Queen is the story about Easter, the illegitimate daughter of James Jackson, III and her lifelong affair with plantation owner Tim Daly, which would result in the birth of Queen. Queen's story revolves around her early years as a slave who yearns to know who her father is, and her condition as a fair skin mixed race woman who spends her life trying to figure out where exactly she fits in.
The first episode develops the relationship between James Jackson III, a rich plantation owner's son and Easter, a slave. James marries a wealthy Southern lady, but he carries on with a lifelong affair with Easter, which will result in the birth of a girl, Queen. Queen's fair skin makes her soon notice that she is not as black as her fellow slaves. She is taken into the main plantation house to be the personal slave of James' daughter, where she spends her youth years trying to discern if Jackson is her real father. The Civil War seriously affects James' plantation putting an end to the old ways and the family matriarch tells Queen to find some other place to live.
Queen journeys away from the plantation and discovers the delight of passing for white. However, when she is about to marry an ex Confederate soldier named Digby, she reveals her real roots and therefore faces his extreme anger. Abused and alone, Queen is forced into exile once more. Eventually, she gets employment at the home of two spinters and starts a relationship with a black hired hand by the the name Davis, shortly afterwards becoming pregnant of his child. Abandoned by the father and abused by the ladies, Queen escapes the relative comforts of her employers' home, taking her child with her.
Reunited with Davis, the father of his son, Queen finds love but also hate as the man is lynched. Taking the road once more, Queen finds a new job and meets Alec Haley, who will become his husband and the father of her second son, Simon. Though Queen never finds an answer to her quest for belonging, she is at least moderately at peace with the place in which she finds herself. A household fire seems to be the triggering event that together with her sons' departure, causes Queen's nervous breakdown. She has serious issues seeing her first son Abner depart, and her mental state goes worse to the point that she needs to be institutionalized.