What is Queen Charlotte about? Bridgerton prequel explained

Daisy Phillipson
A still from Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix

Queen Charlotte, the highly anticipated Bridgerton prequel series, has made its grand entrance on Netflix – here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching. 

The first season of Chris Van Dusen’s fictional period-romance series, based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton book series, became a global phenomenon when it first dropped on Netflix in 2020. 

And with the arrival of Season 2, the fanbase continued to grow while smashing Netflix’s viewership records and becoming the streamer’s most-watched English language show in the space of one week. 

So, it’ll come as no surprise that Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story has topped the Netflix chart – so, here’s everything you need to know about Shonda Rhimes’ prequel series.  

What is Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story about?

Queen Charlotte is a six-episode prequel series set in the 1700s, showing us the early years of the eponymous character, played in Bridgerton by Golda Rosheuvel. The narrative will tell the love story of Queen Charlotte and her husband King George, who is portrayed by James Fleet in the original series, and how the beloved character came to be the Queen of England. 

Check out the trailer below: 

As per Netflix Tudum: “The series introduces a young Charlotte, who is only starting to understand her power – and the meaning of love. We meet young Charlotte as she embarks on her life-changing marriage with young King George and enters a Ton very different from the one seen in Bridgerton. 

“Naturally, a fearless leader like Charlotte is the one spearheading a societal shift that will lead to generations of change in the Bridgerton world. 

“Although Queen Charlotte is dedicated to unraveling the past, it will also give fans a peek into the present-day lives of the Bridgerton coterie. (Well, their 19th-century lives, anyway.) So the series is also a can’t-miss for those thirsty to out-gossip Lady Whistledown come Bridgerton Season 3.”

Speaking to fans at a Queen Charlotte event, showrunner Shonda Rhimes said: “I really loved the fact that we could expand the universe and show people how the Bridgerton world that they know came to be. Plus, I’ve always been fascinated by the romance between Charlotte and King George and wondered how that began.” 

Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story cast: Who’s in it?

The cast for Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story includes: 

  • India Amarteifio as the young Queen Charlotte
  • Corey Mylchreest as the young King George
  • Arsema Thomas as Agatha Danbury
  • Cyril Nri as Lord Danbury
  • Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta
  • Sam Clemmett as Young Brimsley
  • Freddie Dennis as Reynolds
  • Tunji Kasim as Adolphus
  • Connie Jenkins-Greig as the young Violet Ledger
  • Keir Charles as Lord Ledger
  • Katie Brayben as Lady Vivian Ledger
  • Richard Cunningham as Lord Bute
  • Neil Edmond as Earl Harcourt
  • Rob Maloney as Doctor Monro
  • Peyvand Sadeghian as Coral

The following Bridgerton cast and characters will also be making an appearance:

  • Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte
  • Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury
  • Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton
  • Hugh Sachs as Brimsley
  • Dame Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown

In a Netflix press release, Rhimes spoke about rising star Amarteifio, and how she “worked really hard to embody the characteristics of Golda Rosheuvel, so that you could understand where Golda started out with her movements and how she became Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton.” The showrunner added: “She found Golda’s cadence, too. But she also did all kinds of things that I never really thought of for the character of Queen Charlotte.” 

Corey Mylchreest as young King George and India Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte in the Bridgerton prequel series
The series will look at the love story between a young Queen Charlotte and King George

Adding to the conversation, Amarteifio previously told Harper’s Bazaar: “She has to change her brain and see herself as a different kind of person, but retain her sense of self, which I’d seen in Golda’s Charlotte when I watched Bridgerton. All around her, people are grappling with one another, romantically, politically, and at the eye of the storm is this vital, poised woman who knows who she is. 

“I’d wanted to know, how is she so sturdy in a society that is frivolous and crumbling? The through line connecting India’s Charlotte to mine is her feistiness. The damn determination to make it work, for her and George. Even in vulnerable moments, she’s sure of herself.”

Is Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story worth watching?

If you’re a Bridgerton fan, yes. If you’re not a Bridgerton fan, also yes – if period dramas are your thing. The prequel series has a whopping 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, with countless positive reviews. 

The Hollywood Reporter described the show as a “delectable romantic treat,” while Variety said “it’s the best Bridgerton yet.”

The Daily Beast wrote: “Queen Charlotte’s most impressive feat is giving a stronger definition to an eccentric character from the main series, who now has a clear identity that will lead to a more complex understanding of her in future seasons of the original show.”

The Guardian added: “The series is a rare exception to the rule of prequels (generally substantially worse than the originals and undermining all previous endeavors) and will hopefully set many of its younger stars on the road to success. Amarteifio does especially well, shouldering the bulk of the show’s burdens and showing in embryo all of the Charlotte we know.”

Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story is available to stream on Netflix now. Read about what else is in store for Netflix in May 2023 here.

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com