A queen is born

The third season of Bridgerton won’t be arriving for some time, so to keep fans of sexy costume dramas satiated until then, exec producer Shonda Rhimes is serving up the next best thing: a prequel spinoff featuring a fan-favourite character from the hit series. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story tells the origin story of the stylish monarch (played in Bridgerton by Golda Rosheuvel) who rules over the social scene of Regency-era Britain.  

Flashing back a few decades, viewers meet Charlotte as a young woman (played by India Amarteifio), betrothed to young King George III (Corey Mylchreest), their union creating a seismic shift in high society. Viewers also gain insight into the queen’s lifelong friendship with Lady Agatha Danbury (Arsema Thomas). Meanwhile, the Bridgerton actors reprise their roles as the older versions of those characters, with Rosheuvel joined by Adjoa Andoh and Hugh Sachs as older Lady Agatha and loyal servant Brimsley, respectively (with Sam Clemmett playing young Brimsley).  

During a fan event held in London earlier this year, Rhimes explained that the impetus behind Queen Charlotte was to delve into “how the Bridgerton world came to be,” while focusing on two young people thrust into a situation beyond their control when they’re “married off to someone they do not know.” 

According to Rosheuvel, Queen Charlotte is “a more intimate show” than its predecessor. “There’s less structuring of who’s with who and what’s happening, it’s more about how you respond to those circumstances,” she said. “There are more intimate scenes, and there’s a cross-fertilization and an enriching of who you are in Bridgerton because of some of the stuff in Queen Charlotte. I hope audiences will feel that enrichment too; it’s a virtuous circle in a way.”

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story premieres Friday, May 6