Warning: This article contains minor spoilers for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.


Bridgerton prequel Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story delves into the romance between the titular monarch and King George III, who were introduced in the Netflix adaptation of Julia Quinn's books.

Now, this spin-off series delves into their relationship, exploring the challenges they had to face and how they coped with the King's deteriorating health.

The couple's younger counterparts, played by India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest, have much against them in the six-parter, but viewers may be wondering how much of it is actually based on real events.

Read on for everything you need to know about the true story behind the show.

Is Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story based on real events?

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Corey Mylchreest as Young King George and India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte. Netflix

While the historical figures of Queen Charlotte and King George III were real people, Bridgerton and new prequel series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story are fictional, and the characters have been re-imagined.

But that's not to say that there aren't some similarities between the real events of the past and the new show, particularly in regards to the focus on George's mental health, their separate living quarters and their underlining love story.

In terms of the marriage between Queen Charlotte and King George, that was a real love story. Aged 22, George succeeded the throne after the death of his grandfather George II and the search for his wife only intensified. His mother, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, sent an offer of marriage to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (present-day Germany) and she accepted.

As depicted in the series, Charlotte and George married pretty soon after she arrived in Great Britain, with the real-life Charlotte also undertaking the voyage to Britain with her older brother Adolphus. They arrived at St James's Palace on 8th September 1761 and that same evening, just six hours after her arrival to the palace, Charlotte and George were married.

As is the case in the drama, Charlotte was also 17 years old when she married 22-year-old George, and two weeks after their wedding, they were both crowned at Westminster Abbey. Not depicted in the series is also the fact that at the time of their wedding, Charlotte spoke no English but went on to quickly learn the language.

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Their marriage lasted 57 years and together, they had 15 children, 13 of whom survived to adulthood. For all intents and purposes, it is said that the pair enjoyed a marriage filled with love and unlike his grandfather and sons, King George never had mistresses or affairs.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story does delve into a particularly fraught relationship between Charlotte and her mother-in-law Princess Augusta, and it seems as though the real life figures didn't get off to the best start either.

It is said that in her first few years in Britain, Charlotte had difficulty understanding the life of British high society because of Augusta. The Princess Dowager enforced strict etiquette protocols, didn't allow Charlotte to forge her own personal relationships with others and also enlisted the help of some of Charlotte's staff to feed back information on the new Queen's behaviour. This, of course, has stark resemblances to the way that Princess Augusta enlists Lady Danbury (Arsema Thomas) in the new series.

On a lighter note, the Queen did actually have a fondness for Pomeranians. While we know Queen Charlotte to always be surrounded by the cute dogs in the original series, in this prequel we see that George gifts Charlotte one as an apology gift after being absent while receiving 'treatment'. But in reality, Charlotte was already a fan of the small dog breed and brought two of them with her when she moved to England.

It wouldn't be a discussion about Queen Charlotte without mention of her dazzling balls and the Queen Charlotte Ball was actually a real thing. In the series, Charlotte is a supreme matchmaker for the Ton but in real life, the annual British debutante ball was founded in 1780 by King George as a birthday celebration for Charlotte. It continued on even after her death, until it was ended by Queen Elizabeth II, who cancelled it in the '50s.

What happened to Queen Charlotte and King George in real life?

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story – James Fleet as King George. Netflix

In terms of the sad course of events that unfold in the series regarding George's deteriorating mental state and Charlotte being initially unaware, those facts are true. In 1765, the King had a 'temporary' bout of illness and at the time, Charlotte was kept unaware of it under the instruction of her mother-in-law and Lord Bute.

In 1788, when the King's physical and mental illness worsened, Charlotte was said to be terrified and insisted on her own bedroom, as well as to not be left alone with him after he collapsed one evening. She was told that George would be moved to Kew and insisted on accompanying her husband in the move along with their children, something the young Queen insists upon in the final episodes of the Netflix series.

In real life, although the Queen and her children were moved to Kew, they were made to live separately from George. They visited him regularly but from 1804 onwards, Charlotte had her meals separate to him and avoided seeing him alone.

It is said that as his condition worsened, Charlotte's attitudes also changed – something that is reflected in the drama, especially seeing how her younger self is compared to the Bridgerton Queen we all know and love. It is said that the real Queen developed a temper, didn't have a good relationship with her children and refused to attend public events.

Over the years, George's condition worsened, eventually going blind, developing dementia and going deaf. In 1811, he was placed under the guardianship of Charlotte after being diagnosed as permanently insane. It's said that the Queen didn't visit her husband again after June 1812 and she died in 1818.

The King lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death in 1820, aged 81. At the time of his death, was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch.

Queen Charlotte is available to stream now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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