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The Queen City Was Named After England's Queen Sophia Charlotte. Who Was She?

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Statue photo by Wallygrom/Flickr
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Portrait of Queen Charlotte / Statue of the Queen at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Between the popular Netflix period drama “Bridgerton” and Oprah Winfrey's sit-down with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, there’s a renewed interest in the British royal family. Charlotte has its own ties.

Charlotte took its name from Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of England’s King George III. We did that to curry favor. The royals probably didn't notice, given our insignificance at the time. But it turns out we chose our name pretty well.

Queen Charlotte ruled for 57 years, was an early patron of Mozart, a philanthropist, a supporter of abolition and, in fact, may have been the first biracial royal. That only scratches the surface. We dig a lot deeper.

This show originally aired in December 2018.

Guests

Dr. Stephanie Myers, Author of Invisible Queen: Mixed Ancestry Revealed, Queen Sophia Charlotte

Dr. Hugh Dussek, history instructor at Central Piedmont Community College

Adria Focht, president and CEO of The Charlotte Museum of History

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.