Queen Charlotte

Erica Proctor, Staff Writer

Ever since Netflix’s beloved regency romance Bridgerton‘ first came out in 2020, it has been highly anticipated for future seasons. Although the series is based on books, the writers and producers decided to take a different path for their newly released project. Instead of continuing on with a third season right away, we got to see the perspective of an overlooked character and her unique love story. The new series features former English monarch Queen Charlotte, in a fictional world inspired by facts. The spin-off was an unexpected hit and is on the rise to be one of Netflix’s top-watched shows. 

Based on the original nine-book series by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton features a close-knit family and their individual journeys of finding love in the Regency era of England. The first two seasons came out in 2020 and 2022 based on the first two books in the series. Throughout the show, England is ruled by their beloved monarch Queen Charlotte. The Queen gets lots of royal attention but not as much attention on her own love story. We get introduced to the King in the first season, but not much more after that. The relationship between the King and Queen appears tragic and damaged with love no longer present. In the second season, we got to see the king in a more deranged mindset that showed the situation of the relationship between the king and the queen. There wasn’t much left to see between them and nothing more was thought about by viewers. However, producer Shonda Rhimes wanted to bring a new perspective to their story and give viewers something to see. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgeton Story was released on May 4. 2023 by Netflix. When the project was first announced, Bridgeton fans, including myself, were slightly disappointed that the producers were stepping away from the original series for a bit. However, now that it’s been released, it has become a fan favorite and top-watched Netflix series. The storyline for the season revolved around Queen Charlotte and King George III. Although these were fictional characters in Bridgeton, they were real people in the past. The plan behind the new series was for it to be fiction inspired by fact. Considering the King and Queen were both past rulers of England, the producers wanted the show to be somewhat realistic of the actual former monarchs. Lots of the series is fiction for viewing pleasure but lots of it was also real occurrences. In the series, we see Charlotte and George in their youth in the late 1700s. George is preparing to take the throne after the passing of his father, while 17-year-old Charlotte is coming from Germany to meet the man she is to marry on the same day. This being one of the true events from the past. Throughout the series, we get to see the ups and downs of their relationship. Along with certain secrets and discoveries along the way that adds difficulty into the relationship. However, the highlighted part of the series is how we get to see what the king and queen were truly like. We get to see the background of why they are the way they are in Bridgerton, and how even though it doesn’t show, they have a magical and adoring relationship. 

An additional feature that the show contains is how it flashes back and forth between the past and 1820s present England. The main part of the series highlights the love story, but we also get to see a side featuring the Queen and her 15 children. As the rest of England is blooming in new relationships and marriages, the heirs of the throne are struggling to do the same. Queen Charlotte makes it her mission to make sure any of her children marry and have children. All so the kings line can continue, since none of them have conceived an heir for the throne. 

All the brilliant features involved come together to form an exciting and addicting show for viewers, that they most definitely enjoyed. The prequel series quickly established its reign on Netflix’s top charts. In the first weekend, the show drew 148.28 million viewing hours, following 158.68 million more in the second week. Totaling out to a whopping 307 million hours, which translates to roughly 47 million views of the entire season. With the season only being six episodes compared to the usual 8 in the Bridgerton series, the season was watched in full 21.9 million times in four days. Making it a close runner-up to Bridgerton season two at 22.7 million. The show has been in Netflix’s top 10 shows since it came out, making it comparable with other all-time Netflix hits like Squid Games and Stranger Things. With all those statistics, It is safe to say that Queen Charlotte has made its mark in the Bridgerton world.  

To say that Queen Charlotte has been liked by viewers is an understatement. It brought millions of views and love to the series, and every one of those viewers got to experience a love story like no other ordinary or Bridgeton love.