The Real Queen Charlotte (Hardback)
Inside the Real Bridgerton Court
Hear author Catherine Curzon's full interview about Queen Charlotte on the Dress:Fancy podcast!
Known to millions as the imperious matriarch of Bridgerton’s court, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was still a teenager when she was chosen to be the bride of King George III. Shy, innocent, and sheltered, the orphaned princess and her youthful groom carried the hopes of a nation on their shoulders.
The placid and unassuming young couple symbolised a new beginning, but soon those hopes began to sour. Charlotte and George’s marriage lasted for nearly 60 years and produced more than a dozen children, but it was beset by unrest at home, war in the colonies, and the king’s encroaching madness.
As the royal couple battled against their critics, their political opponents, and sometimes even their own family, Charlotte learned what it really meant to be queen. Locked in a bitter struggle with her eldest son for the king’s future and with her daughters for their freedom, the timid young girl grew into an insular and domineering woman that few dared to cross.
Shouldering the burden of family disputes, ambitious courtiers, and the care of the man she adored, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz presided over one of the most tumultuous eras that the monarchy has ever seen. As tragic as it was glittering, this is the story of her extraordinary life.
As featured in Cosmopolitan Indonesia!Cosmopolitan Indonesia, May 2023
No.6 of 14 Best Books about Queen Charlotte in Town & Country magazineEmily Burack, Town & Country
As featured by Insider magazine 7 things 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story' gets right and wrong about Queen Charlotte and King George III's epic love storyMaria Noyen, Insider magazine
Author interview in the News & RecordBen Villarreal, News & Record
Featured by GEO FranceGEO.fr
As featured in The SmithsonianThe Smithsonian
Author interview on BBC Radio 4's PM programme discussing the lure of the costume drama.BBC Radio 4
Hear author Catherine here on BBC Radio Essex discussing badly-fitting corsets and TV shows banning them for the good of actor’s health!BBC Radio Essex
"I totally enjoyed reading this book!"A Tudor Reader
I didn't know enough about her, but Catherine's book has put that to rights, thankfully.Books Monthly
Yet another excellent book from Catherine Curzon.The History Fella
Read the Full Review Here
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Caroline Palmer
A wonderful and in depth look at a woman lost to a world history that focuses so much on her husband and her sons. While those interested in history know that Queen Charlotte wasn’t the social leader she’s portrayed as in Bridgerton, it’s still nice to have the spotlight on Charlotte for once.
The story of a real life princess from a small court who had an arranged marriage with the king of one of the most powerful countries in Europe. They loved each other, had a big family and lived happily ever after. Ok, the happily ever after didn't quite happen. She didn't get along with her in-laws and her husband preferred she stay somewhat isolated from court doings and politics. Then her eldest son and husband didn't agree on politics. But all lives have some problems. She did have her daughters for company. But then her husband went mad....NetGalley, Juliane Silver
Yes, this is the life story of Queen Charlotte, King George III's wife. There were a lot of wonderful things and not so wonderful in her life. It is kind of ironic that when she was young and recently came to London she complained about being kept somewhat isolated and then turned around and did that to her own daughters. In fact, she kept them very close, didn't encourage them to participate in court life and very much discouraged them from getting married. The public made comments about the daughters being kept living like a nunnery.
The work was well researched and easily readable. I learned a lot of things I didn't know.
The author is a historian specialising in the 18th Century and the author of a number of popular books on the Georgian royals. Her latest is a biography of Queen Charlotte, whose fictional counterpart plays a pivotal role in ‘Bridgerton’, the highly popular Netflix series set during the reign of George III.NetGalley, Vivienne O'Regan
When only seventeen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was chosen to be the bride of King George III. While it began as an arranged marriage, the shy princess and the young king were well matched. They were married for nearly sixty years and were parents to fifteen children. Yet political issues, social unrest, wars, and the king’s health including his madness all took their toll.
I found this a straightforward, concise, and accessible biography that focused on Charlotte’s relationships with her husband and children as well as detailed her long reign as Queen Consort.
As is usual with Pen & Sword titles the book contained notes, a bibliography, and an index.
Having read and heard only a little about Queen Charlotte before ever reading or watching Netflix's Bridgertons, I was interested in finding out more about the real woman. Curzon gives a good account of Charlotte's life as queen of Britain, a life which definitely wasn't all gowns and balls.NetGalley, Julia Guttzeit
The writing was easy to follow, because it wasn't info-dumps and big chunks of facts. Facts and information was woven nicely into the story of Queen Charlotte's life.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Dieter Moitzi
As shocking as this may sound, I’ve only watched one single episode of the Netflix saga “Bridgerton” before deciding this wasn’t a show for me. And yet, the short mention in the blurb of this book was, amongst other things, why I requested an ARC, the main two reasons being that I had never previously heard of Queen Charlotte and am, by nature, a very curious man.
It was very interesting, too, to delve into this woman’s story. Born into the royal Mecklenburg-Strelitz family in 1744, she grew up in that tiny and rather obscure duchy in northern Germany, one of those countless minor principalities of the rag rug that constituted the territories of the Holy Roman Empire before its inglorious end during the Napoleonic Wars. As a Protestant princess with no political weight whatsoever, she was deemed the perfect bride for king George III of Great Britain and of Ireland. They married in 1761 and in the first years led a perfectly happy and monogamous life—her husband was the rare example of a monarch not frolicking about with concubines and mistresses—which was graced with fifteen (!) children, thirteen of which should reach adulthood.
What should have been a tranquil river for the Queen consort, however, turned out to become a quite tumultuous reign. Not only did the French Revolution happen during that time, then the rise to power of Napoleon, his becoming emperor and fighting a nearly constant war in Europe for two decades, but her husband fell ill, too. A mental illness for which, back then, there was neither cure nor adequate treatment but what today we would consider imprisonment and regular sessions of torture of the sovereign.
Not an easy situation for a woman like Charlotte, who was always more interested in more etheral activities (arts, floriculture, and parks) than politics. As if that weren’t hard enough for her, her children turned out to be nothing like their sobre royal father, especially her sons, who rebelled against their upbringing by scandalous behaviour and liaisons.
Yes, Catherine Curzon’s book drew me in right from the start and remained a pleasant and interesting read all the way till the end. It was the right mix of historical data, well-researched explanations, with personal insights into the Queen’s character, her reactions, her feelings, as far as those can be narrated with accuracy. The book remained devoid of pedantic listings and details but was rich enough to paint a compelling picture of the times the Queen lived in and the characters involved. I don’t regret for a second having requested it and feel like I know more about Queen Charlotte now.
This is a very approachable book for someone wanting to learn more about Queen Charlotte, British royal history, or 18th century England. Charlotte's life was long, and leads to many plot lines that are interesting, including how her children turned on her when they were grown. I especially enjoyed how Curzon focused on the changing of her relationship with her husband, which lead to many triumphs for their family, but also many heartaches as he spun into a mental health crisis.NetGalley, Beth Yurs
This book is extremely informative and a nice read. I watch the show Bridgerton on Netflix, so I was really interested to read about the real thing and this was perfect. I know so much more than I did before reading this. The super cool bonus is that it comes with pictures of the real Queen Charlotte and King George III that were really fun to look at. I enjoyed this book quite a lot.NetGalley, Angel D
As featured inThe Bookseller
I really enjoyed this book, finding it very informative yet in no ways dull. It follows the life of Queen Charlotte, who ruled beside King George III of England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.NetGalley, Elizabeth Weber
While it may appear at first to be a short book, a lot of detail is contained within the pages. It clearly traces Charlotte's quiet early life, her early years as Queen, and the struggles that she endured once George's health began failing. Along with the 'narrative' (as this is presented more narratively,) there is an abundance of primary quotations from Charlotte herself, newspapers, and those around her...
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants information on the real "Queen from Bridgerton" or who is interested in the royal families of England.
This book was super interesting and I really appreciated learning so much about Queen Charlotte and King George III in such an in-depth way. It just adds more layers to Queen Charlotte's story and life, instead of simply "the wife" of King George III.NetGalley, Nat Anne-Marie
The real Queen Charlotte was very different from the dominating, but likeable Queen in the Bridgerton series. This insightful and sympathetic portrayal gives readers an account of her character, and her many trials and tribulations. She remains likeable, but her tragic life understandably changed her temperament somewhat.NetGalley, Lisa Sanderson
Queen Charlotte and George III had a remarkably happy marriage, enjoying a secluded life. Her main interest was botany and she also kept a menagerie, introducing kangaroos to England. (The kangaroos started to take over the menagerie)! However, the loss of children, her husband's illness and her fight with the Prince Regent sharpened her temper, and she could be difficult. She was definitely very hard on her poor daughters, not wanting them to get married, and keeping them in a 'Windsor nunnery'!
This was an interesting look at Queen Charlotte's tragic life by Catherine Curzon. You really feel for the poor Queen, having to deal with a husband who seemed mad, a rebellious son, and unhappy daughters.
I really enjoyed this, a must read if you’re a fan of the time period but anyone with a general interest in women in history will find this fascinating. Really well researched and explained, not too heavy and well written.NetGalley, Laura Faulkner
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Heather Bennett
Very interesting I never much thought about this historic Queen but I found this book quite interesting and engaging.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGallley, Heather Michael
Fascinating story! Highly recommend for history buffs out there.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Mariama Thorlu-Bangura
Bridgerton fans love Queen Charlotte. Her wigs, her gowns, her love for gossip...they all make her a most entertaining character. But what I liked about her was her reaction in season 1 to Simon's explanation for why he and Daphne needed to marry: friendship. Catherine Curzon provides an excellent bio of Queen Charlotte, especially with regard to the early years of her marriage to George III. It was a match made out of duty, but friendship blossomed and bloomed into love. That was the lesson Simon and Daphne discovered in their 'courtship'.
What makes Charlotte a tragic figure is how she had to watch her friend and love disappear bit by bit with each crisis the king had. Not only did she have that to deal with, she also had unruly sons bent on gaining power. She also had daughters that she kept on such a short rope that 3 didn't marry until they were in their 30s/40s. Today, that's not such a huge deal; in Charlotte's day, that was absolutely scandalous, especially for royalty. Ultimately, Charlotte suffered much loss, but none so great as the loss of her husband King George.
The book itself is a fast-paced read, separated into 3 acts. One could read it in one sitting or do what I did: read over the course of a several days. Doing the latter will allow for better understanding and empathy. Bridgerton gives a glamorous Queen Charlotte; Curzon gives us the real meat and potatoes Queen Charlotte. Trust me when I say the latter gives more depth and nuance to the former that all who read this book will appreciate.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Ece Karadag
I would love to thank Pen & Sword Books for sending me an e-copy of this book and totally enjoyed while reading this book! This is the first book I’ve ever read about Queen Charlotte.
So, let me tell something about this book. It’s a book which tells some informations about the real Bridgerton Court.
The calm and unassuming young couple, Queen Charlotte and King George III, represented a new beginning, but those hopes soon faded. Charlotte and George's marriage lasted nearly 60 years and produced over a dozen children, but it was marred by domestic strife, war in the colonies, and the king's growing insanity.
When Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was still a teenager when she was chosen to be the bride of King George III. She was very shy, pure, and sheltered and also she was an orphan princess. Her youthful groom carried the hopes of a nation on their shoulders.
Charlotte learned what it meant to be queen as the royal couple faced criticism, political opponents, and even members of their own family. The timid young girl grew into an insular and domineering woman that few dared to cross, locked in a bitter struggle with her eldest son for the king's future and with her daughters for their freedom.
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz presided over one of the monarchy's most turbulent eras, juggling family feuds, ambitious courtiers, and the care of the man she adored. This is the story of her extraordinary life, as tragic as it was glittering.
8th September 1761
Marriage of George III of the United Kingdom to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Queen Charlotte)
The Real Bridgerton (Hardback)
As millions of viewers across the globe thrill to the assembly room exploits of the Bridgerton family and wait with bated breath for Lady Whistledown’s latest despatch from Almack’s, scandal has never been so delicious. In a world where appearances were everything and gossip was currency, everyone had their price. From a divorce case that hinged on a public demonstration of masturbation to the irresistible exploits of the New Female Coterie, via the Prince Regent’s dropped drawers and Lady Hamilton’s diaphanous unmentionables, The Real Bridgerton pulls back the sheets on the eighteenth…By Catherine Curzon
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