How Queen Charlotte Fits Into The Bridgerton Universe

In late 2020, the first season of "Bridgerton" came out, introducing a new generation of viewers to the magic of period romance. Set in the early 1800s, the series, which was written by romance novelist Julia Quinn, follows the romantic lives of all eight of the Bridgerton children. Adapted by TV extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes, the Netflix show has released two seasons, focusing on the love stories of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) and Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), respectively.

The Regency period show has been credited for an increase of romance books sales among younger generations. In the era of "u up?" texts, situationships, and other red flags in online dating, a series filled with genuine love and commitment often feels like an indulgent fantasy to viewers.

While the separate romance stories of two of the elder Bridgerton stories certainly resonated with viewers, the audience was left intrigued by the queen. With grand, architectural hairstyles, wit, and a penchant for ton gossip, Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) was soon given her own spin-off on Netflix.

How does Queen Charlotte fit into Bridgerton?

"Queen Charlotte" offers insight into the beginning phase of the titular character's relationship with King George III. Married off to him at the age of 17, the two had their fair share of difficulties and bumps along the way. However, they had a deep and resounding love for one another, which informs the older Queen Charlotte's penchant for match-making every social season.

Although the show touches on realities experienced by the real royal couple, namely King George's "madness," there are certain liberties taken in the show that inform the world that Bridgerton is set in. This is explained by a disclaimer at the beginning, in which the narrator states that the story "is not a history lesson," but rather "fiction inspired by fact." This inspiration is most likely derived from discussions about Queen Charlotte's African ancestry. The most glaring discrepancy between the show and real life, however, is the treatment of people of color in the "Bridgerton" setting and the Regency era of the real world.

At the beginning of "Queen Charlotte," Charlotte's marriage to King George is part of what his mother has dubbed The Great Experiment — by a Black woman marrying a white man, they would test the waters of desegregating the ton and allowing the people of color there to become nobility, which eventually gave way to the iconic couples in the first two seasons of the Netflix hit.

Queen Charlotte decides the it girl of the season

By having a lasting, loving marriage with King George III, Queen Charlotte was able to successfully break the color lines in the ton. Later, she designates a "diamond" every season, choosing the girl who pleased her the most with their grace and poise. The young woman then becomes the most eligible girl of that social season, with all the bachelors vying for her attention.

In season one, this honor was given to Daphne Bridgerton, who wants to inspire competition among men of good standing so she can marry well. She conspires with Simon, a duke who has no plans to get married, to fake a relationship for more attention. Later on in the season, the Queen allows them to marry, through which they discover that they both share feelings for one another.

During the second season, Queen Charlotte names Edwina Sharma as her incomparable diamond. As London's most eligible Bachelor, it was evident that Anthony Bridgerton would simply win her over in order to continue the Bridgerton line. Yet, without the Queen appointing Edwina as the diamond, we would have missed out on Kate and Anthony's steamy chemistry, a result of Kate's involvement in her younger sister's love life. Queen Charlotte wasn't just an astute ruler, but she was influential in several love stories.