At the end of the opening episode of Bridgerton spin-off Queen Charlotte, which charts the titular royal's ascent to the throne and her tumultuous relationship with King George, a tribute is paid to Jacqueline Avant.


Many people are familiar with Avant's story but for those who aren't, we've explained who she is and what happened to her below.

Who was Jacqueline Avant?

Jacqueline Avant was an American philanthropist. She was previously president of "Neighbors of Watts", a group that organised benefits, often with star-studded guest lists, to raise money for child care services.

Prior to her charity work, she was a model and a primary school tutor.

Jacqueline was the wife of music producer and executive Clarence Avant, also known as "The Black Godfather", who was instrumental in championing Black artists in the 1970s and '80s, work which earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

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His friendship circle included former US presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Jacqueline and Clarence Avant having their photo taken at a gala
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

What happened to Jacqueline Avant?

81-year-old Avant was shot dead in her Beverley Hills home in the early hours of 1st December, 2021.

Her killer, who was on parole at the time, initially pleaded not guilty before changing their plea.

Mr Avant was present at the property during the attack and held his wife in his arms as officers arrived at the scene. She died en-route to hospital.

The couple had been married for 54 years.

"Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother and philanthropist and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community," said her family in a statement. "She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life."

Clarence Avant (R) and his wife Jacqueline Avant attend a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

A number of prominent individuals paid tribute to Avant following her death, including Clinton, who described her as a "wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen and a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years".

Ex-US Vice President Al Gore said: "I'm devastated and heartbroken by the loss of Jackie Avant. She was an endlessly kind and generous soul who always sought out new ways to give back and lift others up."

Former pro basketball player Magic Johnson and actor Viola Davis were just some of the other notable names who offered their condolences.

Official Unveiling of The Jacqueline Avant Children and Family Center
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for The Jacqueline Avant Children and Family Center

Avant's favourite historical figure was Queen Charlotte and she also owned one of her letters. That information was relayed to showrunner Shonda Rhimes by the co-CEO of Netflix Ted Sarandos, who is married to the patron's daughter Nicole, who was the former US Ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009 to 2011.

Speaking at the premiere of Queen Charlotte, Rhimes said (The Hollywood Reporter): "Ted called me and my brain started humming, and the show was born. So this is a show about Queen Charlotte, but it all started because of another great queen, Jacqueline Avant."

Following Avant's death, her family opened the Jacqueline Avant Children and Family Center in South Los Angeles.


"It feels safe and healing," said Nicole at the launch (via Billboard). "My mum's whole thing was about physical, emotional and spiritual healing; she really believed in the power of art. And the art here is full of joy with a sense of family and friendship, which is very good for children because that's the first thing they should see."