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Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Deserves a Royal Viewing

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Deserves a Royal Viewing

Dearest Gentle Readers,

           It’s been quite a while since we’ve visited the lush anachronistic Regency-Era Britain that showrunner extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes created for the Bridgerton Series. Well, before we go back to the ton and stir the tea completely for Season 3, Netflix has decided to shower us with the presence of Her Royal Majesty Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in her own (rousing) spin-off series: Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

The six-episode miniseries peels back the curtain on the fictionalized history of the headstrong matchmaking Queen in an alternate multi-racial 18th Century Britain as conceived in Bridgerton. 

It starts off in the year 1761 when a young Charlotte (India Ria Amarteifio) is betrothed against her will to a young King George III (Corey Mylchreest) six hours after her arrival in Britain from Germany. The arrangement made quite the headlines when the British people learned that Charlotte, who is to be their Queen, is of African descent. In the words of Dowager Princess Augusta of Wales (Michelle Fairley), “I didn’t know you would be so…brown?”

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story helps solidify how the world of Bridgerton became so multi-racially progressive for the time that it is. As Charlotte is a foreigner, and black, Princess Augusta gathered various prominent people of color and granted them title to form a court around the new would-be Queen of England. She calls this “The Great Experiment” and pretty much desegregates the nation. But in order for this to truly work, Charlotte and George need to produce heirs and ensure that the royal bloodline succeeds.

Unbeknownst to Charlotte at the time is George’s mental illness—something that was established in the previous Bridgerton seasons.

Simultaneously, the show follows the woes of Queen Charlotte from present day (1817) when the Princess of Wales, her only legitimate granddaughter and the one expected to ascend the British throne, dies in childbirth. She now faces the task of pushing her 15 children to wed and create legitimate heirs to the throne.

The Past, Present, and Future Collide

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is more than just a prequel because the storylines from 1761 and 1817 collide—and we’re not just limited to the Queen and the Royal household. During the flashbacks to 1761, we are introduced to younger versions of familiar characters from the main show.

A younger Lady Agatha Danbury (Arsema Thomas) must work her way to improve her station and way of life as she endures a loveless marriage with an elderly Lord Danbury (Cyril Nri). The events of Charlotte and George III’s royal union sparks hope that people of color could be seen as equals within the ton. Ensuring that this volatile victory would last, she finds a way to befriend the Queen and be her confidant.

We also meet a young Violet Ledger portrayed by Connie Jenkins-Greig before she becomes Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell). Naïve and pure, she weaves her way into Lady Danbury’s life, but as with typical Bridgerton-writing, this happenstance meeting is not without intrigue and drama.

But perhaps the most unexpectedly intriguing character in the series is Brimsley (Hugh Sachs), the Queen’s Secretary who we only see in the present timeline as a shadow doing the queen’s every bidding. In the 1761 flashbacks, we delve deeper into younger Brimsley’s (Sam Clemmett) relationship with the crown and his secret romantic relationship with Reynolds (Freddie Dennis), the King’s Secretary.

Who Run the World? A Playlist Fit for a Queen

It’s no secret that Shonda Rhimes loves producing stories that empower and uplift women and other marginalized sectors, and Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is particularly peppered with so much girl power that even the musical selection oozes with it. Orchestral renditions of SZA’s “Nobody Gets Me”, Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”, and even Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” highlight key moments of the show. But we have to give it to the show for adding not one but three Beyonce tracks namely “Halo”, “Déjà Vu”, and “Run the World”.

More than a filler-series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story celebrates women of color—and women in general. With a person of color as the Queen controlling the world’s most powerful nation, a playlist fit for the role was a must. What could be more fitting than these tracks?

Smart Invites You to Have Tea With Her Majesty

Enjoy uninterrupted escapism with Queen Charlotte and the rest of ton with the Smart’s Signature Plans. Enjoy Netflix Mobile at no additional cost or enjoy Netflix for less if you’re already subscribed to it. All you have to do is link your account to your existing Smart Signature Plan and enjoy savings of Php 149 per month.

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