Woke museum SLAMMED for 'racist' tour claiming Queen Charlotte was the 'first royal person of colour'

Woke museum SLAMMED for 'racist' tour claiming Queen Charlotte was the 'first royal person of colour'

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GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 20/04/2024

- 13:24

'The insecure white boys writing history conveniently forget to mention that bit, because... well, structural racism', the tour guide claimed

A London museum has been accused of "confusing the ignorant" and being "profoundly racist" after a guided audio tour incorrectly claimed King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, was a "person of colour".

The guide, available to guests at the Queen's House, part of Royal Museums Greenwich, sees guests given "a very gay tour" of the estate by drag king and historian Christian Adore.

As museum-goers walk past a figurehead of the former Queen taken from the royal yacht HMY Royal Charlotte, a section of the guide plays a recorded message saying: "Queen Charlotte, the nation’s first royal person of colour.

"Yep, you heard me. The insecure white boys writing history conveniently forget to mention that bit, because... well, structural racism."

Queen Charlotte Gainsborough portrait/Queen's House

Doubts about Queen Charlotte's ethnicity were first publicised after a German historian questioned the accuracy of her portrait by Thomas Gainsborough (pictured)

Wikimedia Commons

Royal Museums Greenwich says the tour, which "shares the spirit" of its LGBTQ+ History Month event, "Fierce Queens", contains Adore "sharing just some of the "deliciously gay stories" contained within its [the Queen's House's] galleries.

The description continues: "Along the way, he'll introduce the performers and artists that make Fierce Queens a night to treasure, allowing them to share their own experiences of representation and inclusivity in the historic space."

Its audio guide also highlights the bisexuality of King James I, and states King Charles II, known for his multiple mistresses, had a "progressive, genuinely modern understanding of relationships in the 1660s".

Elsewhere in the Queen's House, a bust of Lord Nelson is berated by a "migrant goddess" figure, who tells heroic British admirals to "move over" for the "unsung heroes of the sea" and claims Nelson's "bravery and resilience" is shared by migrants who make sea crossings.


Queen Charlotte Allan Ramsay portrait

An Allan Ramsay portrait which emphasised the Queen's "broad nostrils and heavy lips" is apparently evidence of her non-white heritage

Wikimedia Commons

Reports of the guided tour were slammed by former Royal Navy officer Chris Parry, who said: "This level of stupidity simply degrades and defiles our national reputation for historical scholarship... These antics serve to confuse the ignorant and are profoundly racist. Remove public funding."

The idea that Queen Charlotte was not white was first put forward by German historian Brunold Springer in 1929 - a time of high interest in physiognomy pseudoscience in Germany - who claimed her portrait by Thomas Gainsborough was inaccurate.

Springer instead pointed to a portrait by Allan Ramsay, who emphasised her "broad nostrils and heavy lips", while other academics have highlighted historical accounts of the Queen's "Mulatto [mixed-race" face as evidence of her African heritage.

Later scholars pointed out one of her distant ancestors, Madragana, a Moorish mistress of Portugal's King Afonso III, would have contributed to her appearance - though this has been put down by historians as the word "Moor" was a religious, not racial, descriptor at the time.

In popular culture, Queen Charlotte has been depicted as mixed-race - most notably in Netflix drama Bridgerton and its spin-off, Queen Charlotte.

A museum spokesperson said: "The Fierce Royals pieces were performed in the Queen’s House, delivered by a number of performance artists, during LGBTQ+ History Month and part of an evening of light-hearted entertainment, and later added to our website for the enjoyment of those who could not come on the night.

"As part of the Fierce Queens event that the tour is based on, we had a black performer playing Queen Charlotte, which is why this segment was included in the tour.

"It was not written by or performed by members of RMG staff and as a performance piece, was not 'fact checked'."

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