The True Story of Queen Charlotte’s Wedding

queen charlotte a bridgerton story l to r india amarteifio as young queen charlotte, corey mylchreest as young king george in episode 101 of queen charlotte a bridgerton story cr liam danielnetflix © 2023
The True Story of Queen Charlotte’s WeddingLIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story opens with a disclaimer. This is the story of Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton,” the soothing voice of Julie Andrews reads as the text appears onscreen. That is to say: It is not the story of the real Queen Charlotte. “It is not a history lesson,” the statement continues. “It is fiction inspired by fact. All liberties taken by the author are quite intentional.” And while that is certainly the case—no one can truly know what went on in Charlotte and King George III’s relationship—some parts of the show actually are true to life. This is particularly the case when it comes to Queen Charlotte’s wedding.

Queen Charlotte shows a 17-year-old Princess Charlotte being quickly married off to a 22-year-old King George, leaving her home in Germany and getting married the same day she arrived. That all actually happened. Here are some more details about the real royal wedding as they compare to the hit Netflix show.

Charlotte’s journey to England was pretty accurately depicted.

On the show, British royal representatives arrive in Mirow, the dukedom in northern Germany where Charlotte lived as Princess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her brother, Adolphus, signs the contract for Charlotte to marry King George III. Adolphus then makes the journey to England with Charlotte.

This is all true to life, but some details were missing. The official British royal family website explains that the escorts who arrived in Germany to collect Charlotte were led by the Earl of Harcourt. According to the site, the group didn’t leave right away. Instead, they were three days of celebrations, and then they returned to England with Charlotte where she would begin her new life.

While Queen Charlotte shows the future queen complaining of her uncomfortable outfit and whale bone corset, the journey was actually hard for a different reason. The royal family site notes that the voyage was difficult and the group faced three storms while crossing the North Sea. It also was a very long trip: They left Germany on August 17 and didn’t get to London until September 8.

While Charlotte and Adolphus are traveling, he mentions that their parents have died. This was also true, and the death of their mother was very recent—she had died only three months earlier.

Charlotte got married the same day she arrived.

Queen Charlotte shows Charlotte and George getting married the same day that she arrives in England. And as surprising as it may seem, this is what actually happened.

“At 9:00 p.m. the same evening, within six hours of arrival, the wedding of Princess Charlotte and King George III took place at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace,” the royal family site reads.

The show features a confrontation on the wedding day between Charlotte and George’s mother, Princess Augusta, in which they argue about Charlotte’s wedding dress—she wants to wear the one she had made in Paris; Augusta wants her to wear an English-style dress. According to the Washington Post, the real George had requested that gowns be made for Charlotte and be ready when she arrived.

According to Percy Fitzgerald’s book, The Good Queen Charlotte (per Town & Country), for her wedding Charlotte “wore ‘an endless mantle’ of rich violet and purple velvet, lined with ermine, over a white satin and silver dress.” In the show, she does wear a silver and white gown—just without the purple velvet addition.

As for what wasn’t based on history...

A key part of the show is the fact that Charlotte is Black and the royal court becomes integrated thanks to her becoming queen. In reality, while there has been speculation that Charlotte had African ancestry, most historians agree that this idea lacks evidence and isn’t accurate. Instead, the show takes this idea and runs with it, which makes for an interesting story, but it means that the real wedding didn’t actually feature all the non-white members of the ton being invited to the royal wedding at the last minute.

As for other exaggerated or made-up moments, those are probably pretty obvious. Did Charlotte actually try to escape her fate as the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland by climbing over a fence? Probably not, but it did make for a charming royal meet-cute with Farmer George.

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