Nature Knows No Color Line

The 3rd edition of “Nature Knows No Color-Line,” published in 1952 by historian and photo-journalist J.A. Rogers, contains a photograph on its cover of a portrait of Queen Charlotte Sophia (1744 – 1818), consort of King George III, grandmother of Queen Victoria, and great-great-great-great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Charlotte Sophia

Rogers, who spent decades combing through archives around the world documenting what he referred to as “Negro Ancestry in the White Race,” asserted the German princess Charlotte Sophia’s “Negro strain” could be explained by the significant number of “blacks” in German nobility, as indicated in the Coats-of-Arms of noble families and such family names as Mohr, Moringer (derivative of “Moor”) and others. Rogers was by no means the first writer to raise this issue about the Queen’s ancestry. And the topic has continued to be explored in news stories, fiction and on the web. In 1999 an article appeared in the Sunday Times of London that offered confirmation of Charlotte Sophia’s purported African ancestry from Duarte Nuno Souso Chichorro Marcao, a distant cousin who lives in Lisbon, Portugal. A decade later this article by Stuart Jeffries appeared in The Guardian in March 2009, treating the topic with a healthy degree of skepticism. The issue of her ancestry also received attention in connection with a PBS Frontline documentary that examined the so-called “Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families.

I thought it would be interesting to re-visit this subject given the recent media orgy over the so-called royal wedding of two parties who will remain unnamed here and for which I will provide no links to avoid encouraging even more frothing at the mouth. Below are a series of portraits of the Queen.

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