If you were captivated by the dramatic and intense love stories throughout two seasons of the Shonda Rhimes original series “Bridgerton,” then you’ll definitely be pleased with the latest adaption of the “Bridgerton” world. The newest limited series titled “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” unveils how Queen Charlotte took her reign and the true love story between her and King George. Although the love story they shared and King George’s illness was hinted upon in previous seasons of “Bridgerton,” audiences and fans learn the intricate depth of the trials and tribulations that they survived. After fans were exposed to the youthful Queen Charlotte and how she changed overtime, they love her more or have an increase of sympathy for her. Here are five reasons you should be watching “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story”
Queen Charlotte is headstrong and doesn’t simply take “no” for an answer. Although Queen Charlotte in previous seasons of “Bridgerton” is known for choosing “the diamond of the season” amongst the young woman waiting to be chosen to marry and advocating for marriage in its entirety, she once was against the idea of an arranged marriage. Surprisingly, she engaged in a spat with her brother in the beginning of the series due to him signing her away to Great Britain – one of the strongest nations at the time. Although she reluctantly agreed to the marriage due to her duty of serving her country, that didn’t stop her from trying to climb over a brick wall and escape before they were wedded. Before she could succeed, King George found her and it was love at first sight.
True love is shown throughout the series between Queen Charlotte and King George despite him struggling with an unconfirmed mental illness. Fans had their theories ranging from bipolar, schizophrenia, and more regarding King George’s mental condition, but the show never confirmed which mental illness it was. Despite this unexpected condition, Queen Charlotte broke through the barrier that King George put between them due to his feeling of not being good enough for her, and she loved him throughout it all.
This marks the first time that Rhimes has written a piece of the “Bridgerton” world, unlike the previous two seasons she produced that were created by other writers. When discussing the inspiration for the story, Rhimes told vulture.com, ” … There’s such a beautiful, complex story to be told about a young Black queen’s rise to power. Golda Rosheuvel is so amazing as the Bridgerton-era Charlotte that I started to think I would love to know her journey, especially since we know how it turns out.”
Rhimes portrays Queen Charlotte from Black ancestry, despite audiences questioning whether this was actually true. According to vulture.com, Rhymes said, “I don’t believe it’s hearsay and rumor. I know there are a lot of people who believe it’s absolutely fact that she’s from Black Portuguese royalty, and there are some who just can’t accept that. The idea that that would make her their first Black royal was very interesting to me. When we were putting “Bridgerton” together, we weren’t doing color-blind casting but wanted to build a reason for why Queen Charlotte was there.”
Although some may deem Queen Charlotte as heartless or “unlikable” due to her blunt nature, Rhimes took the necessity of explaining and showing why she was who she was – she was a product of her environment, not that she wanted to be a particular way. “I’m amused that people think Charlotte is unlikable because I always thought she was terribly likable, even in “Bridgerton,” Rhimes told vulture.com. “But I think women have just as much right to be unlikable and unsympathetic as men, and that’s not a thing a lot of people seem to think is okay. Charlotte was who she was. She’s fully formed, in a lot of ways, by grief and pain. In this show, I wanted people to understand that it wasn’t just cruelty — this is a world where people didn’t really care for their children because they didn’t necessarily know them; they were raised by somebody else. It’s heartbreaking to discover that young Agatha hasn’t had a chance to know her four kids. All that most of these women had was getting married; If you don’t get married, you don’t get any money, you might not have a place to live, and you always have to depend on another relative. So for them, the workplace is the marriage market. It felt vital to show how small their worlds were. Charlotte didn’t marry her love. She’s thrown into a situation, and the question is, ‘How do you survive that?’ It’s not a romantic comedy. We all know how George turns out. We’re not telling a story where they lived happily ever after.”
“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” is now streaming on Netflix.
By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California
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