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Re: [Generation-Mixed] Great Britain's Royal Family's Mixed-Race Roots

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  • wintyreeve@aol.com
    I just finished reading this memoir about a Japanese geisha, Mineko Iawasaki--she was the top geisha and businesswoman of her time and retired at age 29.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 13, 2009
      I just finished reading this memoir about a Japanese geisha, Mineko Iawasaki--she was the top geisha and businesswoman of her time and retired at age 29. Anyways, she was telling a story about how she was offended when the Queen visited, that she would not eat any of the food prepared for her. The cook spent at least 4 months preparing for the visit, and researching what food she liked--the whole district had prepared for the family, the best of everything. The Queen wouldn't talk to anyone--and you had to have permission to talk to her through a mediator, you could not address her directly. It was funny bc Mineko said that she began to talk with her husband, the Duke, who allowed Mineko to speak directly to him. She said the Queen got jealous and made her husband sleep in a separate room that night!
      Its good to see the human side of things, to get a deeper perspective... Thanks for sharing.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...>
      To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 12:51 pm
      Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Great Britain's Royal Family's Mixed-Race Roots

      Great Britain's Mixed-Race Queen: 
      Charlotte (wife of George the 3rd)


             With features as conspicuously 
       as they were reputed to 
             be by her
       contemporaries, it is no
             wonder that 
      [people] throughout 
             the British Commonwealth, 
       rallied around pictures of 
      Charlotte for generations.

             They have pointed out the physiological
             traits that so obviously identify the 
             ethnic strain of the young woman 
             who, at first glance, looks almost 
             anomalous, portrayed as she usually is, in the 
             sumptuous splendour of her coronation robes.  
             Queen Charlotte, wife of the English King George III (1738-1820), 
             was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, 
             a part-Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.

             http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Image:Charlotte. jpg
             http://www.lib. virginia. edu/small/ exhibits/ charlotte/ char1.jpg

      The riddle of Queen Charlotte's African ancestry was 
      solved as a result of an earlier investigation into the 
      black magi featured in 15th century Flemish paintings. 

      Two art historians had sugg ested that the black magi 
      must have been portraits of actual contemporary people 
      (since the artist, without seeing them, would not have 
      been aware of the subtleties in colouring and facial 
      bone structure of quadroons or octoroons 
      which these figures invariably represented) 

      Enough evidence was accumulated to propose that 
      the models for the black magi were, in all probability, 
      members of the Portuguese de Sousa family. 
      (Several de Sousas had in fact traveled to the 
      Netherlands when their cousin, the Princess 
      Isabella went there to marry the Grand Duke, 
      Philip the Good of Burgundy in the year 1429.) 

             Six different lines can be traced from English Queen 
             Charlotte back to Margarita de Castro y Sousa, in a 
             gene pool which because of royal inbreeding was 
             already minuscule, thus explaining the Queen's 
             unmistakable "African" appearance.

      Queen Charlotte's Portrait 

             The "Negroid" characteristics of the Queen's portraits 
             certainly had political significance since artists of that 
             period were expected to 'play down', "soften" or even 
            ' obliterate' "undesirable" features in a subjects' face. 

      Sir Allan Ramsay was the artist responsible for the majority 
      of the paintings of the Queen and his representations of 
      her were the most decidedly African of all her portraits. 
      Ramsey was an anti-slavery intellectual of his day. 

      He also married the niece of Lord Mansfield, the English 
      judge whose 1772 decision was the first in a series of 
      rulings that finally ended slavery in the British Empire. 

             It should be noted too that by the time Sir Ramsay 
             was commissioned to do his first portrait of the Queen, 
             he was already, by marriage, uncle to Dido Elizabeth 
             Lindsay, the black grand niece of Lord Mansfield. 
      Thus, from just a cursory look at the social awareness 
      and political activism at that level of English society, 
      it would be surprising if the Queen's negroid physiogomy 
      was of no significance to the Abolitionist movement.
             Lord Mansfield's black grand niece, for 
             example, Ms. Lindsay, was the subject 
             of at least two formal full sized portraits. 

             Obviously prompted by or meant to
             appeal to abolitionist sympathies, 
             they depicted the celebrated 
             friendship between herself and 
             her White cousin, Elizabeth Murray, 
             another member of the Mansfield family.

      One of the artists was none other than Zoffany, 
      the court painter to the royal family, for whom 
      the Queen had sat on a number of occasions. 
      It is perhaps because of this fairly obvious case of 
      propagandistic portraiture that makes one suspect 
      that Queen Charlotte's coronation picture, copies 
      of which were sent out to the colonies, signified 
      a specific stance on slavery held, at least, 
      by that circle of the English intelligencia to 
      which Allan Ramsay, the painter belonged.

      For the initial work into Queen Charlotte's genealogy, 
      a debt of gratitude is owed the History Department of 
      McGill University. It was the director of the Burney 
      Project (Fanny Burney, the prolific 19th century 
      British diarist, had been secretary to the Queen), 
      Dr. Joyce Hemlow, who obtained from Olwen Hedly, 
      the most recent biographer of the Queen Charlotte 
      (1975), at least half a dozen quotes by her 
      contemporaries regarding her negroid features. 

      Because of its "scientific" source, the most valuable 
      of Dr. Hedley's references would, probably, be the 
      one published in the autobiography of the Queen's 
      personal physician, Baron Stockmar, where he 
      described her as having "...a true mulatto face." 

      Perhaps the most literary of these allusions to her 
      African appearance, however, can be found in the 
      poem penned to her on the occasion of her 
      wedding to George III and the Coronation 
      celebration that immediately followed. 
      Descended from the warlike Vandal race, 
      She still preserves that title in her face.
      Tho' shone their triumphs o'er Numidia's plain,
      And and Alusian fields their name retain;
      They but subdued the southern world with arms,
      She conquers still with her triumphant charms,
      O! born for rule, - to whose victorious brow
      The greatest monarch of the north must bow.
      Finally, it should be noted that the Royal Household 
      itself, at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, 
      referred to both her Asian and African bloodlines 
      in an apologia it published defending her 
      position as head of the Commonwealth.

      More about Research into the Black Magi:  

      In the Flemish masterpieces depicting the 
      Adoration of the Magi, the imagery of the 
      black de Sousas had been utilized as 
      both religious and political propaganda to 
      support Portugal's expansion into Africa. 

      In addition, the Flemish artists had drawn 
      from a vocabulary of blackness which, 
      probably due to the Reformation and the 
      Enlightenment, has long since been forgotten.
      There was a wealth of positive symbolism 
      that had been attributed to the black 
      African figure during the Middle Ages. 

      Researched and Written by Mario de Valdes 
      y Cocom, an historian of the African diaspora. 
      Some of these articles in the series are 
      from the
       spartacus educational web site. 
      They first appeared, and are 
      currently present, on the PBS Web site. 
      For more articles see the
       PBS Web site.
      http://www.ipoaa. com/queen_ charlotte. htm 

      http://www.lib. virginia. edu/small/ exhibits/ charlotte/ english_intro. html 

      http://www.lib. virginia. edu/small/ exhibits/ charlotte/ char1.jpg
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