Daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm I (1688-1740) of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea (1685-1757). Sister of King Frederick II the Great. Married (1733) to Charles, the eldest son of Duke Ferdinand Albert II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, who two years later succeeded to the dukedom. They had nine children, who survived childhood, including Charles II, who inherited the dukedom, and Elisabeth Christine, who married Frederick William, Crown Prince of Prussia.
Philippine Charlotte was a highly educated and enlightened Duchess, known for her intellectual pursuits and appreciation for German intellectual life. Influenced by the ducal adviser Johann Friedrich Wilhelm (Abbé) Jerusalem, she was keenly interested in philosophy, particularly the works of Christian von Wolff, which she independently translated into French. She enjoyed a close relationship with the poet Salomon Gessner and Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, and even the dramatist Lessing was part of her social circle.
In her role as Duchess consort, she was renowned for hosting conversational gatherings in her state apartments at the Grauer Hof, attracting scholars and literary figures. Although the Brunswick court participated in opera performances and public balls, financial constraints imposed by her husband's spending led to a more economical court life.
Philippine Charlotte was dedicated to providing her son Charles with a humanist education, influenced by her admiration for her brother, the King of Prussia. She ensured Charles received instruction from Abbé Jerusalem and arranged for him to travel on a Grand Tour with the archaeologist Winckelmann as his guide.
Boswell was introduced to the Duchess at the Court of Brunswick on June 27, 1764.