The logline for the series reads: “Centered on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, this Bridgerton-verse prequel tells the story of how the young Queen’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton.”
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will see Bridgerton stars Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury and Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton reprising their roles. Leading the younger cast in the origin series is India Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte, Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta, Corey Mylchreest as young King George and Arsema Thomas as young Agatha Danbury. Rounding out the cast are Sam Clemmett, Freddie Dennis, Richard Cunningham, Tunji Kasim, Rob Maloney, Cyril Nri and Hugh Sachs, reprising his role of Brimsley.
The series comes from Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes, who is showrunner, executive producer and writer on Queen Charlotte, along with executive producers Betsy Beers and Tom Verica (who also directs).
The season’s teaser trailer and first look photos (below) were revealed at the event.
Netflix’s mega-hit franchise Bridgerton focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling love story each season. The upcoming third season will center on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), the latter of whom has been umasked as the anonymous scandal writer Lady Whistledown, who serves as the connective voiceover each season. Phoebe Dynevor, whose character Daphne launched Bridgerton with her and Simon’s (Regé-Jean Page) love story in season one, recently announced she won’t be returning for season three.
During Tuesday’s live panel discussion between Rhimes and her new cast members, including the young Queen herself, the team explained the limited series’ connection within the Bridgerton universe and teased the characters viewers will soon be adding to the franchise’s royal lineage.
“We’re meeting them at their young starting points,” said Rhimes of Queen Charlotte back-tracking to show viewers the younger version of some of the familiar Bridgerton characters. The show will also have a modern-day timeline, to see “how the stories from the past reflect or educate you on the stories from the future. For all of the characters, you get to see the growth and who they’ve become, when juxtaposed against the young versions of themselves.”
Rhimes added that “romance stories don’t usually include women of a certain age,” which is what propelled her to tackle this story in this genre.
A clip from the first episode showed Amarteifio as a young Queen Charlotte beginning to, reluctantly, understand her place in the world. In the royal chariot on the way to her being betrothed to King of England and the British empire, she schools her brother on the “ridiculous to the eye” gown she is forced to wear, a “ludicrous gown so stylish that I might be sliced and stabbed to death by my undergarments. Oh, how joyful it is to be a lady.” After expressing her anger over her chosen role in the royal bloodline, she ultimately acquiesced to the sacrifice for her country.
Amarteifio says she auditioned for the starring role in November 2021, only knowing the role was “in the Bridgerton-sphere.” After finding out it was for Queen Charlotte, she watched and re-watched the previous seasons, and said she was drawn to the part due to the vast and diverse world the series has created. “There’s so much time between Queen Charlotte and the Bridgerton that we’ve all come to know and love, which for us as actors is great because it gives us the liberty of creating our own characters,” she said.
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after season two — and before Queen Charlotte was announced — Andoh spoke about working with Rosheuvel and how she would have envisioned their characters would have gotten on when they were younger.
“They’ve known each other a long time, these women, and I think when Lady Danbury would have been at court before, with 17-year old Charlotte who was schlepped over from Europe to marry into this family she didn’t know from a hole in the ground, I think I think Lady Danbury would have been that person [to help her,]” she said. “A bit like when you start school and you don’t know where your locker is or where the bathroom is, I think she’d been the person that went, ‘Okay, come with me. Avoid him. He’s a nightmare. He’s quite mean, there’s the bathroom. Never have lunch at that time. It’s awful.’ I think she would have shepherded the Queen, subtly, discreetly around the court when she was a new girl.”
Queen Charlotte will also get the immersive experience treatment when Her Majesty brings The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience to New York City this spring. A co-production from Netflix, Shondaland and Fever, the waitlist for tickets is now open.
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