Queen Charlotte


Queen Charlotte statue in the middle of the day 

Have you ever wondered how the Queen City got its name? Princess Sophie Charlotte was one of many children born to the royal German family. Princess Charlotte spent most of her childhood at Mirow, a castle located in a section of northern Germany known as Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  At the age of 17, she was married to King George III and became the Queen of England. Queen Charlotte was very respected. She also introduced the Christmas tree into English culture. In honor of Queen Charlotte and her homeland, in 1763 the English settlers of this area named their newly formed county seat Charlotte and their county Mecklenburg. Queen Charlotte’s crown still remains a symbol of the city of Charlotte today, also known as the Queen City. ​​​ 

Queen Charlotte statue on a cloudy day with the Airport control tower in the background



A side view of the Queen Charlotte Statue


Sculpture of Queen Charlotte  

A private group k
nown as the Queen’s Table agreed to donate $250,000 for a sculpture that would be designed to symbolize our city and to greet those that pass through Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The artist for the project was one of sixteen other artists chosen for the job. A rendering of Queen Charlotte by Washington D.C. artist, Raymond Kaskey, was the group’s unanimous choice. The sculpture is a 15-foot-high bronze figure of Queen Charlotte that was designed with the use of a model, Megan Berryhill. The sculpture stands as the centerpiece in the Queen’s Courtyard between the two parking decks. There have often been many assumptions made about why the sculpture is shaped the way it is. Some believe it is bent like a willow branch, appearing to be held aloft by the wind. Kaskey simply says that he made her “leaning backward in the wind because it seemed appropriate for an airport…and the column sets her as a stationary weather vane.” The emblem of the fountain and base is a compass rose, suggesting Charlotte is a crossroads.  Queen Charlotte is positioned atop a column, which is also a water fountain, and stands in the middle a water filled base.  The base includes markings indicating North, South East & West. The crown in her hand is counter-balanced with the backwards motion as a welcome sign to the pedestrian.” The sculpture was dedicated to the airport September 18, 1990. 

Queen Charlotte’s Temporary Location

Due to construction of the new Hourly Deck and Consolidated Rental Car Return Facility, Queen Charlotte was relocated in January, 2013, to a new location between the Daily decks, north of the terminal.  Here, she resides, until the terminal expansion project is complete. Queen Charlotte’s courtyard contains hollis, nandinas, roses, star jasmines and pernnials.  Many of the plantings are original to her first courtyard location and were replanted. Historical markers were also relocated with the queen.  

​​Queen Charlotte statue on top of a fountain overlooking passengers


Queen Charlotte statue with a parking deck in the background


​Quick Facts
  • Installed: 1990
  • Location: Queens Courtyard
  • Relocated:  2013
  • Temporary Location:  Between the two Daily Decks in her courtyard
  • Artist: Washington D.C. Artist Raymond Kaskey, selected by a 16-person committee through the Queens Table
  • Funding: Gift from the Queens Table who donated $250,000 for the sculpture, City paid for the base and fountain.  Queens Table is a private philanthropic group, most of whose members choose to remain anonymous, consists of people who pledge $1,000 per year to beautify the City.
  • Description: The sculpture is a 15-foot-high bronze figure of Queen Charlotte.  Kaskey said of the pose, “I used her as a mythological symbol.  Learning backward in the wind seemed appropriate for an airport and the column sets her as a stationary weather vane.  The emblem of the fountain is a compass rose, suggesting Charlotte as a crossroads.  The crown in her hand is counterbalanced with the backwards motion as a welcome sign to the pedestrian.”  The column stands in the middle of a fountain base with markings indicating North, South, East & West.​​