Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story | Top Critics, Reviews & Ratings
If you enjoy period dramas, you’ve probably heard of Bridgerton (92%), Netflix’s popular TV adaptation based on Julia Quinn’s novels. The series blends melodramatic flair from Downton Abbey with Jane Austen’s classic romance, following the story of eight siblings seeking love and power in London’s high society. The show introduces us to the entire dynasty and their eccentric personalities, among which Queen Charlotte, portrayed by Golda Rosheuvel, stands out due to being one of the characters that existed in real life and that transcended history as monarch of England from 1761 to 1818.
One of the most compelling aspects of Queen Charlotte’s history is her relationship with King George III, whose marriage took place barely six hours after their first meeting and lasted almost 60 years. Their lives included conceiving 15 children, of which only 13 survived, and dealing with George’s mental deterioration, which forced them to live apart for an extended period. Despite their marriage starting out of interest, the couple ended up loving each other deeply. The spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (89%), which premiered on Netflix, explores their origin and epic love story, serving as a prequel to Bridgerton.
The six-episode series, written by Shonda Rhimes, offers a deeper insight into Queen Charlotte’s character and backstory, showcasing her first approach to power and her marriage to King George of England, transforming high society. The show stars India Amarteifio, Corey Mylchreest, Golda Rosheuvel, Arsema Thomas, Adjoa Andoh, Ruth Gemmell, Michelle Fairley, Sam Clemmett, among others.
According to top critics, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story justifies its existence by presenting richer and more complex material than the main series, offering one of the kindest and sweetest stories about love and mental health awareness ever seen on the small screen through a spectacular cast. The show features pop ballads reinterpreted in a classic format, extravagant costumes, lavish balls, and passionate love scenes, but also a poignant plot that serves as a pretext to explore deeper themes than just romance and tragedy.
The spin-off maintains a central objective of giving a stronger definition to the character of Queen Charlotte, which leads to a more complex understanding of her personality in future seasons of the series. With excellent production design and a perfectly timed cast, the show offers a romance that is worth swooning over. Amarteifio and Mylchreest’s palpable chemistry grows solid as their marriage becomes a turbulent mess of desire, resentment, hurt, and fondness.
Critics note that Amarteifio is radiant as Queen Charlotte, emanating strength, nobility, and tenderness simultaneously. She delivers a vibrancy to her performance, demonstrating a sense of ownership of the character she’s creating. The show’s narrative bounces between past and present, giving each conflict just enough time.
Although some negative commentary emerged, finding the series dry, dour, and unfunny, with drawn-out scenes of uninteresting content, for the most part, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is a crown jewel for Bridgerton, a period piece that presents a timeless love story with all the elements of the franchise viewers have come to love. Elevated by its leads’ electrifying chemistry and Rhimes’ elegant writing, the show is a fairy tale as enchanting as it is heartbreaking.