Princess Keisha of Nigeria says 'Bridgerton' shouldn't 'ruffle feathers' for casting a Black actress as Queen Charlotte

Mike Coppola/Getty Images, NetflixPrincess Keisha of Nigeria (left) said everyone should know the history of Black royalty.
  • Princess Keisha said portraying Queen Charlotte as Black in “Bridgerton” shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Keisha told Insider that “everyone should know the history of Black royalty.”
  • The show supports the theory that Charlotte was Black by casting Golda Rosheuvel in the role.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Princess Keisha of Nigeria said “Bridgerton’s” decision to cast a Black actress to play Queen Charlotte shouldn’t be an issue for fans of the show.

The Netflix show has received mixed reviews for selecting a diverse cast to play royals and aristocrats in Regency-era London, specifically its decision to cast Black actress Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte.

While many viewers have lauded the show’s casting choices, some have criticised it for not reflecting historical accuracy — a problematic perspective that could be considered racist.

The series leans into the theory that King George III’s German wife was descended from a Black branch of the Portuguese royal family.

Keisha, a model and founder of A Crown of Curls — a hair care business for mixed-race children — is Nigerian royalty through her marriage to Prince Kunle.

She told Insider that the show’s decision to support the theory marks a “show of change” for the industry and that more people should be educated about Black royalty.

BRIDGERTON QUEEN CHARLOTTELIAM DANIEL/NETFLIXQueen Charlotte on ‘Bridgerton.’

“It was very interesting, and obviously for me, it was easy to follow along with the story. It wasn’t a big deal to me. I can see why it can be strange for someone, in 2021, who still doesn’t realise that Africa had royalty,” Keisha told Insider.

Keisha praised the show for making a “bold choice” by casting Rosheuvel, something which she said was a “joy to see.”

“You should be able to watch a show like that, and it not ruffle your feathers because, in this day and age, everyone should know the history of Black royalty,” she added.

The theory that Charlotte was Black was popularised by historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom, who claims that the queen was related to Margarita de Castro e Souza, “a 15th-century Portuguese noblewoman nine generations removed, whose ancestry traces from the 13th-century ruler Alfonso III and his lover Madragana,” whom he believes to “have been a Moor and thus a Black African.”

The theory has been questioned by historian Hakim Adi, who previously told Insider that supporting Valdes’ approach depends on your definition of “Blackness.” He also said there was a lack of evidence of Charlotte’s race.

Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury on the show, recently defended the series after suggestions that it wasn’t historically accurate to cast Black actors in a Regency-era drama.

She told Digital Spy: “There’s real evidence of Black people in this country for centuries. We’ve taken the factual existence of Black people in this country at that time, which is an absolute nailed-on fact and heightened it.”

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