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Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
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Royalty
    When her nose was broken in a carriage accident, the inadvertent remodeling of her features was said to be a significant improvement.
    She kept her daughters from marrying until late in life, with the result that none of them had children.
    She aged rapidly after her husband went insane.
    She also sank into depression and developed a temper.
    After her death, she lapsed into obscurity, with a statue of her in Queen's Square in the Bloomsbury section of London being misidentified for decades as Queen Anne.
    Revived interest in her focused on her alleged status as Britain's 'first black queen,' based on her descent from King Alfonso III and his African mistress, Madragana.
    Given that Alfonso and Madragana got it on a whopping fifteen generations before Charlotte's birth, her African ancestry is so dilute that the only people who could seriously call her black are the two extreme groups of one-drop racists and 'we'll claim any historic figure we can' style Afrocentrists.
    She gladly followed King George's instruction to avoid meddling in politics.
    She knew no English before her wedding, but quickly picked up the language.
    She had a friendly and informal relationship with her ladies-in-waiting and her children's governesses.
    When eight-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited London, he accompanied Charlotte on an aria in which he played piano and she sang and played a solo on flute (May 19, 1764).
    She provided funding to keep the General Lying-In Hospital for expectant mothers from closing (1809); it was later renamed the Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital.
    She was a keen amateur botanist who helped expand Kew Gardens.
    She died fourteen months before King George, who, because of his insanity, never knew about her death.
    She was the second longest-serving consort in British history, with her 57 years exceeded only by Prince Philip.

Credit: C. Fishel


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