Bridgerton blew us away when it premiered on Netflix on Christmas Day of 2020. Season 1 of the Regency-era period drama shattered streaming records and its fairytale ending for the Duke and Duchess of Hastings left us burning for more after the curtains came down in the season finale. The promise of a second season was followed by an agonizingly long wait that thankfully was made easier to bear when word got out that the Bridgerton universe was expanding with a prequel spin-off centered on her majesty Queen Charlotte. At the center of the Bridgerton series is the namesake family and the exploration of their love lives, one sibling at a time, however, Queen Charlotte’s larger-than-life persona quickly made her a fan favorite directing the creative hands at Shondaland to prepare a time-traveling carriage that will take us on a trip down memory lane to explore the origins of a character inspired by a real-life historical figure.
Not originally a part of Julia Quinn’s novels from which Bridgerton is adapted, the character of Queen Charlotte was the brainchild of Bridgerton’s showrunners and while the historical accuracies of the series have been called to question, Chris Van Dusen the showrunner for Seasons 1 and 2 has clarified that the show “is not a history lesson,” but “for a modern audience, featuring modern themes and characters.” Thus, great liberty was taken into reimagining the character with a focus on the debated theory that the real-life Queen Charlotte might have been the first British monarch of mixed ancestry. The prequel will look to dive deeper in that direction imagining what the Regency era could have been if indeed Queen Charlotte had black roots. How could this have affected their acceptance of her into British high society, and how did she navigate the possible pitfalls to eventually get to the throne? In keeping with the prevalent theme of the matriarch series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will not only focus on 1810s British politicking but will touch on the Queen’s love life as a young bride to King George III. Here is everything you need to prepare you for the Queen’s return.
Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on March 24, 2023.
What Is The Plot For Queen Charlotte?
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is set up as an origin story that will focus on young Charlotte’s betrothal to King George III. According to Netflix’s official news website Tudum, Charlotte is betrothed to the King against her will and when she arrives in England she fails to make a good first impression, however, their marriage does happen and eventually heralds a societal shift in the ton that see people of color (e.g Lady Danbury) rise to become influential figures in British high society.
Tudum describes Queen Charlotte’s romance with King George III as “a great love story,” which hints that though she didn’t initially want him, she eventually grew fonder of him and both were able to make their marriage work. Seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton offered a glimpse into the Queen’s now fractured relationship with the King due to his mental health issues, so it will be refreshing to see a time when the Queen was young and in love and enjoyed the fairytale life she now wishes for young debutants. There is a chance that the prequel could detail how the Queen’s past romantic experiences led her to become the passionate and borderline obsessive matchmaker she now is. Queen Charlotte will also explore the origins of Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton and how they were both able to foster a long-lasting friendship with the queen.
Here is the official synopsis of Queen Charlotte from Netflix:
“Centered on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, this Bridgerton-verse prequel tells the story of how the young Queen’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton.”
Who Is in The Cast of Queen Charlotte?
Netflix has unveiled the full cast and characters for Queen Charlotte, and they include India Amarteifio (Sex Education), Corey Mylchreest (The Sandman), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), and Arsema Thomas (Redeeming Love). Newcomer India Amarteifio will play the younger Queen Charlotte, a role that will see her learn the ways of British high society upon her arrival in England. Corey Mylchreest is another fresh face and his role as young King George is the first starring role of his budding career. Young King George is described as “handsome and charismatic with a bit of mystery.” George is vulnerable to restraints placed on him by his Kingship, however, his marriage to young Charlotte will force him to stand up to his demons. Michelle Fairley who is best known for her role as Lady Catelyn Stark in HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones will portray Princess Augusta. The King’s mother, Augusta is described as a determined mother who seeks to cement her son’s place in the monarchy. Arsema Thomas will be portraying Agatha Danbury – the young Lady Danbury. The first-ever role of her acting career will see her serve as young Queen Charlotte’s confidant.
In July 2022 it was revealed that the prequel expanded its cast with the addition of Connie Jenkins-Greig in the recurring role of Young Violet Ledger, that is the Bridgerton matriarch in her younger days as a single teenager preparing to debut on the marriage mart. Katie Brayben (King Charles III) and Keir Charles (Green Wing) will portray Vivian and Lord Ledger the parents of Violet Ledger.
Other cast members include Cyril Nri (The Bill) as Lord Danbury, Richard Cunningham (Dancing on the Edge) as Lord Bute, Tunji Kasim (Nearly Famous) as Adolphus, and Rob Maloney (Territory) as the Royal Doctor. Additionally, a few of Bridgerton’s original cast including Golda Rosheuval who plays Queen Charlotte, Adjoa Andoh who plays Lady Danbury, and Ruth Gemmell who plays Lady Violet Bridgerton will all appear in the prequel to reprise their respective roles. James Fleet will be getting more screen time for his role as King George III. Hugh Sachs will also reprise his role as Brimsley, the Queen’s right-hand man while Sam Clemmett will play his younger version.
Rosheuval spoke about her role as Queen Charlotte and the importance of the Bridgerton story:
“I think especially in the world that we are in now, to celebrate Black History is really really important, and through a female protagonist, female historical character…”
How Many Episodes Will Queen Charlotte Have?
Queen Charlotte was announced as a limited series which means that the prequel will have just one season. The limited series will have 8 episodes.
When Is The Release Date For Queen Charlotte?
Netflix will be kicking off May with a big splash, as they have officially announced that Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will be hitting the streaming service on May 4, 2023.
When Did Queen Charlotte Film?
In March 2022, writer and executive producer Shonda Rhimes also took to Twitter to announce the production alongside a photo of the script where the title of the first episode was revealed as ‘Queen To Be.’ The photo also revealed the show’s director to be Tom Verica who will also serve as an executive producer alongside Betsy Beers, and Rhimes.
Production began around April 2022 and wrapped in early September.
Will Queen Charlotte Have a Book Tie-In?
If you loved reading the Julia Quinn Bridgerton novels, then get ready for another. Quinn’s novels series already includes about 10 books but none of them covered the story of Queen Charlotte or King George III. To dive deeper into the royal love story, executive producer Shonda Rhimes will join forces with Quinn to write a novel based on the prequel and both will be released simultaneously.
Is There A Trailer For Queen Charlotte?
Netflix released the first official clip for the series on September 24, 2022, as part of the Tudum event, showing a meet-cute between the titular young Queen and King George.
Netflix released a teaser trailer for Queen Charlotte on Valentine’s Day 2023. While it’s only a minute long, the trailer gives us a good glimpse at the series, including all the royal turmoil, romance, and drama that is sure to ensure.
The first full trailer for Queen Charlotte gives us nearly three minutes of footage, and more story details. It sets the stage for what will surely be an exciting season of television.