Dearest gentle reader, it is the beginning of another season and I cannot express how delighted I am to be back. However, this time the story may seem a little different as you will get to know more about your Royal Highness, Queen Charlotte, across two timelines.
I am certain that you are curious and excited to get into this new chapter in the Bridgerton story. Therefore, Her Campus Cásper Líbero is here to bring you all the details and to inform you that this review contains spoilers. Enjoy it!
A brief introduction
As we have heard Lady Whistledown say in the first two minutes of the show, “This is the story of Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton. It is not a history lesson. It is fiction inspired by fact. All liberties taken by the author are quite intentional”, which means that not everything is an invention, but it is also far from being completely true!
First of all, the six-episode spin-off written almost entirely by Shonda Rhimes follows Queen Charlotte across two timelines: past and present. The second one shows the Bridgerton cast as we know, such as Ladies Agatha Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), and approaches the Queen’s relationship with her thirteen children while she pressures them to get married and give the family at least one heir. This happens especially after her oldest son loses his wife and daughter during labor.
But it does not stop there! She has strict rules about it: no more actresses, commoners, mistresses, and Catholics. What a list!
How it all started
Most of the series takes place in the past and allows us to know the story of the protagonist, played by India Amarteifio in the young version and by Golda Rosheuvel in the present one. In this part, the not-yet-queen Charlotte is only seventeen years old and lives in Germany with her brother Adolphus (Tunji Kasim). She is promised to King George III, played by Corey Mylchreest, in an agreement made between her sibling and George’s mother Augusta and moves to Britain on the day of her wedding. She was about to become a wife and queen of Great Britain on the same day, on top of that against her will. A lot at the same time, don’t you think?
As we have already seen in the history books during high school, Queen Charlotte and King George III really existed in real life, but things are not that similar to what we watch on TV. As in the real story, the two really met at the altar, but in the series, this happens while Charlotte tries to jump the wall to avoid the wedding and George finds her. With this, they start talking, and she discovers that that man is actually her future husband, who leaves her free to choose whether to marry him or not. After some time, Charlotte decides to give the couple a chance and walks down the aisle.
And here come the lovebirds, but no…
Who else thought they would live happily ever after? Expectations were ruined as soon as the king simply left her alone in the middle of their wedding night and went straight to his observatory, claiming that it would be better this way. Clearly he is hiding something, dear reader!
The situation caused the consternation of parliament and the new nobility since they were not sure if the marriage had been consummated or not, and it could threaten “the Great Experiment”. To make Charlotte feel more “welcome”, Dowager Queen Augusta (Michelle Fairley) elevates wealthy black families to the nobility, supplying them with new titles and properties, which generated some resistance from the old guard, who did not like the idea of being invited for the same events as them. This highlights the racism present in society and how difficult it was for these families to stay in the space conquered by them, being often boycotted by other people around.
One of the newest aristocrats is the already known and beloved Agatha Danbury, now Lady Danbury, a cunning and intelligent woman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage and quickly becomes the confidant of the newest monarch. That’s how that lasting friendship we see in the seasons of Bridgerton began!
After much speculation, the truth finally came to light! It is not that George was cheating on Charlotte or anything like that, in fact they loved each other in real life and George supposedly never cheated.
Instead, he suffered from a mental illness and was trying to protect his beloved while going through several super aggressive “treatments”. It is hard to think how large the number of people who have undergone these procedures should be due to a pure lack of knowledge about mental illness.
The selection of actors is perfect, and they knew how to interpret the younger version of the characters gracefully. Other highlights of the production are the young romance between Brimsley (Sam Clemmett) and Reynolds (Freddie Dennis), faithful butlers of the Queen and the King respectively, and the relationship between Agatha Danbury and Violet Bridgerton at the current time of the series. Surely this friendship will yield many stories in the next season of Bridgerton!
So if you are looking for a TV show with a lot of romance, hot scenes, important subjects, strong women, breathtaking costumes, and an impeccable soundtrack – as always – Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story should be on your list! This spin-off can be even better than the original series, you won’t regret it!
The article above was edited by Júlia Pupo Mucha Fagá.
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