A True Mulatto Face
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Trouble brews when it's discovered the King of England's betrothed is of black African descent. More
German Princess Charlotte-Sophia was just 17 when she arrived in England to meet her betrothed King George III for the first time. We're told of the pomp and circumstance of this auspicious meeting; the nobility in attendance, and why it was so vitally important the 21-year-old king fulfill his duty to God and country by marrying Charlotte who by all accounts was a German princess of no less than 72 quarterings.
The royal painter sent to her remote duchy to paint her portrait was the only Englishmen to see her before her arrival. From his portrait the young king evaluated her against the portraits of three other German princesses. We should assume George found her portrait pleasing. Later reports tell us that upon their meeting noted above, he was so smitten he gave the order the wedding was to be held the next day, which it was.
Fast forward 100 years: the son of long-time adviser to Queen Victoria, Baron Stockmar, MD, is reviewing his father's private writings and happens upon this description of Queen Charlotte:
The Queen Mother (Charlotte, wife of George III.): 'Small and crooked, with a true Mulatto face.'
The word had the same meaning then as it does today – the child of one white and black parent -- which is to say, Dr. Stockmar, long-time adviser to Queen Victoria, thought her grandmother was of black African descent – so much so, in fact, he purposefully used the word “true” and capitalized the M in mulatto so this astonishing secret would be known to all posterity.
“A Face of a True Mulatto” fills in the gaps. It names the black African father of Charlotte and details exactly how he seduced the German duchess who gave birth to a mulatto girl who goes on to become “The Great-grandmother of all Europe.” This nick is not entirely mine. I borrowed it from the one given Queen Victoria (Charlotte's granddaughter), a sovereign whose nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent earning her the nickname “The Grandmother of Europe.”