‘Queen Charlotte’ Isn’t Entirely Fictional When It Comes to the Royal Family Line
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story chronicles the life of the “incomparable” Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel and India Amarteifio) and her marriage to King George III (Corey Mylchreest and James Fleet), along with all the trials and tribulations they faced together, both in the past and in Bridgerton‘s present-day timeline.
One of those trials is a quest to produce a legitimate heir to the throne. Though Bridgerton is a work of fiction, and Queen Charlotte’s characterization is not rooted in fact, her family tree as depicted in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is mostly realistic.
How many children did Queen Charlotte have?
Queen Charlotte and King George did have a grand total of 15 children together. These were George, Prince of Wales; Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany; Prince William, Duke of Clarence; Charlotte, Princess Royal; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent; Princess Augusta Sophia; Princess Elizabeth; Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland; Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex; Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge; Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester; Princess Sophia; Prince Octavius; Prince Alfred; and Princess Amelia. Out of 15 children, 13 lived to see adulthood.
Though certainly in those days, one would expect that the 13 remaining children could produce several heirs to continue King George III’s family line, the succession crisis as told in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story did happen. In 1817, King George and Queen Charlotte’s only legitimate grandchild at the time, Princess Charlotte of Wales, died in childbirth. Princess Charlotte was the daughter of the King and Queen’s firstborn, who would later become King George IV, and was expected to ascend the throne after him. When she died, there were no legitimate heirs left.
That is until Prince Edward, the King and Queen’s fourth son, had a legitimate daughter–Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, born in 1818. She would later go on to become Queen Victoria, after the deaths of her grandfather and two uncles, George IV and William IV, ascending to the throne in 1837. Until Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her, Queen Victoria was the longest-reigning monarch in British history, ruling for a total of 63 years and seven months. This family fortune was accurately portrayed in Bridgerton‘s Queen Charlotte prequel miniseries.
Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria were not Queen Charlotte’s only grandchildren, however, though most were illegitimate. Prince William, the Queen’s third son, had 10 illegitimate children with his mistress, Dorothea Bland. Prince Augustus also had two illegitimate children. Prince Adolphus, on the other hand, had three recognized grandchildren, though they were never truly in line for the throne: Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Augusta of Cambridge, and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge. Princess Sophia was also rumored to have an illegitimate child.
Though Shonda Rhimes has always maintained that Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte are works of fiction loosely inspired by history, there are glimpses of the the truth to be found here and there.
(via Town & Country and royal.uk, featured image: Netflix)
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