Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is a historical drama limited series created by Shonda Rhimes for Netflix.[1] The series is a prequel spin-off of the Netflix series Bridgerton. The story is loosely based on the rise of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz to prominence and power in the late 18th century. The series premiered on May 4, 2023, and consists of 6 episodes that are roughly an hour in runtime.[2]

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Promotional poster
GenreHistorical drama
Created byShonda Rhimes
Directed byTom Verica
ComposerKris Bowers
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
ProducerAnna O'Malley
CinematographyJeffrey Jur
Production companyShondaland
Original release
ReleaseMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)

The project receveived generally favorable reviews by critics, being nominated at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards for its costume design, make-up and hairstyle, while Julie Andrews was nominated for her voice-over performance.

In the first week after its premiere, it debuted at number one in 91 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa and Canada, and atop the Netflix Global Weekly Top 10 of the ten most-watched English-language TV series on the platform in seven days on May 7, 2023.[3]

Premise edit

The spin-off miniseries revolving around Queen Charlotte consists of two plot lines: one in the present of Bridgerton, beginning in 1817 with the death of the royal heir Princess Charlotte, an event that causes the Queen to pressure her children to marry and produce another royal heir; the other begins in 1761 with Charlotte meeting and marrying King George. The latter explores the King and Queen's marriage and his mental illness.

Cast and characters edit

Main edit

Recurring edit

Guests edit

Episodes edit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Queen to Be"Tom VericaShonda RhimesMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
In 1761 Charlotte's brother, Adolphus, signs a contract marrying her to George III. Charlotte is unhappy with the idea of the marriage. Upon seeing her and realizing she's black, the King's mother, Princess Augusta, invites several prominent people of colour to the wedding and grants them titles on her son's behalf, effectively desegregating society. Before the wedding can go through Charlotte attempts to run away but is caught by a charming man who turns out to be her future husband. She decides to go through with the marriage but is surprised when, on the night of the wedding, he presents her with her own house but informs her of his intention to live a completely separate life in Kew. In 1817, Queen Charlotte learns her only legitimate granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Wales has died in childbirth kicking off a succession crisis. She urges her surviving 12 children to produce legitimate heirs.
2"Honeymoon Bliss"Tom VericaShonda RhimesMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
In 1761 Charlotte spends most of her honeymoon alone. She learns that she has no activities planned as she is supposed to be with George. Despite this, she invites the newly minted Lady Danbury to tea where Lady Danbury, learning of Charlotte's ignorance, explains sex to her. Princess Augusta, desperate to know if her son has consummated his marriage tries to pressure Lady Danbury into telling her, however Lady Danbury, who is still suffering from segregated society despite her husband's title, uses her leverage to pressure Princess Augusta into further supporting her and her husband. George reveals to Charlotte that he left her on their marriage night as he was charting the Transit of Venus. He asks Charlotte for a redo of their marriage night and the two finally consummate their marriage. However the following morning she overhears a conversation between George and his mother in which he reveals he is hiding his true self from her.
3"Even Days"Tom VericaShonda RhimesMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
Still feuding, Charlotte and George nevertheless have a passionate sex life agreeing to see each other on even days so that Charlotte may get pregnant. After seeing that George also has a passion for agriculture, Charlotte decides to accept her husband for who he is and reconciles with him deciding to be a team. Lady Danbury's husband decides he wants to host the first ball of the season. Despite not having Princess Augusta's full support, Lady Danbury issues invitations and is rejected by the white members of the ton. She asks for Queen Charlotte's support, pointing out that the newly made members of the ton are in a precarious position. Charlotte and George go to the Danbury's ball which is a success; afterward, Lord Danbury dies during sexual intercourse with his wife. Charlotte awakens on the night of the ball to discover George running outside and stripping naked to praise Venus. Charlotte convinces him she is Venus and guides him back home.
4"Holding the King"Tom VericaNicholas NardiniMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
Flashbacks reveal that Princess Augusta arranged George's marriage behind his back as he was frightened of the prospect of marriage due to his uncontrollable fits and mental breakdowns. Doctor Monro suggests there is nothing wrong with him and his breakdowns are due to a lack of discipline. Quickly falling in love with Charlotte, George removes himself from her presence to follow a grueling program set up by Monro to break him. Feeling better and missing Charlotte, George decides to move back in with her. He dismisses Monro only to discover that Charlotte has decided to keep him as her physician as she is pregnant. Her pregnancy triggers a mental crisis in George leading to his late night visions of Venus in the garden.
5"Gardens in Bloom"Tom VericaStory by : Shonda Rhimes
Teleplay by : Shonda Rhimes and Nicholas Nardini
May 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
Princess Augusta learns that Charlotte is pregnant and announces plans to move into Buckingham House. Charlotte, frustrated at her lack of headway with George, writes to her brother Adolphus, and asks to be taken home when he visits. The other nonwhite members of the ton ask Agatha to figure out her matters of succession; though she brings her young son to Princess Augusta, she does not get a clear answer on whether or not he will inherit his father's peerage. Charlotte visits Agatha and is encouraged to assert herself, eventually confronting Monro and retrieving George herself. Agatha begins taking daily walks with Lord Ledger, and the two sleep together. In the 1810s, Charlotte betroths two of her sons to eligible princesses. Violet admits her newfound sexual frustration to Agatha.
6"Crown Jewels"Tom VericaShonda RhimesMay 4, 2023 (2023-05-04)
A reunited Charlotte and George affirm their mutual love, and Charlotte gives birth to a baby boy. Despite his high spirits, George is unable to appear before Parliament, leading to rumours that he is unfit to rule. Meanwhile, Agatha is subtly rebuffed by Lord Ledger, and Princess Augusta is unyielding on the matter of succession. Charlotte and George successfully host a ball with the dual purpose of celebrating their son's birth and presenting George as a capable ruler. Adolphus proposes to Agatha, but unwilling to be trapped in another marriage, she rejects him. An accepting Charlotte tells Agatha that she will assist her with keeping the title. In the 1810s, Agatha subtly confirms Violet's suspicions that she had a liaison with Violet's father, and the two continue their friendship. Charlotte visits George to tell him that Princess Victoria is pregnant. The two lie together as they did in their youth.

Production edit

Development edit

The series was announced in May 2021, with Shonda Rhimes set as showrunner and writer. Rhimes also serves as executive producer with Betsy Beers and director Tom Verica.[4] Anna O'Malley serves as producer.[5] The series consists of 6 episodes.[6] In April 2022, production designer Dave Arrowsmith was fired due to bullying allegations on set.[7] In an interview for Netflix Tudum, the executive producer and screenwriter Verica talked about the creative process behind the series and why it was chosen to be based on the Charlotte Queen figure:[8][9]

We’re very clear about this world and that this is not a history lesson. This is fiction inspired by fact. It’s very important to me that people understand that, because I’m telling the story of Queen Charlotte of Bridgerton, not of Queen Charlotte of England. [...] Many historians believe that Queen Charlotte was of mixed cultural heritage. We wanted to take that in a different direction than what the history books have said happened which was basically to bury that and not deal with it. We wanted to shine a light on that element. We asked, "What if society embraced those differences in diversity and elevated people of color to prominent positions and ranks?"; "The Great Experiment" [which didn’t happen in real-life England] allows us to reimagine what that world could have looked like if that part of Charlotte’s identity had been embraced.

— Tom Verica on Queen Charlotte

Casting edit

On March 30, 2022, Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh, Ruth Gemmell, and Hugh Sachs were announced to be reprising their roles from Bridgerton. India Amarteifio, Michelle Fairley, Corey Mylchreest, Arsema Thomas, Sam Clemmett, Richard Cunningham, Tunji Kasim, Rob Maloney, and Cyril Nri were also cast.[6][10] In June 2022, Katie Brayben and Keir Charles were cast in recurring roles.[11] One month later, Connie Jenkins-Grieg joined the cast as a young Violet Bridgerton.[12]

Filming edit

The series was previously set to begin filming in January 2022. Production began on February 6, 2022, under the working title Jewels, and was set to wrap in May 2022.[13] Director Tom Verica confirmed filming had started by March 28, 2022.[14][13] The series wrapped on August 30, 2022.[13] The filming locations included Blenheim Palace, Belton House, Merton College, Hatfield House and Waddesdon Manor[15] as well as Hampton Court Palace.[16]

Music edit

Kris Bowers, who scored both the first and second seasons of Bridgerton, also worked on two original soundtrack projects for the series through Sony Music.[17] The first one, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Soundtrack from the Netflix Series), was supervised by Bowers, with co-production by Max Wrightson and co-writing of some tracks by Alec Sievern and Michael Dean Parsons.[18] The second project, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Covers from the Netflix Series), provided for the reinterpretation in a classical music key of pop songs from Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, SZA, Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston discography.[19] Keys song "If I Ain't Got You" was recorded with Queen Charlotte's Global Orchestra,a 70-piece orchestra of women of colour and Keys herself served has been used as a soundtrack song.[20]

Release edit

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story was released on Netflix on May 4, 2023, consisting of 6 episodes.[21]

Reception edit

In the first week after its premiere, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted at number one in 91 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa and Canada, and the Netflix Global Weekly Top 10[22] ranking of the ten most-watched English-language TV series on the platform in seven days with a further 148.28 million viewing hours.[23] It peaked in week two with 158.68 million hours of viewing,[24] maintaining the top spot in the Global Weekly Top 10 in week three as well.[25]

Critics reviews edit

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 94% of 68 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's consensus reads: "A resplendent romance between two of the most interesting characters in the Bridgerton saga, Queen Charlotte is a spin-off that arguably perfects the primary series' formula."[26] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, has assigned a score of 76 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Time ranked the series on The 5 Best New TV Shows of May 2023.[28] Judy Berman of the same magazine wrote that the plot "It’s a neat explanation and one that works well thematically, if not historically" found out that "Rhimes’ reimagined 18th century England has much in common with the contemporary U.S. It's a multicultural society, but one that is in the midst of a painful transformation".[29]

Lucy Mangan of The Guardian gave 4 out of 5 stars, defining the series as a "gorgeous six-episode romp from Shondaland" and "a rare exception to the rule of prequels and will hopefully set many of its younger stars on the road to success" especially appreciating the acting of Amarteifio.[30] Nicole Vassell of The Independent pointed out that "Queen Charlotte delivers everything a Bridgerton fan could want . . . with touches of social commentary that feel refreshing, rather than preachy".[31]

The Hollywood Reporter's writer Angie Han found the story a "delectable romantic treat", writing that "Queen Charlotte is the tension between the cotton-candy fantasy that’s made Bridgerton so beloved with the thornier ground already laid out for the central couple by the core series" in which "the challenge ultimately yields a spinoff that’s richer and more complex than the flagship series".[32] Lorraine Ali of Los Angeles Times wrote that "lighthearted romance and romps in the gilded bed still play starring roles, and the prequel offers plenty of splendid scenery", appointing that "there is finally a gay love affair in the “Bridgerton” franchise, perhaps in response to criticisms that the series lacked a same-sex relationship, but the subplot does not feel engineered or obligatory. It naturally dovetails with all the other affairs of the heart".[33]

Alison Herman of Variety wrote that Queen Charlotte "offers an ideal metaphor for what the best spinoffs can do; [...] In its brevity, Queen Charlotte can strip down the broad ensemble of “Bridgerton” into a more focused story".[34] Inkoo Kang, writer of The New Yorker, appointed that "this counter-history is hardly convincing as a remedy to ingrained prejudice. [...] But this is also an alternate universe where eighteenth-century musicians play twenty-first-century pop hits and the reigning English monarch is toe-curlingly handsome, so let us feel free to exercise some suspension of disbelief".[35]

Historian S. I. Martin, who specializes in Black British history, described the series as "an absurd take on Black history" and accused it of "inviting, or fomenting, the forgetting or overlooking" of the "time when Britain was the largest trader in human lives on the planet". Gretchen Gerzina, author of Britain's Black Past, fears that the series' race twisting "gives people a pass to say, 'Oh, it was all right. They didn’t suffer and they were wealthy.'"[36]

Accolades edit

Accolades edit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2022 7th Annual Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Drama Series Shonda Rhimes Pending [37]
Outstanding Writing, Drama Series Pending
Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama Series Adjoa Andoh Pending
Golda Rosheuvel Pending
Arsema Thomas Pending
Outstanding Musical Score Kris Bowers Pending
Outstanding Original Song "A Feeling I've Never Been" – Kris Bowers and Tayla Parx Pending
14th Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Main Title Theme – TV Show/Limited Series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story – Kris Bowers Nominated [38]
2024 75th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Period Costumes for a Series Lyn Elizabeth Paolo, Laura Frecon, Jovana Gospavic, Alex Locke Pending [39]
Outstanding Period and/or Character Hairstyling Nic Collins, Giorgio Galliero Pending
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Julie Andrews Pending

References edit

  1. ^ "Queen Charlotte". Writers Guild of America West. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  2. ^ Tucker, Christina Grace (May 4, 2023). "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Series-Premiere Recap: The Great Experiment". Vulture. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Peralta, Diego (May 16, 2023). "'Queen Charlotte' Reigns Supreme as One of Netflix's Most Popular Shows Yet". Collider. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2021). "'Bridgerton' Gets Young Queen Charlotte Spinoff From Shonda Rhimes, Sets Jess Brownell As Season 3 & 4 Showrunner". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 9, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  5. ^ Tom Verica [@tomverica] (March 31, 2022). "Thrilled about this next chapter! @shondarhimes @beersbetsy @shondaland @netflix" – via Instagram.
  6. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 30, 2022). "'Bridgerton' Spinoff Finds Its Young Queen Charlotte". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  7. ^ Yossman, K.J. (April 11, 2022). "Netflix Parts Ways With 'Bridgerton' Spin-Off Production Designer Amid Bullying Allegations". Variety. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  8. ^ Romero, Ariana (May 19, 2023). "Wondering what the Great Experiment Is? The Queen Charlotte Cast Explains". Netflix Tudum. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  9. ^ Romero, Ariana; Bentley, Jean (May 19, 2023). "'Queen Charlotte': Inside the History of a Fictional World". Netflix Tudum. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  10. ^ Cordero, Rosy (March 30, 2022). "'Bridgerton' Young Queen Charlotte Spinoff Casts Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh & Ruth Gemmell". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  11. ^ Rice, Lynette (June 8, 2022). "'Bridgerton' Spinoff About Queen Charlotte Adds Katie Brayben & Keir Charles". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2022. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  12. ^ Rice, Lynette (July 7, 2022). "'Bridgerton' Spinoff About Queen Charlotte Casts Connie Jenkins-Greig As Daughter Of Vivian & Lord Ledger". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 16, 2022. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Moore, Kasey (September 14, 2022). "'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story': Everything We Know So Far". What's On Netflix. Archived from the original on March 26, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Tom Verica [@tomverica] (March 28, 2022). "New chapter. Day 1 filming. Never gets old. #DirectorsPOV Wait til you see what we've got in store!" – via Instagram.
  15. ^ Hassan, Beril Naz (May 9, 2023). "Where is Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story filmed?". Evening Standard. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  16. ^ "Bridgerton Filming". Historic Royal Palaces. 27 April 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023. Key filming locations include Master Carpenter's Court, Fountain Court, Clock Court, Base Court, the King's Stairs and the Gardens
  17. ^ Geraci, Samantha (4 May 2023). "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton StorySoundtrack & Covers Albums Out Now". Legacy Recordings. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  18. ^ Cormack, Morgan (4 May 2023). "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story soundtrack: All the songs in the Netflix drama". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  19. ^ Gomez, Dessi (4 May 2023). "Here Are All the Cover Songs in Queen Charlotte". TheWrap. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  20. ^ Reilly, Nick (4 May 2023). "Alicia Keys on revamping 'If I Ain't Got You' for 'Queen Charlotte' soundtrack". Rolling Stone UK. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  21. ^ Strause, Jackie (February 14, 2023). "'Queen Charlotte' Makes Her Debut With Trailer, Release Date for 'Bridgerton'-verse Prequel Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 14, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  22. ^ "Netflix Top 10 - Global". Netflix. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  23. ^ Bell, BreAnna (May 9, 2023). "Netflix Top 10: 'Queen Charlotte' Debuts at No. 1 With Nearly 150 Million Hours Viewed". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  24. ^ Campione, Katie (May 16, 2023). "'Queen Charlotte' Prepares For Coronation Among Netflix's Most Popular Series Of All Time". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  25. ^ Campione, Katie (May 23, 2023). "'XO, Kitty' Falls Head Over Heels Among Netflix Top 10 English-Language Series; 'Queen Charlotte' Continues To Reign". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  26. ^ "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  27. ^ "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  28. ^ Berman, Judy (31 May 2023). "The 5 Best New TV Shows Our Critic Watched in May 2023". Time. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  29. ^ Berman, Judy (8 May 2023). "'Queen Charlotte' Fixes What Was Broken About 'Bridgerton'". Time. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  30. ^ Mangan, Lucy (4 May 2023). "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story review – a ravishing, romp-packed prequel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  31. ^ Vassell, Nicole (4 May 2023). "Queen Charlotte blends romance and race issues in dashing Bridgerton prequel – review". The Independent. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  32. ^ Han, Angie (3 May 2023). "'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story' Review: Netflix Prequel Is a Delectable Romantic Treat". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  33. ^ Ali, Lorraine (4 May 2023). "Review: Believe the talk of the ton: 'Queen Charlotte' rules in this 'Bridgerton' prequel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  34. ^ Herman, Alison (May 3, 2023). "'Queen Charlotte' Is the Best 'Bridgerton' Yet: TV Review". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2023.
  35. ^ Kang, Inkoo (May 15, 2023). ""Queen Charlotte" Has Shonda Rhimes All Over It". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2023-05-29.
  36. ^ Rose, Steve (12 June 2023). "'Why is Bridgerton's race twisting acceptable?' The real problem with the show's Black fantasy". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  37. ^ Complex, Valerie (June 15, 2023). "Black Reel 7th Annual Television Awards featuring Gender Neutral Categories Announces Nominations; 'The Best Man: Final Chapters' leads with 18 noms". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  38. ^ Brew, Caroline (November 2, 2023). "Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo Nominated for 2023 Hollywood Music in Media Awards". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  39. ^ "75th Emmy Awards Complete Nominations List" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 12, 2023.

External links edit