On May 4, fans of the critically acclaimed series, Bridgerton, rushed to Netflix to binge the newest spin-off series from Shonda Rhimes herself, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. As we all collectively wait for the third season of Bridgerton, this series allows a young Queen Charlotte to take the center stage as we see her enter a tumultuous marriage with King George III, one that tests both their faith, loyalty, and love toward one another. The series also gives us a look into the events that follow Bridgerton’s second season, focusing primarily on Queen Charlotte, Lady Agatha Danbury, and Viscountess Violet Bridgerton.
With love being the primary focus of the Bridgerton stories, let’s take a look into the different stories of love and connections that take place throughout the Queen Charlotte series. There will be spoilers ahead so if you have not watched all six episodes, it is recommended you come back when you have watched them all or read at your own risk and discretion.
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Queen Charlotte and King George III
If Daphne and Simon were the symbol of a fast-paced, burning hot romance, while Kate and Anthony are the iconic epitome of a slow burn love story, then the tale of Charlotte and George is the perfect balance between the two. The beginning of their relationship makes it clear that their marriage was arranged for them as a way to benefit both sides of the family. Neither would have picked one or the other necessarily, especially given their stubborn, hard-headed personalities that we see throughout the series.
Charlotte is witty and quick with her words, does not enjoy her every move being watched and followed, and would rather pick her own oranges if she could have her way. Meanwhile, George is just George, Farmer George, if you will. He would much rather spend his time tending to the gardens and looking at the night sky to keep himself occupied. From episode one, there is a spark as Charlotte is thwarted from her attempts to jump over the palace walls before their wedding and is stopped by the very king she is arranged to marry. But shortly after, there is distance, there is miscommunication, and there is no desire from George to be with her on their wedding night. So how does love even grow from there?
It is ultimately through Charlotte’s persistence and passive aggression toward George that pushes their relationship to be one of unconditional devotion and loyalty. As we discover that George suffers from manic episodes and severe mental health issues, Charlotte is determined to fight with him, fight for him. As she demands that George do the same when he does not believe his feelings could be equally reciprocated due to his condition, she questions him while bearing his first child, “Between the heavens and the earth, I will tell you where you are. Do you love me?”
It is in this very scene and with George’s response that their affections toward each other are rooted in a type of love that is intended to withstand any and all hardships. The attention isn’t on the butterflies of courtship, the physical attractions, or the intense moments of falling in love. Instead, Charlotte and George’s story is ultimately about fighting for each other and remaining at each other’s side through even the worst of times. It ultimately boils down to making the choice to love, and making sacrifices for one another. It is these moments that make their inevitable fate tug on our heartstrings even more.
Lady Agatha Danbury and Viscountess Violet Bridgerton
Female friendships are some of the strongest bonds to ever exist when they are properly nurtured, consistently challenged, and filled with honesty and reliability. If you’ve seen both seasons of Bridgerton, then you are already aware of the bonds built amongst Charlotte, Agatha, and Violet. In Queen Charlotte, however, we see the beginning of their relationships as they are much younger as well as how much closer they’ve grown together as they’ve gotten older, and the ways they have each taught each other to continue to love and love themselves.
With Lady Danbury, she begins her time married to Lord Danbury, an old man reaching the end of his time and is still trying to latch on to his high status, despite his race being a clear obstacle in doing so. While Agatha remains devoted to his every need, she loses her way, and doesn’t quite know how to live when her husband suddenly passes. While she does engage in a “friendship” with Lord Ledger, Violet’s father, she never divulges this information to Violet, even in the adult years of their friendship, preferring to tell the story how she declined a marriage to Queen Charlotte’s brother.
It’s through the conversations that Lady Danbury has with Violet that we understand that she has live her entire life curating who she is based on the overall person that Lord Danbury once was. It is after she denies Charlotte’s brother that she learns to live and love for herself, however she pleases, and she gives this same advice to Violet, reminding her that she had the choice to love and she can choose to love again, whether permanently or temporarily.
For Violet, however, she pushes the button to challenge Lady Danbury into admitting truths about her relationship with Violet’s father. And while she does not get a clear admission, there is a subtle and quiet understanding of what happened, and Violet eventually respects the need to let it stay in the past. No matter may have happened years ago, the love and friendship these two women carry between one another is far more sacred and important than anything else.
Queen Charlotte and Lady Agatha Danbury
Continuing on with the strength of female friendships, Charlotte and Agatha are no strangers to one another, with Agatha immediately being requested to be a part of the Queen’s court. Their friendship has always been one filled with advice and gossip, but in this particular series, we see a push and pull between the two that challenges both to find themselves trusting of the other.
In the case of Charlotte, Agatha urges her to take the necessary steps that will enforce changes within their society, particularly for those who are not the default and have never been guaranteed a status within society. That involves doing what is necessary to secure her marriage to King George as well as providing a legitimate heir to the throne. It’s not until Agatha asks, “Do you not see us?” that Charlotte understands her role is much bigger than she realized. Not only is she a queen but she is also a queen that gives hope, status, and elevation to people who like her.
Likewise, Charlotte also challenges Agatha in return by the end of the series when she is made aware that Agatha has been worried about losing her title as “Lady Danbury” due to the death of her husband. It is then that she takes on the role of queen as Agatha advised, and reassures her that titles will not be stripped. However, she also sternly demands that faith in Charlotte as the Queen should be maintained for the benefit of both women. If there’s anything that can be learned from these two women, it’s that love within friendships is not just about supporting and uplifting one another. It is also about challenging each other and keeping each other in check in a way that benefits both parties in positive ways.
Brimsley and Reynolds
There cannot be a discussion of romance and love in Queen Charlotte without bringing up the quiet yet endearing side story involving the Queen and King’s secretary, Brimsley and Reynolds. Upon seeing them together for the first time, it is clear they have an already established relationship but it’s one that is kept secret for obvious reasons. A queer romance in the Bridgerton series is nothing new, as it is casually brought up as a something that should be normal and accepted, even within such an elevated society.
But while there are spicy moments between the two, there’s something unique about the relationship between Brimsley and Reynolds that has viewers begging for more time with them. While they have physical and emotional affections for each other, they are both still tied to their duties to the Queen and King. Protecting the King’s condition and keeping his intentions under wraps is Reynold’s responsibility, no matter how much more distant he becomes. On the other hand, Brimsley is pushy and demanding of answers in the name of the Queen, as he attempts to bring Charlotte the information she is entitled to have.
There is a strange level of gentle care and innocence between the two that cannot be taken away by a sense of duty or any length of distance. And it’s clear as day that no matter what, feelings will always remain, especially when we see Brimsley dancing in the courtyard by himself, pretending Reynolds was right there dancing with him. Fans can only hope that Shondaland give us more Brimsley and Reynolds because they are one story about which we are incredibly curious.
While many of us wonder what plans are in store for season 3 of Bridgerton, there’s no question that it will be insanely difficult to top what we saw in Queen Charlotte. The series brought us heartbreak and pain, but also light and unconditional love, all of which stays with us forever. Whatever is to come, we’ll be waiting and we’ll be watching. And most definitely, we will be doing some rewatching as well!
If you’d like additional thoughts on Queen Charlotte from me, you can watch my spoiler-free video here as well as my video containing spoiler-filled thoughts here.