The ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Ending, Explained
Still buzzing over Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story? The prequel, spin-off, or whatever you want to call it is an absolute whirlwind of romance, secrets, drama, and some real issues! It’s not history, as the voice of Lady Whistledown reminds us at the beginning of the episode, but it does incorporate some historical…er…elements. There is also a lot that’s left unspoken, due to the mannered way these high-society ladies talk to one another. It feels like code from time to time. Let’s break down the Queen Charlotte ending, just to make sure we’re keeping track. Who knows? There could be a second season!
Genuinely a lot happens in the final episode, as the action flips back and forth between timelines. The show is not just about King George III and Queen Charlotte’s love story. It’s also about Brimsley and Reynolds’s relationship; Lady Danbury’s suitors and lovers; Violet, aka Mama Bridgerton, getting her groove back; and the queen pressuring her children to give her an heir. Queen Charlotte also provided an origin story for the more or less imagined Great Experiment, which led to an abundance of racial diversity in Bridgerton’s high society. Watching all of those threads get tied up is pretty exhilarating.
What happens in the final episode?
Charlotte, having fired George’s terrifying doctor, tells his mother, Princess Augusta, that she intends to love and stay with her husband and care for him herself. She confronts George and they proclaim their love for each other. She gives birth to a son. But love and her presence is not enough to ease George’s mental state forever. He will always have, as Reynolds puts it, good days and down days. He goes to speak to Parliament and is unable to leave the carriage. Back at Buckingham, he hides from “the heavens” under the bed and Charlotte joins him there. They get real about how George simply isn’t going to be all there for the rest of their life together. Charlotte also proposes a solution to the Parliament problem: Bring the members of Parliament to Buckingham. So they throw a ball!
Meanwhile, Lady Danbury and Lord Ledger’s affair ends when he brings his daughter, Violet, on one of their walks. (In the present—well, present to Bridgerton at least—Violet gets a hint that there was something between her friend and her father.) Lady Danbury then courts and ultimately refuses the queen’s brother. Queen Charlotte reprimands her for breaking her brother’s heart at her own ball but then says she wishes she had just come to her with concerns over her title and standing in the Great Experiment. That’s a relief, because in the middle of the episode, there’s a really frustrating scene in which Princess Augusta threatens Lady Danbury, makes her cry, and then tells her to endure her bullies, fight back, and become stronger because of them. Girl, you’re the one bullying her! I get that she wants a verbal sparring partner, but at what cost?
Back in the Bridgerton timeline, the grown-up queen and her adult children sit for a portrait. Prince George and Princess Elizabeth confront her about their own fertility struggles, the cruelty of the queen’s baby contest, and her lack of warmth as a mother. Then at the end of the episode, Prince Edward “wins” the competition. An heir is on the way—and possibly a female one at that. Charlotte goes to tell the king the good news that their son’s wife is pregnant and finds him in the middle of a rather mild psychotic episode. She persuades him to hide under the bed with him, and they are as they once were.
But even with that emotional ending, there are still some unanswered questions.
What happened to Reynolds?
We don’t know! Isn’t that devastating? In the past, Brimsley and Reynolds talk about how they may be able to spend the rest of their lives together serving Charlotte and George, respectively. It’s about as close to a marriage of their own as they could get. But in the present, Brimsley is alone—and when the queen asks if he has ever been married, he is perplexed that she would even ask. “Who could I ever find who would be free to spend a lifetime with me?” he says. So either Reynolds died or something happened between them. Nooooooooo!!
Will Lady Danbury tell Violet about the affair?
Ahhhhh! This was too stressful for me. So, in the Bridgerton present, Violet spotted the birthday hat that her father made for Lady Danbury. She saw him making it back in the day for who he said was a friend. That discovery plus Lady Danbury telling her that she didn’t have good sex until after her husband died has her suspicious. (Lady Danbury didn’t actually say the good sex thing—the two women used a convoluted garden metaphor, but we all got it.)
Violet takes out all the birthday hats her father made for her when he was still alive and displays them when Lady Danbury comes to visit her. That would have had me running for the hills! But instead of fighting, they reach some kind of silent agreement. I wish they’d said it! I want to know if Violet is ever going to learn that Lady Danbury f*cked her dad! Put it bluntly, please!
Did King George III ever get better?
Not really, but they made it work. Mental illnesses like George’s—which, to be fair, was never definitively diagnosed IRL—do not have a cure.
Who is the baby in the final episode?
At the end of the episode, Prince Edward and his new wife Princess Victoria announce that they are expecting a child. That child, also named Victoria, will go on to rule England for 63 years between 1837 and 1901. Her reign was longer than any monarch in the UK until the late Queen Elizabeth II, who ultimately beat her record by seven years. King George III was succeeded by his eldest son, also George. Then George’s brother William reigned for about seven years. Then the Victorian Age began.
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