Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeEntertainment‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Has Everyone Bawling Their Eyes Out

‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Has Everyone Bawling Their Eyes Out

- advertisement -

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.” 

Shonda Rhimes’ prequel spin-off, “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” delivered the most heart-wrenching and romantically erotic performances on May 4. The innovative creator of this limited drama series takes a new spin on portraying love stories set in period pieces. Fans can still expect the great combination of a hot and steamy romance that is the signature of “Bridgerton,” along with crazily jaw-dropping drama, but “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” brings a more emotional emphasis on lost love and nostalgia. 

With new faces comes new energy, and boy, did this cast bring the energy onto the screen. India Amarteifio had the great honor of playing a young Queen Charlotte alongside Golda Rosheuvel as the queen, while Corey Mylchreest had a gratifying breakthrough role as a young King George. Fans also got to see the younger versions of other beloved characters, such as Arsema Thomas as young Lady Agatha Danbury and Connie Jenkins-Greig as young Lady Violet Bridgerton. 

The chemistry on screen definitely lives up to the audience’s expectations based on what’s already been served in the previous “Bridgerton” seasons — from spicy, sparky romance in scenes filled with passionate and purposeful arguments to twisted drama and fantastical love scenes. Young Queen Charlotte’s (India Amarteifio) and Young King George’s (Corey Mylchreest) performances were especially phenomenal as Rhimes walked the audience through their rollercoaster of a relationship. The two young actors were great at embodying the perceptions of the older Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and King George (James Fleet), showing through their portrayals how the characters came to be the confident, worthy rulers they ended up becoming. 

There were many difficult personifications that Amarteifio had to pull out of her sleeve in order to give fans insight into the hardships she faced to become the queen she is in “Bridgerton.” For example, she had to show giving birth to her firstborn child, portraying the adversities of racism in the era, especially for royalty, as well as expressing internalized anger despite her love for King George. 

Mylchreest also showed his prestigious acting abilities through his complicated portrayal of King George’s mental illness. Although it is typically a very sensitive and difficult topic to portray in film, Mylchreest nailed the strategic performance of suffering and emotionally overcoming a mental illness. Not only that, but his performance was specifically heart-wrenching because of his character’s devoted love for Queen Charlotte. As much as he wanted to be with her, he constantly pushed her away anytime she suggested living together or being in any close proximity, for the sake of her own emotional and physical protection. 

Rhimes also includes various subplots to keep fans intrigued. For instance, there is the sneaky, forbidden love story of the king and queen’s butlers, Brimsley (Sam Clemmett) and Reynolds (Freddie Dennis). Both characters find themselves in situations where they have to choose between duty and love, which woos audiences and leaves them rooting for the success of the pair’s relationship. 

Another subplot was young Lady Danbury’s upbringing and her tangled fling with young Lady Violet Bridgerton’s father, Lord Ledger (Keir Charles). After Lady Danbury’s very old husband died, she found herself with a lovely man who was the exact opposite of her unpleasant, unromantic late husband: sweet, considerate of her feelings and romantic. However, not knowing much of his backstory before diving deeper into their little love affair proved complicated, as she found out that he was a married father with an intelligent daughter who would soon grow up to be of some royal importance. 

One of the bigger subplots was paralleling what happened in the past with what happened in the future. Fans are given scenes of what Queen Charlotte deals with during the original Bridgerton storyline, showing the dynamics of the royal family and their subjects. Revealing what is happening in the future storyline gives the fans a sense of the reasoning behind Queen Charlotte’s exactitude towards certain situations, such as the steadfast pressure of marrying her children off so that there’s an heir to the throne. The future friendship between Lady Danbury and Lady Violet Bridgerton gives fans some closure on the rough patches in their secretive past relationship. In the end, though, all the fussing and fighting is worth it, as the royal bloodline is stable and the suspicious connections between the royal subjects are resolved — until, of course, another conspicuous occurrence disrupts the peace of the palace. 

Because the history of unrequited and passionate love is constant within the series, these love stories caused a heart-wrenching whiplash of emotions, making fans cry with joy and sadness. Rhimes was considerably successful in making the backstories of Queen Charlotte and the elders more in-depth, further establishing the cast of Bridgerton and giving meaning and purpose as to why the authority and upper class are the way they are towards their own children or prospective higher powers. 

“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” embodies the perfect, short 6-episode binge show, full of overly dramatic and visually pleasing illustrations of a period piece. Consequently, fans are even more excited than before for the third season of “Bridgerton,” which is still in the process of filming and depicts the love story between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). Fans will be anxiously waiting for the soapy drama and fiery relationships. 


Cameryn Nguyen is an Arts & Entertainment Intern for the spring 2023 quarter. She can be reached at camerynn@uci.edu.