Bridgerton Spin-off Takes the Crown

Queen Charlotte, prequel to popular Netflix original Bridgerton far exceeds expectations


Image courtesy of Netflix

King and Queen – Young King George III and Queen Charlotte are seen toasting at a celebratory ball in Bridgerton’s prequel Queen Charlotte.

The popular Netflix original Bridgerton, recently released its prequel Queen Charlotte. This series featured a background story for several Bridgerton characters, specifically Queen Charlotte and King George III, whose love story was the main plot. The two’s arranged marriage and their course to genuine love despite hardships is displayed among many other interesting plotlines that had me on the edge of my seat.

To say that this show was stellar is an understatement. It’s captivating plot and various storylines left me wanting more. After binging the show in one sitting, as soon as it was over, I was ready to re-watch. The cast and setting was exceptional, and overall, the show was successfully light-hearted and wholesomely beautiful. 

Despite the show being a spin-off of Queen Charlotte’s character in Bridgerton, to compare both shows would be a grave mistake. While Queen Charlotte was filmed in the same sets and both shows shared the same characters, this prequel brought an entirely different meaning to each character’s story. Characters who hadn’t been given much screen time in Bridgerton were properly developed in Queen Charlotte, offering viewers more insight into their behaviors in the first two seasons.

Among the main characters of Queen Charlotte that were developed further were Lady Danbury, Queen Charlotte, King George III and Brimsley, Queen Charlotte’s right-hand man. Each character’s younger self endured their own personal struggles, bonding with one another to create the friendships viewers see in Bridgerton. Lady Danbury’s struggle to individualize herself from her late husband whom she felt little to no connection with beautifully established her strong, independent character as seen in Bridgerton.

Lady Danbury’s friendship with Queen Charlotte – a young, disillusioned woman from a different country married off in the interest of ameliorating international relations – was incredibly endearing. The two were forced to trust each other after being thrusted into a secretive and isolating world once receiving their high titles in society. 

Friendship was certainly a major theme throughout the series, not only with Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte, but also between Brimsley and the queen. Despite her naivety and stubborn character, Charlotte’s initial rejection of Brimsley, her right-hand man, allowed the two’s friendship to blossom. The queen and Brimsley developed an unspoken close relationship, which was lovely to watch progress throughout the series. Brimsley’s character was also given more screen time, with his storyline revealing his own love story with King George’s right-hand man, Reynolds. Their romance was wonderfully sad, though beautiful to watch.

One of the continuities between Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte that I found to be particularly fitting was the use of modern, popular music played by an orchestra. This classical twist on such modern songs made many of the scenes in the show, especially dances, more impactful. One of the most memorable being a dance between Charlotte and George in which a classical rendition of SZA’s popular Nobody Gets Me was played, making for a much more touching and beautiful scene.

This show, along with Bridgerton, manages to incorporate the elegance of the era it is set in with a modern twist that makes it both witty and relatable to a much younger audience. While I was hesitant to watch it at first because I thought it couldn’t possibly measure up to the first two seasons of Bridgerton, the director Shonda Rhimes didn’t fail to amaze me with yet another attention-grabbing series that I hope gets renewed for another season. Given it is only a prequel, I doubt that such a renewal will occur, though I hope for the sake of further character development, we will get to see more of the younger versions of the characters established in Bridgerton.

Overall, Queen Charlotte was a beautiful, endearing and light-hearted watch. A show that I will most definitely be rewatching on repeat until the next season of Bridgerton, I would rate it a solid 4.3 out of 5. My only critique would be that I would have loved to see more of Brimsley’s background on his own as opposed to his character only being developed in proxy to Charlotte. I would have also wanted at least two more episodes to the season, as the six episodes were long, but seemed a bit rushed at some moments, brushing over some events like the wedding at the beginning of the series and the development of some characters and their significance in the show.