Everything We Know About the Bridgerton Prequel

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Photo credit: Backgrid
Photo credit: Backgrid

As if the recent premiere of Bridgerton's much anticipated sophomore season plus the promise of several morethe Netflix show is based on Julia Quinn's series of eight novels, each of which focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling's quest to find love—wasn't enough to satiate the most enthusiastic fans of this frothy Regency-era hit, Deadline broke the news last May that a prequel is in the works.

Also masterminded by Shonda Rhimes via her production company Shondaland, the upcoming spinoff will center on a young Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel in the current series) and the great societal shift she brought on with her marriage to King George, leading to the creation of the Ton. It will also explore the early lives of Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Bridgerton matriarch Violet (Ruth Gemmell). Below, everything we know about the upcoming show.

The main cast has been announced.

Nearly a year after Rhimes revealed her intentions to create a prequel, the first table read for the as yet untitled project has taken place—and the cast revealed. Rosheuvel, Andoh, and Gemmell will reprise their Bridgerton roles with India Amarteifio portraying the young Charlotte and Arsema Thomas the young Lady Danbury. A youthful King George will be played by Corey Mylchreest, while Game of Thrones actress Michelle Fairley will star as his power-hungry mother, the Dowager Princess Augusta.

Photo credit: Daniel Boud
Photo credit: Daniel Boud

The Bridgerton storylines are works of fiction, but Queen Charlotte is based on a real individual (she wasn't a figure in the novels but added to the TV production, which has proven to be a very successful and popular decision by Rhimes et al). In a 2021 interview with Variety, Rhimes said she got the idea for a Charlotte-centered spinoff from Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos: "I’ll be blunt: It was when Ted picked up the phone and called me and said, ‘Why aren’t we doing a show about Queen Charlotte? And will you write it?’" Not that she needed any convincing. "I’m very obsessed with Queen Charlotte, and I always call her the Beyoncé of the show,” she told the entertainment magazine.

Filming is underway.

Photo credit: Backgrid
Photo credit: Backgrid

Golda Rosheuvel and other actors, including Hugh Sachs—who plays Queen Charlotte's aid Brimsley—were spotted filming in London what appeared to be a funeral scene.

Ruth Gemmell and Adjoa Andoh, who are also reprising their roles as Lady Bridgerton and Lady Danbury, respectively, were not pictured on set.

There will be a book tie-in.

Bridgerton author Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes will co-write a book about Queen Charlotte’s rise to power, set to be released when the show premieres. The prequel, set to be published by Avon Books, "tells the story of how the young Queen’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton."

"Taking Bridgerton from book to screen was fascinating for me to watch, and it's such an exciting challenge for me to take it in the other direction, this time crafting Shonda's brilliant vision into a novel," Quinn said in a statement. "I'm especially thrilled to have the opportunity to write about Queen Charlotte, who was not in the original novels. Her character —and Golda Rosheuvel's brilliant portrayal of her— was a tour de force, and I think readers will love getting a chance to know her more deeply."

Who was the real Queen Charlotte?

Photo credit: Universal History Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: Universal History Archive - Getty Images

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born a German noble and became queen consort to George III upon their marriage in 1761. The couple had 15 children—their granddaughter Victoria, daughter of their third son Edward, would later become queen in 1837. As portrayed in Bridgerton, King George III suffered several bouts of mental illness which eventually became a permanent condition, making it impossible for his wife to be around him.

While in the series the monarch mostly fills her time indulging her proclivity for society gossip, in real life Queen Charlotte was also an amateur botanist and a passionate patron of music, especially the works of German composers like Handel and Mozart, who, at age 8, was invited to play at court. As her husband's condition deteriorated in the late 18th century, Queen Charlotte found refuge in a country estate she purchased near Windsor Castle called Frogmore House. A few years later, in 1801, she commissioned an addition to the grounds: Frogmore Cottage.

The properties are now most famously associated with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who hosted their wedding reception at Frogmore House and later called Frogmore Cottage home for a brief period before permanently breaking away from their working royal roles in early 2020. The latter is where Princess Eugenie currently lives with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August.

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