Two weeks this Saturday, the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry and America’s Meghan Markle will be married at England’s Windsor Castle; an event garnering lots of attention on both sides of the pond. In the line of succession to the British throne (still occupied by Queen Elizabeth II after a record sixty-five years), Harry is now sixth, behind his father Charles, his older brother William, and William’s three children: George, Charlotte, and ten-day-old Louis. Of all these royals, I’d love to see William’s daughter ascend to the throne someday. “Queen Charlotte” just sounds so regal, doesn’t it?
Princess Charlotte is now three years old and already working on her Royal Highness wave (see above). I thought she was named after Princess Charlotte Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German-born wife of King George III from three centuries ago, but apparently that’s a-little-too ancient history. Charlotte’s name is instead a nod to the feminine form of “Charles”, her grandfather. Add in her middle names Elizabeth (her great-grandmother the Queen) and Diana (her grandmother), and Charlotte’s full name is quite a mouthful. Perhaps you prefer the more formal “Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge”?
I’m enamored with Charlotte because you just don’t see her given name in print very often. Mecklenburg-Strelitz is one of just three Charlotte’s in the entire British monarchy. Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Queen – by marriage – of Great Britain and Ireland for forty years in the late 1700’s, before those countries became a part of the United Kingdom. Lest you think she was a power Queen, Charlotte was chosen by her husband King George III for just the opposite reason – her lack of interest in politics. Charlotte bore George fifteen children (including future king George IV, who himself had a daughter Charlotte), so it’s fair to say she fulfilled her real obligation to the monarchy.
There’s America’s city of Charlotte, North Carolina, of course. Charlotte really is named for Charlotte Mecklenburg-Strelitz, as she was the reigning “consort” (monarch’s spouse) at the time of the city’s incorporation in 1768. America was still a grouping of British colonies back then, so the city’s naming makes more sense with that context. Charlotte is aptly named the “Queen City” and is central to the county of Mecklenburg. It’s as if we Americans are of British and German descent.
The only other reference to Charlotte I could find (in case someone up there is reading) is the town of Charlotte, Vermont. “This” Charlotte was incorporated six years before North Carolina’s, no doubt also named for the eighteenth-century queen. No surprise – Charlotte, VT is in America’s geographical region of New England.
On a personal note, my father’s older sister was named Charlotte. She died not ten years old (of scarlet fever), so it’s a shame I never had the chance to know her. I would’ve enjoyed calling her my Aunt Charlotte.
That’s the extent of my tour of Charlotte’s. With any luck (and longevity), I’ll be witness to Queen Charlotte in my own lifetime. Throne or not, the young princess’s estimated worth to the British economy is $4 billion over the course of her life. Big number there. Then again, I just contributed $7.95 of the total. My wife and I renewed our Netflix subscription last night so we could watch “The Crown”.
Some content sourced from Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.