A Bridgerton Story's Queen Charlotte is not your usual historical drama. Queen Charlotte, Lady Agatha Danbury, and Lady Violet Bridgerton are three strong-willed Regency-era women. Their lives are the subject of a six-episode television series. It explores how they deal with issues of race, power politics, and love. The historical drama is a spin-off of the popular Netflix series Bridgerton. It functions as a sequel to the last two seasons of Bridgerton, which feature an older Queen Charlotte played by Golda Rosheuvel, as well as a prequel since it takes place before the events of Bridgerton.
India Ria Amarteifio plays the young Queen Charlotte in the eponymous show, while Corey Mylchreest plays the young King George III. Though it appears flawless on the outside, their royal marriage is disintegrating because of a significant secret that Charlotte comes to know just a few weeks after the nuptials.
Inspired by the life of King George III, the monarch of the United Kingdom from 1760 to 1820, Queen Charlotte's George was mentally ill. This makes it challenging for the two to lead a happy and fulfilling marriage. They, however, share beautiful moments in Shonda Rhimes's Tom Verica-directed show. Here is the breakdown of India Amarteifio's show that aims to remove racism from history books.
Queen Charlotte: The Reel Story
India Amarteifio’s Queen Charlotte stars Corey Mylchreest as the youthful King George III and Ria Amarteifio as the young Queen Charlotte. The Charlotte Bridgerton cast is as myriad as myriad can be.
The sexual tension between King George III and Queen Charlotte is evident right away, as it is with every Bridgerton couple. The couple's forced marriage and brief meeting hours before their wedding provide the ideal environment for a budding romance. They maintain it throughout the show. The showrunners skillfully employ the cliché of enemies-to-lovers, allowing Charlotte and George's love-hate relationship to heighten the sultry moments.
Their love becomes stronger and stronger as a result of the difficulties. After learning of King George's mental illness, Queen Charlotte makes every effort to improve him. George's good days become better by her sheer willpower and determination. And she even witnesses the king attending social gatherings for the first time. The final episode takes a poignant turn, demonstrating how their love has persevered through the years despite George's deteriorating health. When George first saw Charlotte, she was attempting to flee the castle ahead of her wedding. This is when he fell in love. And Charlotte believes it was because of him that she refrained from jumping the wall.
The three characters, Charlotte, Agatha, and Violet differ in terms of their social status and private lives. But they are all strong-willed and formidable. The Netflix series alternates between the three women's younger and older selves.
Queen Charlotte: The Real Story
The Shondaland production of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is based on Julia Quinn's romance novels. It attempts to solidify the public's perception of the monarch as an unquestionably Black woman. The focus of the prequel series is Queen Charlotte. India Amarteifio plays the young version, and later, Golda Rosheuvel takes on the older role. She plays a Black adolescent here. Additionally, she mentions the "Great Experiment" that resulted from her interracial union with King George III. James Fleet plays the elder version, and Corey Mylchreest the child.
The Great Experiment, as it is known in Queen Charlotte and the first Bridgerton series, alludes to Britain's (obviously fictitious) choice to fully incorporate Blacks and other people of color into their society, including the nobility. The character of Lady Danbury (played by Adjoa Andoh in later life and Arsema Thomas in her youth) in Queen Charlotte is the most outspoken advocate of the Great Experiment's stakes. She is apparently African royalty, possessing wealth surpassing that of the majority of British nobility. But she must battle to become one of them.
Most people are aware that this is untrue. It goes without saying that Black people in 18th- and 19th-century Britain were not welcome at all echelons of society. Furthermore, Meghan Markle's experiences as a member of the royal family suggest that the nobility in Britain struggled to accept her. Many people do believe that the real Queen Charlotte was Black, even though they generally acknowledge that this aspect of the story is fictitious. Furthermore, Shondaland and Netflix are stoking that flame. To commemorate the premiere, Netflix even invited historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to an event with a royal theme.
Queen Charlotte conveys questionable messages about the politics of empire, wealth, interracial relationships, and representational politics. The decision to cling to the probably unfounded notion that Queen Charlotte was Black is what poses the greatest threat of it.
Black-ness Of Queen Charlotte Played By India Amarteifio
There was public discussion about Charlotte's appearance even though her interracial relationship with George did not alter the course of history. In some stories and portraits, she has"African" features and fair skin. While other depictions gave her slightly darker skin. She was frequently referred to as plain and ugly.
The show reconstructs the hazy accounts of her appearance into Charlotte encountering racism in addition to familial ties with other Black people; Princess Augusta, the mother of King George III (Michelle Fairley), laments Charlotte's "very brown" skin, to which a minister humbly responds, "I told you she had Moor blood." Even though Charlotte and George were related in real life, her brother acknowledges that no one who "looked like" them had ever married into the British royal family. The guests at the wedding chuckle at Charlotte's jewel-encrusted Afro, and Lady Danbury beams broadly when she realizes the new Queen is "on our side."
How It Is Different From Reality
Queen Charlotte was born into the royal family of the northern German duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. However, there are hardly any records of anyone specifically stating that Queen Charlotte had Black parents, Black siblings, and relatives. Despite the fact that her contemporaries made it clear that they didn't think her face met their standards of beauty. Her lineage may have been from the “illegitimate son of King Alfonso I of Portugal and his Moorish mistress [Madragana]” by historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom in 1997.
But Queen Charlotte was born in 1744, and King Alphonso I was born in 1109 or 1111. As art historian Amanda Matta explains on her podcast, Art of History, there is a significant gap of over 600 years between Queen Charlotte and her presumed African ancestor Madragana, who cannot be definitively proven to be Black or related to Queen Charlotte. These traits may have persisted for a few generations due to some inbreeding, but not to a considerable degree.
It's also illogical because, given the close ancestry of King George III and Charlotte, it would force large segments of European and British royalty, such as Prince Harry and Mary, Queen of Scots, to now be classified as Black. Are we ready to announce that Charles, the upcoming May 6th King, is also Black? Is it accurate to say that any royal with large nostrils or full lips is displaying signs of Madrigana's enduring genes? That may sound absurd, but that is the direction that flawed genealogical techniques and race science take us.
The conclusion is clear but somber. Black stories and representation of Black people were never priorities for Queen Charlotte. It was all about the money, reifying wealth and empire, and appeasing Black people by saying that we, too, could be among the most powerful. It is a cogent and heinous neo-liberal political statement to recast a queen who, whether or not she was sympathetic to enslaved people, ruled over a vast empire. She lived a life based on genocidal labor as a Black woman fighting for her people. Above all, it aims to safeguard the establishment.
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