The period drama universe has become a global sensation and finally, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has landed on Netflix.


The Bridgerton prequel series is centred on Queen Charlotte's rise to prominence and power, and how her young marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift.

It's one of the first times that race has been placed front and centre in a TV period drama, with the series covering societal attitudes, prejudice and stereotypes as the young Queen was arranged to marry George as an initially tactical ploy between Germany and England.

Speaking to and other press about the series, Arsema Thomas, who plays the role of young Agatha Danbury, spoke about the importance of racial representation like we see in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

“I think this representation is important because when I look at the show, I am both excited that it exists because nothing like it exists but sad that it is the first of its kind to exist. This idea of a period drama with the lead being a Black queen and then supported by another Black woman of aristocracy – that has never happened.

"For all of the beauty and creativity that fiction gives us, it feels like the period genre is so ruled in accuracy but when it comes to everything else but race, accuracy doesn’t seem to matter."

She continued: "I think of all of the shows and movies that take place in Italy or Russia, yet all of the actors are speaking in British accents. Our ability to remove that level of reality in those cases but not in the case of race is indicative of the fact that representation still needs to be pressed today.”

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Although Lady Danbury is someone that Bridgerton fans know very well, Thomas also revealed that the side of her we'll see within her younger version isn't someone that people will immediately recognise.

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She continued: “I think the journey starts off with Agatha, not Lady Danbury just yet, in a very demanding and seemingly imprisoning marriage with an older man.

"You see a very different version of her because she acquiesces, she doesn’t seem like she’s going to change. It feels as though she doesn’t believe that there is any option than for her to fulfil her duty as wife."

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Cyril Nri as Lord Danbury and Arsema Thomas as Young Agatha Danbury in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Netflix

The story contained within the new series is one of fiction, but the character of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz doesn’t appear in Julia Quinn’s source novels at all. Her inclusion as a mixed-race queen in Bridgerton was Shonda Rhimes’s idea, making it an important focal point of the series.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, Golda Rosheuvel said: “It’s great to see somebody like me in a wonderful, amazing, fantastical, beautiful, glitzy and glamorous period drama. That’s really important to celebrate.”

In the same issue, new leading actress India Amarteifio (who plays the young Queen) was asked about what the success of Bridgerton means to her as a woman of mixed heritage.

She said: "[Showrunner] Shonda Rhimes is at the forefront of this movement of including people in genres where they didn’t exist before — people just weren’t writing shows for people of colour to be in period costumes. I completely relate to this — I never used to watch period dramas. I’m half black and white. My family looks like lots of different people.

"I didn’t see myself represented so I didn’t ever feel a need to watch them. But now? Now I love period pieces."

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is available to stream on Netflix. Meanwhile, Bridgerton seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream now. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

You can also buy The Viscount Who Loved Me and the Bridgerton book series on Amazon. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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