A Double Hot Take On Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Race & Romance

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
This post contains spoilers for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. The first glimpse of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story that Netflix released in September was a simple, short and sweet 1 minute and 58 seconds of the first encounter between young Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio) and King George (Corey Mylchreest). Charlotte is trying to climb over a wall to escape her fate: marrying a man she knows nothing about. Not knowing George is that man, she tries to enlist his help for her getaway. After some adorable, squeal-inducing, swoon-worthy banter, George reveals his identity, and Charlotte is visibly charmed. These two minutes, which debuted Amarteifio and Mylchreest’s palpable chemistry, sustained us for months.
Fans of the BCU (Bridgerton Cinematic Universe) have been patiently waiting for Queen Charlotte (played in the present day by Golda Rosheuvel) to get her due in this universe and since the lore around the real-life Queen, who some historians claim was Black in real life, is what started Bridgerton’s push for including actors of different ethnicities in this period romance, a genre that has historically been overwhelmingly white. We haven’t been shy about sharing how we thought Bridgerton handled race in its first two seasons (hint: Season 1 tried and failed and Season 2’s success came from barely addressing it), and we knew that this series was going to tackle Charlotte’s status as the first Black queen of England head on. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, created and written by Shonda Rhimes, had the ambitious task of explaining the history of the racial dynamics of the BCU while also delivering another epic love story (and horniness) the franchise is known for. In Bridgerton, it was revealed that King George lives with mental illness (also based on real accounts) and by the time S2’s central couple Anthony and Kate are riding off into the sunset (or making out in front of their family), his mind is deteriorating while his wife is ruling in his stead.
Queen Charlotte and King George’s tragic fate becomes the shadow cast across every scene of this six-episode series. We’re faced with finding out how Charlotte cemented her status in a world built to exclude her, but also how she and George fell in love under impossible circumstances. How does this doomed romance bloom? And how do they form a bond so strong it sustains an entire kingdom where romance is the backbone of every decision and every season? And where does our fave Auntie, Lady Danbury (played by Adjoa Andoh and Arsema Thomas respectively), fit in? The reviews are rolling in, and people are declaring Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story the diamond of the Bridgerton universe. It’s the first series fronted by Black women and the first one that doesn’t shy away from addressing the big Black elephant in the ballroom. Are the critics right? And where does this season rank amongst the rest in the BCU? We’re two Black culture critics, romance stans through and through, and we usually fight about, well, everything. Here, we finally agree on one thing: Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story was worth the wait.
Kathleen Newman-Bremang: Wait, before we get started, didn’t you say that you’d never watch Bridgerton again? I was sad we weren’t going to fight over this show anymore! And yet, here we are. 
Ineye Komonibo: I did say that, but that was way before I found out about the Queen Charlotte spinoff! I may not care about the next set of Bridgerton siblings, but you know I’m always going to tune in for Black girl business. 
What was your overall reaction to Queen Charlotte
IK: As you mentioned, I was ready to give up on Bridgerton after last season. It didn’t hit. For me, it wasn’t giving. And I never really cared for Queen Charlotte as a person, because the show hadn’t given me enough to care about, so I didn’t really have any expectations. But as soon as I started watching it, I was like, Oh, wait a minute! I think by the second episode, I said out loud, “All right, Shonda. Okay!” I believe in Shonda Rhimes so much — Scandal is one of my favourite shows —  because she knows what she’s doing. I thought Queen Charlotte was almost perfect, and I would give it the highest score of all the Bridgerton seasons so far. It's the best, and the one that I've enjoyed the most, but it was also the most emotionally draining. I walked away feeling a lot of things.
KNB: I actually agree with you, mostly. We finally agreed. There’s a first time for everything! So, I fucking loved it. You know how much I loved Bridgerton Season 2. I obsessively loved Bridgerton Season 2. Kate and Anthony were my whole shit. I made them my entire personality for months. And I have been dying to see more from Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte. My expectations were very high. Season 1 was a disappointment for me. But after Season 2, I knew I would be seated. Put me in the front row for anything Bridgerton related. And the series met those high expectations. I devoured all six episodes twice in one weekend. I think that overall the writing is the strongest out of all the seasons. That’s a testament to Shonda Rhimes. She is who she is. There's a reason she is Shonda Thee Rhimes. I think that these characters are the strongest of the universe as well. However, I'm not yet as obsessed with Charlotte and George as I was with Anthony and Kate. And there’s a subplot this season I hated as much as I loved everything else. We'll get into all that, but overall I did love it. It's incredible but I haven’t reached the unhealthy levels of obsession over Queen Charlotte that I did for Bridgerton S2… yet. 
The show hinges on India Amarteifio being believable as young Queen Charlotte, since this is a character we already know well from Bridgerton. How did she do? 
KNB: I think she nailed it. She was perfect. And there are times when watching the cadence of her voice and her mannerisms that I was like, this is witchcraft. Baby, that’s sorcery. And you could tell they were CONFIDENT with their casting because they kept zooming from India’s face into Golda’s. It was wild. India is just an incredible actress and I'm so excited for her. I'm excited to see what she does after this. I'm excited for all the acclaim she's going to get for this. I'm a fan. And, you know, the original show is called Bridgerton. It's about the Bridgerton family so the main characters of the first few seasons were really Daphne Bridgerton and Anthony Bridgerton. They each got a bit more depth than their counterparts. This is the first time a person of colour — specifically a Black woman in this series — is getting all the shine. She’s a full, completely realized character. And you don’t get that if the performance isn't as strong as the writing. Even when she was being frustrating and bratty and a little bit immature at times, I was still ready to ride for her. I don't believe in monarchies, but watching this show, I was like, I will fucking lay down my life for the Queen. I was all of a sudden a monarchist watching this show. For God, Queen and country or whatever they say. I was IN IT. 

This is the first time a person of colour — specifically a Black woman in this series — is getting all the shine. She’s a full, completely realised character. And you don’t get that if the performance isn't as strong as the writing.

kathleen newman-bremang
IK: I’ve never agreed with any character 100% on Bridgerton before, but this time, I was completely with Queen Charlotte almost every step of the way. I fully agree about India’s acting — she is the best in the entire Bridgerton universe. I want India, and Corey Mylchreest who plays King George, to be in so many other things. The acting is so good. The characters were both so fleshed out in a way that Bridgerton has never allowed its characters to be because it's always just about a love story. But here with Queen Charlotte, this is a person who wasn't necessarily concerned about love. She’s trying to figure herself out: “What am I doing here? What am I supposed to be?” There are so many things that are getting in the way, and she just wants to be able to make her own path. I was convinced the whole time and felt protective of Charlotte. I actually missed her when it was over. 
We know that a good central romance and the lead couple’s chemistry can make (see: Anthony and Kate in Season 2) or break (see: Daphne and Simon in Season 1) a Bridgerton season. What did you think of Charlotte and George? 
KNB: So in Season 1, Daphne and Simon get married halfway through the season, but it’s still about the push and pull of their romance. Season 2 is all about whether Anthony and Kate are going to get together. In this series, I think it was incredible how the romance is so central, but they get married in episode one, and we know how it ends. We know present day Queen Charlotte and King George are still married. So, what Shonda and co. had to do was build this world and this character outside of the romance, while also making the romance so central. They did an incredible job. As far as Charlotte and George, they broke my heart, put it back together, and broke it again. I love them so much. You know I’m all about Jonathan Bailey, but Corey gave him a run for his money. Charlotte and George are just such a beautiful, devastating love story. 
IK: That was the hard thing going in: we know how this story ends. We already know that Charlotte is always going to be watching out for George as his mental illness gets worse. We know he's not going to be present and that even when he's physically there, he's not mentally or emotionally there. She's alone in their marriage and has to take over all his duties. We already know that this story has a tragic ending, but the big ask is for us to be invested in how we get to that ending. 
KNB: Exactly. She's this kid thrown into a situation that she didn't want to be in. We see her telling her brother in the opening scene that she doesn’t want to do this. She tries to go over a wall. But immediately from the moment she meets George, Charlotte’s mind is changed. You could see her entire face relax like, “Oh, well at least he’s fine!” Then they have the greatest meet-cute in Bridgerton cinematic history and we watch her realize in real time that it’s all going to be okay now because she gets to do it all with him. And it’s obvious that he feels the same way. They are legitimately a team and I think that the way that Charlotte navigated George’s mental illness, once she learned of it, is a stunning example of true love. It’s a beautiful depiction of unconditional love. I really love them together. Their story is really, really fucking sad. But it’s also hopeful and romantic and considerate. That’s what love is supposed to be. 
IK: You know my biggest complaint of Bridgerton has been that of the previous couples, there's always someone who just doesn't know how to act. In Season 1, my king Regé Jean Page was ACTING, and Phoebe Dynevor was…also there. And I know you disagree with this, but I felt like Jonathan Bailey was doing everything in Season 2 while Simone Ashley was mostly beautiful gowns.
KNB: How dare you. 
IK: She was doing her best! But in Queen Charlotte, everybody's on equal footing. It was so refreshing to see two people who know how to act — to emote! — convince me to care about their relationship. And this series tapped into one of my favourite tropes: the marriage of convenience. I love it because they’re married, and they like each other, but they’re also there out of obligation. There’s exasperation like, “Oh it’s an odd day, guess we have to have sex today! We have to hang out today. Oh, so boring.” But we know they’re in love with each other. And I love that they realize it so quickly. I don't think that there's a scene between Charlotte and George that is wasted. Every glance and gaze had a purpose, and the chemistry was giving what it was supposed to give. I actually got so invested I want them to date in real life. 

This world exists only because Queen Charlotte intentionally created it. She becomes the center of the universe, and all the other stories are just extensions of her story, and it allows us to appreciate them more because of it.

ineye komonibo
KNB: That's good chemistry, right? Where these two people seem so into each other, you’re like, I need this to happen off screen too. But whether or not they do take their chemistry offscreen, I just really love them together. You could tell there's a mutual respect and adoration between these actors that shows on screen. They were going toe-to-toe, bar-for-bar. And even when they're fighting, even when they're frustrated with each other, there is that underlying love and admiration and respect, which is what Queen Charlotte and King George have for each other. I also think that respect is the key to a good marriage. 
IK: I loved the scene where they were arguing, and he said, “I don't want a fight with you.” And she said, “I want to fight with you!” 
KNB: She said, “Fight with me, fight for me!” Whew, what a line. I got goosebumps.
Let’s talk about sex, baby! In Bridgerton S1, people complained that the sex was gratuitous. In S2, the critique was that there wasn’t enough. Were the sex scenes in Queen Charlotte good for you? 
IK: They could have done more! We had this much chemistry, we needed more heat! I know there's a lot going on here, and they gave us the bathtub scene, which was nice, but this is the most chemistry we've seen in this universe thus far. Do not play around with that. I get that they were trying to keep it cute because these are still royals, and there needs to be some decorum, but I wanted more. 
KNB: I am also a horny person, so I get it. But to me, the amount of sex in this series was the perfect balance. In Season 1, it didn’t feel real because the chemistry wasn’t there. And in Season 2, I understood storyline-wise why they were a bit more restrained. It made sense that Anthony and Kate couldn't hook up until the very end. And here, it also made sense that there would be ebbs and flows, considering George’s mental illness. I thought that first sex scene was incredible. I texted you as soon as he said, “I'm very good with buttons.” I was like, SIR. I started sweating and giggling and an actual scream left my mouth. 
IK: I loved that. I was like, George, you son of a gun! [laughs]. I wanted more of that! 
KNB: OK, but to be clear, they be fucking. There is sex in this series. They get into this fight when Charlotte overhears George talking to his mom and she interprets it as him saying he only took her to bed because it was his duty to the crown. And they stop speaking, but they are trying to make an heir so they start having hate sex every other day. And that sequence is HOT. They’re so overcome, they start banging in front of their subjects. 
IK: To the point that the servants had to leave the room. But,  if we're gonna do it, let's do it! I think I also just wanted more kissing, even aside from the sex scenes. I would've been satiated with some good kisses. When people look that good together, we need it. In those moments when we catch them gazing at each other across the room, I was fiending for more. Like itching for it. 
KNB: But that’s an effective use of longing! I do agree that there could have been an epic, desperate kiss aside from the sex scenes because we don’t really get one, except for at the altar on their wedding day. And that one was chaste. I think some of the restraint and them not having sex on their wedding night was a really smart depiction of mental health and sex drive, especially for men. In those first couple episodes, we hear a lot of chatter like, “Is there something wrong with his dick? What's going on with him?” Because he doesn't want to have sex with her. But once you see the flip side, and you see how much he's dealing with mentally, it's like, of course he's not horny. He’s trying to get his mind right. I really love that aspect of the show that they were able to show that, yes, he loves her and yes, he wants her, but his mind is getting in the way. That is real and that happens. And it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with a dude if he isn’t horny every second of the day. 
Once again, this is an interracial Bridgerton relationship. We’ve been critical in the past of how this show handles race within romance. How did this season do? 
IK: We’ve talked about the swirl agenda of this show, and also how they have completely ignored race within the romances in the past. This time, I didn't mind because as much as Charlotte is dealing with being the first Black queen, this white man doesn't even have time to worry about racism because his mind is literally deteriorating. He actually can't worry about that. There’s that reality of white people not being aware of what's going on and being ignorant, but I don’t see George like that — it's just that mentally, he doesn’t have the bandwidth to care about anything else because he’s holding onto his sanity. I somehow didn't resent him for it because he's also being discriminated against as a person with a mental illness. It was interesting to see mental illness and race be juxtaposed in terms of discrimination and bias, which I think would’ve been accurate for that time period. 
I don't want to say that they did it perfectly, because I do feel like Charlotte’s identity should’ve sparked more dialogue with George, but they also only had six episodes to tackle everything. So I get it.
KNB: I agree. When we wrote about Season 1, we talked about how it took us out of the universe when they had one half-assed conversation about race, but nothing else. And then in Season 2,  they didn't address race at all, and I liked that more because we could suspend our disbelief. This is Brandy's Cinderella, a fairytale where there's just a bunch of different races living in harmony. But in this one, they tackle it head on... albeit clumsily. It's almost like they can't decide if it's a utopia without racism or a world where it exists. What was missing was maybe one conversation between Charlotte and George about his racist ass mom and the white supremacy of the institution she was inheriting. The royal council and King George’s mom have a whole conversation about how Charlotte is BROWN and darker than they expected. And they’re basically like, “What the fuck? How are we letting these negroes in here?” These are the people who raised George. 
George barely addresses race except for the one scene when they come back from Lady Danbury's party, where essentially the non-white people are finally integrated into the royal ranks, and he's like, “Do you know what you just did? That was incredible.” I hate the term "The Great Experiment" and I did I love that scene, but I do think there could have been a moment where either he says explicitly that he doesn't have time to be a racist asshole because he’s dealing with other stuff, or an acknowledgment that a white, privileged prince-turned-king in this era would maybe have some blind spots. He’s clearly such a loving, beautiful soul, and we know that he instantly falls in love with Charlotte. He doesn’t care about her race, clearly. But it would have been interesting to see something where he’s showing his bias a little bit, and Charlotte drags him for it. And then they reconcile, or even him being like, “I've always thought it was fucked up how these worlds aren't united. And I've been battling with my mom over it for years.” I hesitate to say that those conversations not happening took away from the show because I felt like it was implied — and we are smart enough to get the context — but if they had another episode, I would’ve loved to see them explore their interracial dynamic more.

I love that they were able to show that, yes, George loves Charlotte and, yes, he wants her, but his mind is getting in the way. That is real. And it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with a dude if he isn’t horny every second of the day. 

kathleen newman-bremang
IK: It’s weird that Charlotte never says anything to him about it. Her Blackness is a big part of why the royal court is so critical of her. When she was talking about how she needed George and how she felt so alone, there needed to be an aspect of that conversation where she tells him that he’ll never understand her situation because of her identity.
KNB: It's hard because at the time, I think it’s realistic that they wouldn’t have talked about race as explicitly as we do now (not that this show is realistic at all). They wouldn't have said the words “I’m Black.” That identity didn’t really take on a form like that until the Black Power movement of the 1960s. So, while I do think they should have acknowledged it more between Charlotte and George, especially because of the conversations she had with Lady Danbury, I hesitate to say that they should have had characters saying words that they would never have said. We see this in pop culture a lot now where writers try to give current cultural context to historical figures. There were times The Woman King, for example, where they were talking about the Black diaspora in a way that they wouldn't have had that knowledge back then to talk about. So, it’s a hard balance. This is a fantasy. It's not historical. But it still needs to make sense within the world they've created.
IK: I hear you. But for me, it raises the question of whether there’s ever going to be a proper way to talk about race in this universe. I don't know yet that Bridgerton can ever get it right.
OK, let’s get into it. Aside from the romance, race is tackled more head on in Queen Charlotte than it was in either of the two Bridgerton seasons. How is it handled in this world and how do you feel about the way it was navigated? 
IK: Queen Charlotte changes a lot of the way race shows up in this universe, but it also feels inconsistent still. It’s unfortunate that they’re just now introducing the fact that there are Black people who are aware of their identity, and that people recognise that racism exists. Maybe the best method would have been to go the route of Brandy’s Cinderella, like you said, where you can have a Black mama and a white dad and be Filipino, and we all just go with it because who cares? That would’ve been so much better than what we’re seeing in this universe — with some people realizing that they're Black and are bearing the weight of their race (Charlotte) and some not acknowledging it (Simon). And even though that's kinda realistic, I don't really enjoy that approach. This take on race worked well for Queen Charlotte, but thinking about the rest of the seasons of Bridgerton that are still to come, it all kind of feels irrelevant now. They did all this, just for us to go back to whiteness. 
KNB: ​​I actually think that, for me, the way Queen Charlotte approaches race changes everything… in a good way (almost!). The entire Bridgerton universe has shifted. What Lady Danbury said to Simon in Season 1 is still clunky and weird... but it makes more sense to me now. To recap, she says, “Look at our Queen, look at our King. Look at their marriage, look at everything it is doing for us, what it is allowing us to become. We were two separate societies, divided by colour until a king fell in love with one of us.” It was handled very weirdly because, without context, it feels like she’s saying that swirl love will save us all. It feels very “pick me” and desperate for white validation. But after watching this season, I get it. They were two separate societies divided by colour until George fell in love with Charlotte. Well, more accurately, until George’s mom and the council made this match for him. They clearly had limits of what match they could get for him because they were trying to hide his mental illness. They decided they were going to choose someone who needed them as much as they needed her. 
So, when George’s mom realizes that Charlotte is Black — like people will notice Black — and is trying to figure out the optics of it, she basically says, “Well if we're just not racist, everyone else won't be. We can just say it’s fine and people will fall in line.” To me, if that standard is coming from the Crown, it makes way more sense that in the future, people are trying to ignore race because the Crown set that standard decades ago. Obviously, there would be some repercussions to people trying to ignore race. There would be people who aren't ignoring it, of course, but this season made the whole diverse Bridgerton world come together for me in a way it hadn't before.
IK: I know it’s a prequel, but it feels a little too late to finally lay out those racial dynamics. I don’t think they knew when they started this show that they wanted to focus on Queen Charlotte. Maybe they saw the critiques and thought, Hey we should probably talk about the Queen, because her story could explain and make up for a lot of the issues that we have. It comes across as a reaction and an afterthought, so it falls a little short for me. I would’ve rather had them establish in Season 1 that they were intentionally setting up the world this way. If they’d started off with a clear discussion of the racial dynamics of the ton, then Simon and Daphne’s story would've appealed to me more because there would’ve been more context — Anthony and Kate’s story too. 

Charlotte showed so much grace and love towards George, and it's not lost upon me that the most loyal, most loving person in the Bridgerton universe is a Black woman. 

ineye komonibo
KNB: OK, but who knows how the production schedules and planning went? They might have already had this Queen Charlotte prequel in the works, mapped out in the writers’ room. They did base this whole universe on the rumors that Queen Charlotte was potentially Black in real life (although any efforts at historical accuracy in this series are unsteady at best and harmful at worst). So I can imagine that they might’ve had this story roughly crafted as they went into Season 1 and 2. I agree that they stumbled and kind of fumbled through talking about race in Season 1 and 2, and while it's not perfect here, it doesn't feel like an afterthought. It felt intentional. And I saw that most in the ways that Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte talk about race. Lady Danbury has to pull up Charlotte, and they subtly address light-skinned privilege, too. Lady Danbury essentially says to Charlotte, “All of us depend on you. You are in this position, and you're in this position partially because you're light-skinned, and you do not get to fuck this up for us. You cannot afford to be all wrapped up in a fucking boy right now. You need to come and lead us and take us into this new era where we are respected, and we get what we deserve.” 
That felt really intentional and smart. It does create this expectation of Black excellence and adhering to the rules of British white aristocracy that feels like respectability politics that I wish they had addressed with present-day Lady Danbury who is still trying to uphold these standards. Her energy is very, “They let us in so now we have to act this way so we can be a part of this society moving forward forever.” That needed further exploring. But overall, they tackled it all in a smart way that I was pretty shocked and impressed by. Maybe the bar is in hell [laughs] but I was pleasantly surprised.
IK: Absolutely. But I still think that Queen Charlotte needed to come first in the storytelling, because then we’d understand her obsession with “the ton” and the Regency debutante season more. We’d get why exactly the big Queen of England is so invested in these pairing and finding her “diamond.” She fell in love with somebody, and it changed everything for her, but her story didn’t have a happy ending, so she wants everybody to have a good season and find the love she doesn’t really have anymore. If the show had made it clear from the jump that she’s invested in creating a better situation for other people so that they don't have to deal with the stuff that she dealt with, then we’d have established that this world exists only because Queen Charlotte intentionally created it. She becomes the centre of the universe, and all the stories are just extensions of her story, and it allows us to appreciate them more because of it. 
KNB: But all of those things are true because we've watched this story. She is the centre of the universe. The reason everything happened is because this is a world Queen Charlotte created. A Black woman created this world.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
When we wrote about Bridgerton S1, we wanted more for Lady Danbury and we pointed out that the character didn’t have any depth. Well, she is now a fully formed human being who has “lived a life” and we know her past. Did they do Lady Danbury’s story justice? 
KNB: They did not. I HATED her storyline. This is why I cannot put this season above Season 2 for me. Even though I didn't care about some of the subplots in Season 2, there were none that made me this angry. They did Lady Danbury so dirty. 
IK: They must have beef with this character for real because wow. I was aghast! First of all, her husband was already disgusting, then they paired her with a trifling old man who was literally her friend’s DAD. It’s giving anti-Black. 
KNB: I was so mad I almost threw something at my television. And I’m not just upset because her love interest is white, even though I really wanted her to have a Black love story. (I know, I know — as a Black woman married to a white man, that may sound hypocritical, but we’ve seen this pairing so many times!) It's not just that. Queen Charlotte and King George are a Black and white interracial relationship, and we love them. They finally had a chance to give a Black woman a Black love story. As soon as I saw Queen Charlotte’s brother, I was like, YES, THERE HE IS! He was right there! But OK fine, they decided not to explore that, and they gave her a white love interest instead. Fine. They clearly were trying to connect the present world to the past world, which was unnecessary, but fine. They’re trying to explain why Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury have always had a bit of a strained relationship. Fine. But taking all that into consideration, the man isn’t even remotely attractive. There is not a there's not a little drop of hotness, nor a fine bone in that man's body. And how it's written, he doesn't even profess his love to her. He doesn't even really love on her like she deserves. Ever. There’s not a single yearning monologue — he doesn’t burn for her. They're friends, kind of, and then they have sex, and it's good for the first time in her life. And then he ghosts her. This is the great love of Lady Danbury's life!? THIS MAN? Please. 
IK: Shonda, now you know we love you, girl, but you need to stop. That was horrific. I don’t know — there's something particularly anti-Black about making the darkest person in the Bridgerton universe a side-chick to a white man who is married to a white racist woman. And she can't even say that he felt the same way about her. They tried to tell us that that man was the thing that was sustaining Lady Danbury in her lonely old castle? That he was the only thing that made her say that true love is real? Absolutely not. I wanted Lady Danbury to have her hot girl era, but instead, they had her yearning for someone's dad for the rest of her life.
KNB: Being the side-piece for a man who ghosted her. It’s sick! 
IK: Just because your coochie wasn't dry, that doesn’t mean he’s the love of your life, sis!
KNB: [laughs] OK, I will say that I did like Lady Danbury deciding she didn’t want to be married again because that’s a radical feminist act in a world that doesn't allow for radical feminism. She was like, “You know what? I've been there, my entire life was about this man who was horrible to me. I just don't want to be married. I got money now, I got status, and I don't need a marriage.” I liked that. But I felt like you could have done that exact same thing with Charlotte’s brother as her main love interest. They have a torrid affair, and then she decides she doesn’t want to move to Germany. Easy! 
IK: I’ve always felt like our understanding of Lady Danbury was incomplete, but now, I kinda feel like I’ll go through the rest of this universe pitying her instead, which I’m sure wasn’t the intention here. She's this invested in other people's love stories because she's still holding on to this one night stand with a man who didn’t deserve her. This storyline is a stain and a scourge upon what would’ve otherwise been a perfect series. 
Where does Queen Charlotte rank against the other Bridgerton seasons? 
KNB: I'm going to go ahead and say that King George and Queen Charlotte are the best Bridgerton couple. Yes, they are the most truly, deeply in love. But because their story was so sad — I was hysterically sobbing by the end — I can't say this is my favourite season. And because of the Lady Danbury storyline, which we’ve established I hated, it falls just short of Bridgerton Season 2. It makes me too sad when I think about them. I want to cry. So I think they're the best couple, but they can't be my favourite because it's just too upsetting. 
IK: Charlotte and George are my favourite couple for sure, and Queen Charlotte is hands down my favourite Bridgerton season so far. In any good romance, the stakes have to be high, and Charlotte and George really deliver; there's simply no way to get out of this really complicated, really distressing situation. Even with us knowing that the end result is tragedy, Queen Charlotte did such a good job of making me care anyway. The scene where Charlotte goes under the bed to be with George…I lost it. Charlotte showed so much grace and love, and it's not lost upon me that the most loyal, most loving person in the Bridgerton universe is a Black woman. 
KNB: Period.
IK: When we meet Charlotte, she’s not a tough person by any means, but by the end of it, to protect herself but more importantly the person that she loves, she’s had to harden herself. There is definitely something to be said about how Black women often have to become vicious in certain ways to protect ourselves and what’s ours. There’s an emotional undoing that happens to be able to maintain her position and her relationship with her husband. That’s something that only Black women will really understand, so it’s the best season because I connected to it the most. But no, I’ll never watch it again. Beautiful from start to finish, but never again.
KNB: Oh, I’ve already watched it three times. It's such a good season of television, and I'm so grateful for how smart and healing and heartbreaking it was. I’m going to watch it all the time because I am a masochist. Whenever I need a good cry, I’m going to fire it up.
 Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now available to stream on Netflix.

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