Just when we thought we knew everything about Bridgerton, a new backstory emerges and changes it all. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is the latest Netflix series in the world of Bridgerton. The story is a prequel that follows Queen Charlotte’s rise to the throne, her love story with King George, and the societal shift that it created. I was deeply moved by the entire series and am even now still processing it. Of course, I always tend to be very emotionally invested in Bridgerton, based on the books by Julia Quinn. However, the overwhelming feelings of joy and sorrow I felt throughout Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story were something entirely different than what I’ve experienced with the books or original series.
This is a story I didn’t realize I needed to hear right now, and I think many Bridgerton fans will feel the same. So gentle readers of The Everygirl (I wish I was Lady Whistledown), here are my thoughts on the matter.
What I Loved About Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
The writing and casting were spot-on
You simply can’t go wrong with the creative team and talent bringing the show to life. Shonda Rhimes is the showrunner, executive producer, and writer for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. She executive produced the other Bridgerton series, and also created shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy—Shonda is basically television royalty herself. The writing and dialogue for Queen Charlotte, of course, were impeccable, keeping me guessing throughout several story points, and adding mystery to the romance. In the series, fans will see moments set in the present day with Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, and Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, characters we have come to know and love in the first two Bridgerton series.
The story also flashes back to the beginning of Queen Charlotte’s reign and her marriage to King George. India Amarteifio stars as Young Queen Charlotte, Corey Mylchreest portrays Young King George, and Arsema Thomas plays Young Agatha Danbury. We also get to see a Young Brimsley played by Sam Clemmett, a role that is played by Hugh Sachs as the older Brimsley in the Bridgerton series. The casting for these roles couldn’t have been better, even down to some of the specific mannerisms of each character. In case you didn’t know, Queen Charlotte is actually not in the original books written by Julia Quinn, but the character portrayed by Golda inspired the idea for this prequel. It’s not often we see a book inspire a series, which in turn inspires a brand new series and accompanying book.
It centers people of all ages—not just the “young and in loves”
What moved me the most about Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is that the focus of this story is on people of all ages, and their connection to love and partnership. The story highlights characters that are usually in supporting roles, as a ruler or an advisor or a parent. Too often it’s easy to forget, especially when we are young, that the people that came before us were once young, too. And when you become older, the same issues at the center of your younger life may never quite leave you. Watching young Queen Charlotte made me think of all the women in my life—my mother and my grandmothers for example—and wonder what they must have gone through at my age.
It also made me look back on my younger self and reflect on the moments that have brought me to where I am. The stories we get a glimpse into, especially that of Charlotte and George, gave me a feeling of deep nostalgia that I usually only feel when I look at old photo albums—at least that’s the best way I can think of to describe it. There is something beautiful, sad, and joyful all at once when we get to watch these characters move through life.
It shows how the ton came to be
Queen Charlotte and King George’s love story also coincides with a societal shift in the crown and the ton, as Charlotte ushers in a new age where society is more inclusive, and new people are receiving titles and a place in court. In watching how the ton came to be the one we see in Bridgerton, as well as the role that Queen Charlotte and Lady Dansbury played in it, we get to see how one union and one friendship can change the course of history.
While set in another age entirely, the conversations around societal change, marriage, and love are incredibly modern and insightful. For anyone like me who is constantly searching for my own personal definitions of partnership and love, I guarantee there are some quotes, especially from Queen Charlotte, that you will want to write down and remember. And possibly, those quotes will require you to pause the show because you are crying into your popcorn (me, that happened to me.)
It has everything we love about Bridgerton
I would be remiss if I did not report to fans that this series also delivers all the things we love about the world of Bridgerton. There are steamy love scenes, lavish parties, and drama in the ton, galore. Plus, incredible costumes and sets that give insight into the era. And of course, all the dreamy music you could wish for. Without a doubt, that unmistakable Bridgerton-ness is alive and well in the series, which should probably just be a real word in the dictionary at this point. All that being said, I truly don’t think I could have predicted everything that happened in this series if I tried. There were some moments that surprised me and struck me right at the heart, which is hard to do in a prequel.
I know I’ve seen a show I love when it stays with me for a long while, and this one will. It’s really a combination of my previous love for Bridgerton, and the new feelings the series helped me unpack, that made me love Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story so much. But on top of all of that, there is a love story at the center that represents women of all ages. One that somehow falls into the category of historical fiction and modern romance all at once. And in this writer’s opinion, one that will give each fan a new perspective on all the things to come in the next iterations of Bridgerton.