Everything To Know About Queen Charlotte’s Bridgerton Prequel

Adjoa Andoh and Golda Rosheuvel spilled the tea on potential storylines.

Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in 'Bridgerton' Season 1 via Netflix's press site
Liam Daniel/Netflix
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She reigned supreme on the Netflix series, and now Queen Charlotte will be the subject of a Bridgerton spinoff. On May 14, 2021, Netflix announced an upcoming prequel that will delve into the royal’s origin story. The Queen Charlotte limited series will also feature some familiar characters, namely, Lady Danbury and Violet Bridgerton.

The spinoff idea, executive producer Shonda Rhimes shared, came from Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos. “Ted picked up the phone and called me and said, ‘Why aren’t we doing a show about Queen Charlotte? And will you write it?’” she told Variety. She said yes, immediately adding, “I’m very obsessed with Queen Charlotte, and I always call her the Beyoncé of the show.”

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 still in the development stages and doesn’t have a release date, but fans of the Regency period drama have plenty more content to enjoy and look forward to regardless: Bridgerton Season 2 premiered in March 2022, and Netflix also renewed the series for Season 3 and 4 back in April 2021. “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?

In a February 2022 interview with Tatler, Rosheuvel shared her response when Rhimes called her last year about the spinoff prequel. The actor told Rhimes, “This is a real moment in terms of older women. From Mamma Bridgerton, who is a strong single mother, to Lady Danbury and myself, to be celebrated in this way is just phenomenal. Our job is done.”

In addition to Rosheuvel putting on the Queen’s crown again, Adjoa Andoh and Ruth Gemmell will also reprise their roles as Lady Danbury and Lady Violet Bridgerton, respectively. India Amarteifio will play the younger version of Queen Charlotte who “learns to navigate the palace, the ‘ton and her unpredictable husband, as she grows into one of Europe’s most unforgettable monarchs,” according to a press release from Netflix. Corey Mylchreest is set to play King George, the Queen’s husband who must come to terms with his own demons after marriage.

The show will also give fans a look into Lady Danbury’s younger days as newcomer Arsema Thomas takes on the role of Queen Charlotte’s right-hand woman and “guiding light.” Michelle Fairley will also star as Princess Augusta of the Dowager house, who is determined to keep her family relevant in an ever-changing Britain.

Other cast announcements include Sam Clemmett as Young Brimsley, Richard Cunningham as Lord Bute, Tunji Kasim as Adolphus, Rob Maloney as the royal doctor, Cyril Nri as Lord Danbury, and Hugh Sachs as an older Brimsley. On June 8, British actors Katie Brayben and Keir Charles reportedly joined the cast and will play recurring characters Vivian Ledger and Lord Ledger, respectively. Little else has been revealed about these characters and their arcs in the Bridgerton prequel.

When the series was announced, fans took to Twitter to cast their own version of Violet’s husband, Edmund Bridgerton, with actor Ben Barnes as the most popular suggestion. However, at this time, Netflix has notably not announced any actors for a young Violet or Edmund.

What Will The Plot Be?

Bridgerton’s second season, which follows the love life of a different Bridgerton sibling, dives deeper into Queen Charlotte’s personal life. And it might just help set up her story for the prequel. Of her character’s arc in the following season, Rosheuvel told Tatler, “I’m pleased they keep pushing the journey of her private life, so it’s not just about the glamour of the balls but also a deep delve into her heart.” It could mean that the show will tackle more of her relationship with her husband, King George III, as well as caring for him while he lives with mental health issues. Adding that Charlotte is “so fun to play,” she said she loves that the “complex character” is “mischievous, dedicated to the Crown, dedicated to the gossip and the pomp and ceremony.”

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 the very real historical figure of the same name. She, too, was married to a King George III who lived with mental health issues. The real-life couple was reportedly very in love and fertile — they had 15 children. The real king apparently also pioneered debutante balls to celebrate his wife’s birthday. If the show is inspired by history, maybe fans will witness Queen Charlotte’s very own true-to-life whirlwind romance.

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.

In a May 2022 interview with TVLine, both Andoh and Rosheuvel revealed some of the show’s first plot details, explaining how Queen Charlotte’s friendships will shape the Bridgerton spin-off. Furthermore, Andoh also teased that Lady Danbury’s strategic approach to life will also be explored in the prequel.

“You need to strategize ... These courts are not cuddly, friendly places. They’re rabid, and you have to survive. Lady Danbury has gotten to a position of comfort and safety and status because she learned to play the game, and you will see how,” Andoh disclosed.

Whatever else the future might hold for the Netflix Bridgerton universe, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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