people who definitely wouldn’t be happy about that kind of change to their history.

I guess we’ll all just have to settle for immersing ourselves in the TV world when Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story premieres Thursday, May 4 on Netflix.