We take a closer look at Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, known as Queen Charlotte of England, who she was, her life, and how she impacted and shaped history.
If you were to trace back the heritage of the monarchy here in the UK for several centuries, the info you’d find out would be absolutely astonishing.
From invasions and bloody battles to stories of religious concerns and royal upheaval, it’s easy to understand why our royal family draws so much interest from those with a keen interest in the subject.
When we think of the royal family, though, it’s probably safe to say that there are some names that get a great deal more recognition than others. You are all no doubt aware of former rules such as Henry VIII, Victoria, Elizabeth I, George V, and so on. But, one of the Queens that not everybody is familiar with, however, is Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, also known as Queen Charlotte of England, and it is she that we’re going to be looking at today.
Who Was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz?
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streliz, is perhaps better known to most of us as Queen Charlotte of England.
She was born Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and ruled over England from 1761- 1818. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was married to George III, whom many may know as ‘Mad King George’ due to the fact that he suffered from mental illness.
As a result of his condition, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz served as his carer until the time of her death.
Another interesting note about Queen Charlotte of England is the fact that, due to her multiracial heritage, she was the first multiracial royal in England.
In 1744, Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg and his wife Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen welcomed their daughter Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streliz into the world.
She was born in Mirow, Germany, at the family castle and like many young girls of nobility, she received private education in the form of home tuition. Despite learning music, art, botany and the basics of multiple languages, the majority of her studies focussed on home management, domestic life, religion and social decorum.
At 17 years of age, she was sent from the family home to marry King George III, who was 22 years old at the time. George took the throne following the death of his father, George II, and as a result, he was unmarried and would require an heir of his own.
Because Charlotte came from a minor Duchy in Germany, with no religious or political restrictions or obstacles, she was the perfect fit.
She arrived in England on the 7th of September, 1761, where she met her future husband for the very first time. They were wed later that evening.
The Madness Of King George
Charlotte, because of her German heritage, and language barriers, struggled to adapt to the English way of life at first, although she began to settle in as the years went by.
She and George had fifteen children together, though two sadly died before becoming adults.
Both she and George had an interest in art and music with the future looking bright for the young couple. Unfortunately, George soon began to display some peculiar behaviour.
George soon started to displayed erratic behaviour that grew worse as he aged. Whereas in the past he would eventually recover, as the years went by, he descended into complete madness.
Queen Charlotte, in 1804, moved into separate living quarters, where she avoided him entirely because of his increasingly alarming behaviour. In 1811, George was officially declared insane and as a result, was placed under Charlotte’s guardianship, as per the 1789 Regency Bill.
Sadly, their marriage as they knew it was over as she would ultimately live out the rest of her days in this manner until 1818, when she passed away, two years before her husband. Queen Charlotte died at the comfort of Kew Palace in Surrey with her son, the soon to be George IV, holding her hand.