She reigned supreme on the Netflix series, and now Queen Charlotte will be the subject of a Bridgerton spinoff. On Friday, May 14, Netflix announced an upcoming prequel that will delve into the young royal’s origin story. The Queen Charlotte limited series will also feature some familiar characters, namely, Lady Danbury and Violet Bridgerton.
Rather than taking a page from Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels, Bridgerton’s writers made the creative choice to add a dramatized version of the real-life monarch (played by Golda Rosheuvel) to the TV adaptation. As such, there’s no fictional source material for the prequel. However, Shonda Rhimes, who’s writing and executive producing the yet-untitled series, will have the possibly first Black British monarch’s history to draw from.
“Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton,” Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global TV, said in a statement to Variety. “Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the Bridgerton universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love.”
Despite not including Queen Charlotte in her books, Quinn told Oprah Daily that she wrote Rosheuvel a “fan letter” after seeing her performance in the Netflix adaptation. “I go back and forth between wishing I had actually written her in the books and then being glad I didn’t, because I don't know if I could have done as good a job,” she said.
When Will The Bridgerton Prequel Premiere?
The spinoff is reportedly in the early development stages and doesn’t have a release date, but fans of the Regency period drama have plenty more content to look forward to regardless: Bridgerton Season 2 is currently in production, and Netflix also renewed the series for Season 3 and 4 in April. “By planning and prepping all the upcoming seasons now, we also hope to keep up a pace that will keep even the most insatiable viewers totally fulfilled,” Bajaria added in her statement.
Neflix also announced on May 14 that Jess Brownell, who previously worked on such Shondaland shows as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Private Practice, will take over for showrunner Chris Van Dusen on Bridgerton’s third and fourth seasons. “As we continue to expand the world of Bridgerton, we now have the opportunity to devote even more of the Shondaland fold to the Bridgerton-verse,” Rhimes said in a statement, also via Variety. “We’ve worked with Jess Brownell for over a decade and have long wanted to find the right project to place in her hands. When it came time to pass the baton, I knew this unique voice was vital to the future of the show.”
Who Will Star In The Spinoff?
At this early stage, none of the limited series’ cast members have been announced. For now, fans are floating ideas about some of the actors they’d like to see in key roles. They hope Violet’s late husband, Edmund Bridgerton, will be included in the prequel, for example, and having actor Ben Barnes portray him is already proving to be a popular suggestion.
What Will The Plot Be?
As Bajaria said, Rhimes and her team are coming up with the plot for the prequel themselves, given that the Queen Charlotte origin story wasn’t part of Quinn’s literary canon. They could, however, draw on both history and the author’s other books. Quinn did also write an entire prequel series — the separate 1700s-set books devoted to the aristocratic Rokesby family, who the author noted happen to be close friends and neighbors of the Bridgertons — so readers may continue to see tie-ins.
Whatever else the future might hold for the Netflix Bridgerton universe, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.