Why the First ‘Bridgerton’ Spinoff Had to Be ‘Queen Charlotte’

Why the First ‘Bridgerton’ Spinoff Had to Be ‘Queen Charlotte’

The prequel follows the original love story that set the events of ‘Bridgerton’ in motion.

With the success of Bridgerton, it’s no surprise that Netflix chose to make a spinoff. But from the beginning, the series planned to explore a wide variety of characters as it shifts focus to a different Bridgerton sibling each season. With so much of the cast already set to get the spotlight, a spinoff would need to be more removed. And that’s what Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story provides. By traveling back in time, the new series will not prevent the future of the original. Focusing on the stories that lead to the events of Bridgerton, the spinoff has the chance to fill in the past of the alternate world, making this prequel an origin story for far more than Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel). While there are many characters who could have gotten a spinoff, Charlotte was the obvious place to begin. As an integral character in the original series, Charlotte has plenty of story to tell, yet the bulk of it is in the past. Her love story is prevalent in the series, but only part is told. Her own series has the opportunity to change that. With a love story that echoes in the original and younger versions of established characters, the new limited series has everything it needs to flourish.

Charlotte is the Best Place to Start

While the expansive cast of the series provides plenty of options for characters to explore, Charlotte is the best place to start. Of course, a spinoff could have focused on a different family as they try to marry off children in London society. But this would be so similar to the original that it’s almost not worth considering. A spinoff could have followed Season 1’s Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) after her marriage to Simon (Regé-Jean Page) or a different sibling after their season was over. However, this would face a few problems. For one thing, the settled life of a new family wouldn’t be as interesting to the society gossip that makes Bridgerton what it is. Secondly, remaining with any member of the close-knit family would require overlap in the characters.

To avoid the series bleeding into each other, a prequel certainly seems to be the best idea. Julia Quinn, the author of the books on which the series is based, has a short story about Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and Edmund (Rupert Evans) Bridgerton, the parents of the show’s titular siblings. The relationship Violet and Edmund share is a rare love match, which makes their story intriguing. But it’s well-established her husband died young and that imminent tragedy would put a damper on a series about them. Another character capable of leading a prequel is fan-favorite Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh). Lady Danbury’s status as a wealthy, powerful woman certainly lends potential to the idea, yet her seeming lack of romantic attachments would require the series to focus on something new. However, Charlotte’s story provides the love story of the Bridgertons and the familiarity of Danbury with the added twist of royal politics. Though these other prequels may not stand on their own, there’s always room for a few familiar faces in the supporting cast.

Other Recognizable Characters Will Factor In

Fortunately, Charlotte won’t be the only familiar face in the series. A young Agatha Danbury (Arsema Thomas) and Violet Bridgerton (Connie Jenkins-Greig), or Ledger as she will be in the series, are set to appear as well. They may not be the center of the story, but their presence will explain the relationship each has with the Queen in their adulthood. With the royal wedding being such a monumental event for the entire society, it shouldn’t be shocking that characters alive at the time will appear. As these three women are important figures in Bridgerton, the beginning of their relationship should be an interesting thing to cover in the prequel. And who knows what other names may pop up to set the stage for Bridgerton.

The Beginning of the Love Story

Bridgerton sees Queen Charlotte and King George (James Fleet) after many long years of marriage, but not their beginning. The original series only focuses on the ending of their story. With George’s mental health in decline, he is only lucid at certain times, leaving Charlotte to lead on her own. When he is aware, George wants to be with his wife and asks after their children. However, these rare moments only make the bad times harder to bear. Yet for Charlotte to feel so alone without him, they must have had a great love story. Charlotte shows a deep-rooted belief in love, which influences how she reacts to the matches in the show. When angry with Daphne, she blocks the marriage between her and Simon, but an eloquent speech about their blossoming love sways her. With the breadcrumbs of her past mentioned, it’s clear that her memories guide her decisions in the show. Her devotion to King George is another hint of their relationship, but with the situation as it stands, the details of their past relationship remain a mystery. But the spinoff will change that. Focusing on the days after their betrothal, as a young Charlotte (India Amarteifio) meets the King (Corey Mylchreest) and attempts to make a good impression, the limited series will explore their early and somewhat reluctant romance.

Charlotte and George’s Relationship Created the Society in ‘Bridgerton’

Though both Charlotte and George are inspired by real English monarchs, this world looks a bit different. There was speculation that Charlotte may have been Black or bi-racial, though the reality isn’t clear. However, Bridgerton made the conscious decision to portray the character that way and create an alternate history where Charlotte’s race ushers in an era of diversity among the nobility. With Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story telling of Charlotte’s arrival in court, it will also be an origin of this divergence in history. This allows for racial diversity in the cast that sets Bridgerton apart from other shows set in the same era and the much-needed celebration of Black History. Charlotte and George’s relationship creates the world seen in the original show. So this series isn’t only the backstory of Charlotte but the society in Bridgerton as a whole.

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