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Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is a tour-de-force brought to us by Shondaland and Netflix.
If you have not done yourself the favor of watching Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix yet, please grab your favorite alcoholic drink and a box of Kleenex and be ready to experience one of the most beautiful – yet bittersweet – romantic series currently available to watch on your television.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story smoothly transitions between 1817 (taking place just after Bridgerton Season 2 while Anthony and his bride are on honeymoon) and 1761 when a young Princess Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) is brought to England to marry the mysterious and yet dashingly handsome King George III (Corey Mylchreest).
In 1817, the focus shifts from the younger generation of Bridgertons to Queen Charlotte (the sensational Golda Rosheuvel) and her brood of 13 adult children, her ever loyal servant Brimsley (Hugh Sachs), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), and Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell). Whereas in 1761, we meet Queen Charlotte’s court including a young Agatha Danbury (Arsema Thomas), who is in a loveless marriage with the older Lord Danbury (Cyril Nri), and Violet Bridgerton (Connie Jenkins-Greig)’s mother Lady Vivian Ledger (Katie Brayben).
What is the Heart of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?
The heart of Queen Charlotte is without a doubt the painful reality of love. Whether the lovers are in the same bed, have been forbidden, lost to death, or kept apart, there is no denying that the love and longing and pain is still there.
The five main love stories in Queen Charlotte are [
spoilers to follow]:
1 – Queen Charlotte and King George III.
In Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 we were introduced to a Queen Charlotte who seems somewhat heartless and unfeeling, to put it gently. In Queen Charlotte, we discover what made her that way and our hearts break for her and the King. Be ready with those tissues, dears, because this is no light rom-com.
2 – Lady Danbury.
Lady Danbury is given a great chance to shine further and demonstrate in both the 1761 and 1817 storylines that she is not just a sharp-tongued widow of influence in London society. She is given a fictionalized storyline in 1761 involving something called “The Great Experiment” that leads to the color-blind 1817 London society the Bridgerton children live in.
Additionally, she is shown to be in a loveless marriage to a man who cares only about how many children he can breed off of her. And since it was never mentioned in the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn nor in the first two seasons of Netflix’s Bridgerton whether Lady Danbury had a great love in her life, it comes as a surprise (a surprisingly good one) when we learn of her great love story. While I do not condone extramarital affairs, it must be said that I wept like a baby when I understand Agatha’s story has no happy ending.
3 – Lady Violet Bridgerton.
Anyone who read my disappointing review of Bridgerton Season 2 will know that I am a big fan of Ruth Gemmell. It was such a wonderful delight to see her and the character of Violet grow and shine outside of the role of mother and matriarch of the Bridgerton family. It is especially wonderful to see the relationship the young Violet (Connie Jenkins-Greig) had with her father, Lord Ledger (Keir Charles).
4 – Brimsley.
Brimsley in the Bridgerton series is a source of humor and ridicule. When he is introduced to Princess Charlotte in Episode 1, I had imagined his younger incarnation would be just as silly and inconsequential. I could not have been more mistaken.
Brimsley as played by the young Sam Clemmett (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child“) could arguably be called the heart of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. His secret romance with King George’s secretary, Reynolds (Freddie Dennis), is likely to have many fan boys in raptures and without spoiling too much, I can only say that there is a short scene in one of the later episodes featuring both the younger Brimsley (Clemmett) and the older Brimsley (Sachs) that will have you reaching for those tissues.
5 – The Prince of Wales.
In the 1817 storyline of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, the Princess Royal has died in childbirth leaving behind a distraught Prince of Wales (Ryan Gage) whom the Queen doesn’t know how to comfort in his grief. While the scenes featuring Gage are for the most part played for laughs, there is a very serious reason his character is fifth in my list of noteworthy love stories in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. The Prince of Wales’ grief for his daughter is real and the inability on the Queen’s part to comfort her son is also real.
It is only a small example of the painful heart of Queen Charlotte. But without this very key love story, we would not have the Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story that brings viewers like myself to tears.
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