InFocus Charlotte: About Queen Charlotte

Depictions and allusions to the City of Charlotte’s namesake appear all over the city. The city’s logo — a crown — is inspired by her. Streets, schools and other places are named in her honor. At the airport, visitors are greeted by Queen Charlotte. And, as pictured on our front cover, Uptown workers, visitors and revelers see her at 5th and College Sts. Below is the text from the plaque which accompanies her:

Queen Charlotte Walks in her Garden
Graham Weathers, Sculptor, American, 1988

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In 1761 Colonial Americans were fascinated by the royal wedding of England’s King George III to a 17 year-old German princess Charlotte Sophia of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Setters here were rebellious toward the king and his agents, but named their town and county in her honor, in hopes of gaining royal favor.

She was a small woman “easy, genteel, and agreeable,” who bore 15 children, played the harpsichord, learned botany, and took pleasure in Kew and Richmond Gardens. Her dogs, one named Presto, followed her on daily walks. Her appearance and informal apparel are modeled after portraits in English museums.

King George III, plagued by recurring illness, called her “my physician, my friend.” She is remembered as a great benefactor of hospitals. Queen Charlotte was the grandmother of Queen Victoria.

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“She is full of sense and graciousness, mingled with delicacy of mind and liveliness of temper.”

Fanny Burney, court attendant and novelist of the period.

“A most agreeable countenance, vastly genteel, with an air, notwithstanding her being a little woman, truly majestic.”

A noblewoman reports the queen’s coronation, 1761.

— Queen Charlotte photos © Jimmie Cobb/JC Digital Photography Works

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