Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

2023 - United States

With every season, the Bridgerton universe continues reaching new heights

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story reviewed by Jennifer AJ

With an arranged marriage, a begrudging royal spouse, and a well-kept secret, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is off to a majestic start in the ever expanding Bridgerton universe. The spinoff series focuses on the eponymous Queen’s origin story, charting her early days as a young bride in the English court and her complicated marriage to King George III. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

This season is the closest thing Bridgerton gets to a somewhat true story, as Queen Charlotte and her husband were real historical figures who ruled England in the 18th century. India Amarteifio slips into the Queen’s hoop skirts to portray her in her late teens, a young foreign royal sent to wed the English king whom she never saw before. Her Moor ancestry gives her a darker complexion, something which King George’s mother, the Dowager Princess (Michelle Fairley) uses as a crux to blend their segregated polite society. But something is wrong with George (Corey Mylchreest): he’s perfectly charming one minute and then dismissive the next. Of course, Bridgerton avid viewers already know what happens to him in his later years, but the intrigue here is to be in Charlotte’s footsteps as she uncovers her husband’s secret.

The story of young Charlotte also runs parallel with the present-day Queen’s attempt to marry off her many, many children. The challenge of producing an heir is the red thread connecting the two timelines, and we get to see how Charlotte becomes the no-nonsense royal matriarch that she is. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

With every season, the Bridgerton universe continues reaching new heights. The production value is ever more lavish. The performances become more solid. The storyline also matures up, with tighter dialogues and sharper themes. Queen Charlotte is the first in Bridgerton’s three screen instalments that didn’t derive from the novels, and it did not disappoint. The two parallel storylines are nicely interwoven with one another, thematically and canonically. Clearly, they address complaints about the random B-plots nobody wanted in season 2 last year. Charlotte and George’s dynamic is yet another toe-curling romance that people flock to the series for. Though, given our knowledge about its eventual outcome, there’s a tinge of melancholy to the love story this time. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Bridgerton has always trod a fine line between historical facts and creative liberty. This time, they address the entire “why are the ton so multicultural?” discourse head on. The real Queen Charlotte herself was said to be of mixed heritage, the basis of her character design in Bridgerton. In season 1, we got an explanation that it was her marriage to George that integrated her side (read: people of colour) with the white upper crust society. Here, we find out it is orchestrated by George’s mother, despite her apparent indifference toward “their side”. Throughout the entire series, “our side” and “their side” are used as codes for the opposing races - evading to say what they truly mean entirely. It’s a rather interesting decision. But this is Bridgerton: sometimes, you just have to bear with their rather superfluous handling of race relations. Put that aside, there’s plenty to like in this offshoot, a worthy addition while we wait for the next Bridgerton sibling’s romance.

Published on June 4th, 2023. Written by Jennifer Ariesta for Television Heaven.

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