Bridgerton fans hoping to gain insight into Queen Charlotte’s upcoming prequel needn’t look any further than the hit Regency-era drama’s Season 2.
Whilst nothing necessitates an excuse to re-watch the entire season, two scenes from Episode 6, in particular, hold clues to what Bridgerton-nation can expect from the untitled spinoff. As previously reported, the prequel will allow Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh and Ruth Gemmell to reprise their beloved roles as Queen Charlotte, Lady Agatha Danbury and Lady Violet Bridgerton, respectively.
Sex Education’s India Amarteifio will star as a young Queen Charlotte, who is betrothed to the King and realizes “she was not exactly what the royals were expecting,” as the series toggles back and forth between both stages of the Queen’s regal life. Meanwhile, newcomer Arsema Thomas will do the honors as young Lady Agatha Danbury, and the actress playing the young Lady Violet Bridgerton has yet to be announced.
The prequel will establish a young Lady Danbury as a “guiding light for the new Queen, all while finding her own voice and power,” according to Netflix’s description. That said, the besties don’t always see eye-to-eye, as seen in Season 2 when Edwina failed to marry Viscount Anthony Bridgerton. Infuriated that Lady Danbury had manipulated her into making Edwina that season’s Diamond, only to have the wedding blow up in her face, Queen Charlotte threatened and chastised Lady Danbury.
Unsure of what to do for the first time in forever, Lady Danbury hid. When Lady Violet Bridgerton found her, the two stress-laughed for at least two minutes. The laughter allowed Violet to forgive Agatha for not telling her everything about the Sharmas, and Agatha to admit she wasn’t a god, Andoh reveals. It’s also a moment where two friends chuckled until they figured out how to help their other friend.
“Lady Bridgerton has to deal with eight children and who’s marrying whom, and she kind of keeps a tight lid on everything,” Andoh tells TVLine. “It’s all kind of controlled. And Lady Danbury thinks she knows everything until the wheels fall off, and she hides away in a room. These women have a long-time friendship. What are they going to do? It is a ‘laugh or cry’ moment. In an honest and safe way, they just laugh. There’s something really touching about seeing people who think they’re in control just surrender.”
In true Lady Danbury fashion, she eventually crafted a solution or two that helped the Queen, the Sharmas and the Bridgertons. That same strategic approach comes to fore in their youth, Andoh teases.
“You need to strategize,” Andoh says of her character’s agility and grace amid the Ton. “These courts are not cuddly, friendly places. They’re rabid, and you have to survive. Lady Danbury has gotten to a position of comfort and safety and status because she learned to play the game, and you will see how.”
Episode 6 revealed Queen Charlotte’s vulnerability as well, when it came to her King’s mental illness. The disoriented King heard the fireworks that were supposed to be for Anthony and Edwina and thought it was his wedding day. Luckily, a quick-thinking Edwina came to the rescue and sympathetically figured out a way to calm him. It’s a gesture that endeared her to the Queen, but her portrayer, Rosheuvel, says fans should note how the monarch looked to Agatha and Violet for nonverbal support — a steadfast support that will be unpacked in the prequel, too.
“I’ve got my two best friends in the room, Ladies Danbury and Violet. I’ve got these unknown entities in the Sharmas. And there’s a wedding that’s not happening for the Diamond that I chose,” Rosheuvel explains. “Then the husband comes in. How do all of these emotional stories collide when this thing happens? In the first take, I just focused on my best mates. The King comes in, and that emotion hits me. I know that they’ve seen him behave like this before, and I know that they know what’s going on because I’ve told them. They’re my mates. They are like family.”
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