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

Apr 3, 2018

Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Queen City is named after Queen Charlotte, wife of England’s King George III.  But who was she and why do we have her name?  Queen Sophia Charlotte may have been of mixed heritage, with African ancestors.  As the city approaches its 250th anniversary, we find out more about our namesake.

We all know the Queen City was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of "Mad King" George III. But why? And who was she? When the town was chartered in 1768, King George and Queen Charlotte ruled the colonies. In order to stay in the King's good graces, the locals named their new township "Charlotte Town" in honor of the Queen. They also named the county after her German homeland Mecklenburg-Strelitz. It's doubtful the royals even noticed, but early Charlotteans tried nonetheless.

In order to stay in the King's good graces, the locals named their new township "Charlotte Town" in honor of the Queen. They also named the county after her German homeland Mecklenburg-Strelitz. It's doubtful the royals even noticed, but early Charlotteans tried nonetheless.

Though we happily call Charlotte the Queen City today, most Charlotteans know little about the city's namesake. Queen Sophia Charlotte has a fascinating and surprising history. Queen of Britain and Ireland for 57 years, she was well-educated, a philanthropist, an early patron of Mozart, and a supporter of the Abolitionist movement to end slavery.

When Prince Harry announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle, commentators declared she would be the first biracial royal. But historians said 'not so fast.' Queen Charlotte is believed to have mixed heritage, with African ancestors. Our guest today, Dr. Stephanie Myers, author of 'Invisible Queen' says the Queen's history has been hidden in plain sight and believes she's an inspiring character who should be recognized for her accomplishments.

As Charlotte approaches its 250th anniversary, Mike Collins and guests dig into Queen Charlotte's story, discuss the very beginnings of the QC, and find out what we're doing to celebrate our sestercentennial.

Guests

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

Dr. Hugh Dussek, History instructor at CPCC, he teaches American history and Charlotte history

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

Related event:

Dr. Myers will be in Charlotte for a lecture and book signing on Saturday, April 7 at 1pm at the Charlotte Museum of History. Details.