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Belles, Balls, and British Accents: Bridgerton Spinoff Arrives in May

Keeley Brooks

Apr 26, 2023

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

If you’re a big Bridgerton fan, you’re gonna want to go ahead and clear a day next weekend to binge-watch its prequel series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. The six-episode limited series drops next Thursday on Netflix.


While the show itself is based on Julia Quinn’s series of eight novels, each of which focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling’s quest to find love, the prequel is masterminded by Shonda Rhimes via her production company Shondaland. Centering on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, it will tell her backstory and introduce us to her younger days while also chronicling her love story with and betrothal to King George. The show will also focus on the great societal shift that occurred as a result of their marriage, as well as on the early lives of Lady Danbury and Bridgerton matriarch Violet. India Amarteifio (The Tunnel TV series) will play a young Queen Charlotte while Golda Rosheuvel returns as the Queen Charlotte we met in Bridgerton.

courtesy of Netflix

In an interview with RadioTimes, Rosheuvel says that in spite of the title, Queen Charlotte isn’t just about the young Charlotte, the young King George, or the queen in her middle years.


“Lady Danbury and Violet and the whole matriarchy are there, too, both young and as they are in Bridgerton. It’s about how these women came to be – how a woman of colour [sic], in Danbury’s case, got into the court and then all of the emotional love, the relationships between the women and how they were built up. But throughout, it’s all kept under the umbrella of Bridgerton.”


Roshuevel goes on to describe the inner workings that enable the older Queen Charlotte and her 17-year-old persona to exist in the same universe as “a behind-the-scenes Bridgerton” and says the two series overlap in flashforward and flashback: “… so where in Bridgerton I might have been at the Presentation Ball and then leave the room, in Queen Charlotte I walk straight into a scene that’s in the spinoff.”


To ring in the New Year, Netflix released an image from the show featuring Arsema Thomas (Redeeming Love) as a young Agatha Danbury.

courtesy of Netflix

In February, they released an image of a young King George, played by Corey Mylchreest (The Sandman).


courtesy of Netflix

In a TUDUM exclusive first look online, we get to see the cute but awkward first time they meet.

For Valentine’s Day, Netflix teased us with a literal peek at the new series and released its premiere date.

While the Bridgerton storylines are all works of fiction, Queen Charlotte is actually based on a real individual (she wasn’t a figure in the novels but was added to the TV production). In a 2021 interview with Variety, show creator Shonda Rhimes commented on her fascination with the monarch.


“I’m very obsessed with Queen Charlotte, and I always call her the Beyoncé of the show,” she told the magazine.

Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born a German noble and became queen consort to George III upon their marriage in 1761. She married him in a whirlwind love story. King George announced his plans to marry Charlotte, a princess at the time, without ever meeting her. According to the royal family's website, the couple tied the knot a whopping six hours after meeting each other for the first time when Charlotte arrived in Britain that September. Definitely love at first sight.

The couple had—hold your breath—15 children (14 of which were born at Buckingham Palace) and were happily married the first 25 years of their marriage. It’s a miracle she survived so many births, given the time period. While in the series the monarch mostly fills her time indulging her proclivity for society gossip, in real life Queen Charlotte was also an amateur botanist and a passionate patron of music, especially the works of German composers like Handel and Mozart, who, at age 8, was invited to play at court.

As portrayed in Bridgerton, King George III suffered several bouts of mental illness, which were reportedly kept a secret from the Queen. Eventually his illness became a permanent condition and made it impossible for his wife to be around him. As his condition deteriorated in the late 18th century, Queen Charlotte found refuge in a country estate she purchased near Windsor Castle called Frogmore House. A few years later, in 1801, she commissioned an addition to the grounds: Frogmore Cottage. King George III died of mania in 1811, and after serving on the throne for 57 years, Queen Charlotte died in 1818 at the age of 74. Their granddaughter Victoria, daughter of their third son Edward, would later become queen in 1837.

The Frogmore properties are now most famously associated with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who hosted their wedding reception at Frogmore House and later called Frogmore Cottage home for a brief period before permanently breaking away from their working royal roles in early 2020. Currently, Princess Eugenie lives there with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August.

For readers who might be wondering, there will be a book tie-in. Rhimes will co-author a book with Bridgerton author Julia Quinn about the queen’s rise to power, and that book, published by Avon Books, is set to be released the same day the show premieres.


“Taking Bridgerton from book to screen was fascinating for me to watch, and it's such an exciting challenge for me to take it in the other direction, this time crafting Shonda's brilliant vision into a novel," Quinn said in a statement. "I'm especially thrilled to have the opportunity to write about Queen Charlotte, who was not in the original novels. Her character —and Golda Rosheuvel's brilliant portrayal of her— was a tour de force, and I think readers will love getting a chance to know her more deeply."


Rhimes’ prequel series looks to continue the refreshingly un-stuffy tone that made the original show such a hit, though whether it will return to the steamy, raunchfest of Season 1 remains to be seen—though, something tells me we can expect plenty of passion.


Beyond Queen Charlotte, Netflix has confirmed that Bridgerton will be back for at least two more seasons. The upcoming Season 3 is set to disrupt the book order and adapt Julia Quinn’s fourth book in the series, “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”. It’s expected to arrive either later this year or early next year. If you want more of the inside scoop on what’s to come, you’ll have to wait and get it from Lady Whistledown.


Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story premieres May 4 on Netflix.

Keeley Brooks is an entertainment writer who hibernates in NW Alabama and is a voracious consumer of film and streaming content, much to the chagrin of her family. Curious about something? Send her an email at

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