Fact Friday 433 - Happy 280th birthday Queen Charlotte!

Fact Friday 433 - Happy 280th birthday Queen Charlotte!

Happy Friday!

I was completely frozen when UNC Charlotte's Special Collections and University Archives department published on their Instagram page the below letter from Queen Charlotte to her 19 year old son, William in 1784. You guys know how much I love history, so you can likely imagine how blown away I was by this. For starters... just the historical significance of it alone is impressive, but also the commentary to the letter contained a lot of information about Queen Charlotte that I didn't know... maybe I need to actually go and watch Bridgerton... :\ lol. 


Charlotte — Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Consort to George III, and eponym for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina—was born on this day, May 19, 1744. Born Princess Sophia Charlotte in the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in modern-day Germany, Charlotte was described as being ‘well-enough’ educated, excelled at music, and was good humored with a ‘lively but equable temper.’ At age 17 she married the 22-year-old King George III of Great Britain, and over the course of twenty-five years had 15 children with him. Charlotte was well known for being both a music connoisseur and as an amateur botanist, and is credited with introducing the German tradition of the Christmas tree to the English-speaking world.

Intergenerational disagreements were a common and recurring factor in Britain’s Hanoverian dynasty, and while Queen Charlotte remained devoted to her husband the king, her relationships with her children were often strained. In this 1784 letter to her 19-year-old son, William, Queen Charlotte writes that he should express gratitude and willingness to be tutored in Germany, rather than depression and rebelliousness. William would eventually be crowned William IV in 1830, succeeding his elder brother George, who reigned as George IV after serving as Prince Regent during his father’s long battles with illness.

Queen Charlotte would eventually develop her own illnesses, and in 1818, she died at age 74, two years before her husband George III. The Queen and the King are buried near each other in the royal vault at Windsor Castle. In May of 2023, the creators of the Netflix television series Bridgerton dove into the historial romance and unfortunate end of the two royals.

Today we here in the Queen City celebrate the Queen that gave us our name!

#CharlotteHistory #QueenCharlotte #CLTHistory

The Mint Museum's permanent collection of art, Queen Charlotte painting, 1948 December 2. MS0138 William Hoke Sumner Papers, UNC Charlotte.

Letter to son, William, 1784, December 19. MS0035 Charlotte, Consort of George III, letter to son, William and letter concerning daughter Sophia's health, UNC Charlotte.

Click the photo below to see and hear a reading of Queen Charlotte's actual letter. 



UNC Charlotte Special University Collections & Archives on Instagram. May 19, 2024. 

Email chris@704shop.com if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!

“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin

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