Queen Charlotte; A Bridgeton’s story
The story of Queen Charlotte and King George
I'm so excited to finally be writing about the latest Bridgerton story! Bridgerton is all about finding love, ball gowns, scandals, drama, and more. But this Bridgerton story is the one I've been waiting for the story of Queen Charlotte and King George. Now, this series was all about how Charlotte accepts her role as queen and takes on the responsibilities of caring for her husband, King George, whose mental health starts to decay. She also has the duty of producing the king's heir and protecting the royal reputation and bloodline. If you ask me, that's a lot of responsibility for a 17-year-old girl.
I really like young Charlotte. She is an outspoken woman, stubborn, comical, headstrong, independent, and beautiful. All these qualities actually suit her well as she is about to become the Queen of England. She would be the first woman of colour to become royalty, which was a huge deal back in their time era. Without her knowledge, Charlotte created the 'The Great Experiment,' introduced to unite Great Britain as a society. No more whites on one side and people of colour on the other. I fully support this, but unfortunately, I wish it was for better reasons then just the fact that the new queen is a person of colour. It should have been because the colour of someone's skin doesn't make them any different from a white person. People are people. If you're going to judge them, judge them for who they are as a person, not their skin colour.
Young George, King George, or as he liked to be known, 'George, just George'—first impressions: he came across as respectful, kind, gentlemanly, not bad on the eyes, but of course, that has to be expected. He is open-minded and has an interesting personality. However, as I watched Charlotte and George's first interaction, all I could think was 'too good to be true.' His character was very appealing to me; the way he enjoyed farming, educating himself on science and agriculture, always trying to find a way to help his people, and better his country. He actually tries to succeed in being, as he calls himself, the 'Farmer King.' I was also quite fond of how he basically calls himself a piece of dust because it keeps him humble. I feel this shows that he never wanted the crown to go to his head, metaphorically speaking. It's quite clear as well that even though he's king and does his duty to his kingdom, he would rather be anything but a king. As he says, 'I have always been an exhibit, not a person.' This reminds me that royals don't have it all. They lose a lot of things, such as freedom in many ways. Opportunities are not an option, and royalty doesn't mean the perfect lifestyle."
I have watched all the Bridgerton series and found them all brilliant. However, this spin-off series from the Bridgerton story has a different take that I enjoy. I like how throughout the episodes, they switch from past to present Queen Charlottes and the past and present moments in the life of the characters like Lady Danbury, Lady Violet as a young girl, and of course, young Queen Charlotte herself. I also love the animations in each episode. They were so simple yet brilliant art that told little clips of Queen Charlotte's story through only imagery.
George's introductory scene was the meet cue of Charlotte and George. Personally, I have never been someone who agrees with arranged marriages or marriages of convenience. I couldn't just marry a stranger and hope for the best, to hope I will be in a happy marriage with someone I love. That's way too fast for me, and I don't think things such as the person you marry should be taken lightly. I really enjoyed Charlotte and George's first meet when she had no idea who he was as she planned her brilliant escape of climbing over the wall. Their natural, flirty conversation, the obvious chemistry from the moment they met, and the clear physical attraction they had for each other were to be accepted. I also enjoyed the banter between them, but the romantic bit for me had to be when she said she wanted to know everything, and he did just that.
Now, I know in present Bridgerton, the King's mental health is decaying, but I suspected that he got ill later into his and Queen Charlotte's marriage, so that was a bit of a surprise. I felt I should say this as, before realising, my initial thoughts were, "What a change-up!" George went full asshole. I don't quite understand. He smooth-talked her, charmed her into the marriage, and then left her alone, confused, hurt, and upset! George is just frustrating and infuriating. Why is he acting like this? How can he do that to her? How can he be more consumed with his passions than her? Now I'm all for supporting passion, but what he did to Charlotte is quiet harsh as she clearly fell for him. It feels like he keeps leading her on. I don't understand this relationship! A lot of anger, angry passion; it's a thing, I guess. But personally, I would want to be happy and in love, not angry. But it's an "even day" which has left me very conflicted about the king.
Then I watched episode 4. This episode was a real eye-opening way to show how all his behaviour is linked to his health issues. This explains all his behaviour; he's mentally ill, and I get that he thinks he's keeping her safe by not letting her in, but in actual fact, he gave her a solitary life. She was always alone but never alone. However, no matter how much he pushes her away, she doesn't stop. Charlotte really fights for George, and even after learning of the mad king and witnessing the doctor experimenting on George with his unorthodox, cruel, disturbing methods, Charlotte takes control of the situation by removing the doctor from the property and responding with, "I care more about the king's happiness than his sanity." Which I have to agree with. At the end of the day, there was no cure for his illness, so let him at least be happy and free. I give her props for taking on such a challenge, but when your love for someone is real, their burden naturally becomes yours to fight together.
I also liked how Queen Charlotte's story seems to showcase past moments of Lady Danbury, aka Agatha, and young Violet, and how all their lives intertwined with each other's. Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte have quite a sweet relationship. The way Lady Danbury, who back then was just Agatha, showed her kindness, honesty, respect, friendship, and guidance. I always thought Lady Danbury to be a great character. She was honest, funny, feisty, and very smart, and she clearly had all those characteristics from a young age. She quickly understood why coloured people were invited to the royal wedding and was wise in imparting her wisdom to young Charlotte. However, I did feel a little sorry for Lady Danbury. The life she had at a young age, being born and sculpted into someone that wasn't really herself but instead to please a man that she had no desire to love, to experience things for the first time that could change her outcome of love and marriage, was, as she claimed, very unfortunate.
Present Queen Charlotte is currently on a mission to save King George's bloodline, but after 13 children! Yes, 13 children! She really was on a mission. But after the tragic passing of her first son's wife and child, Charlotte began to worry that none of her children will succeed in producing an heir. Her fear then convinces her to turn to Lady Danbury and Lady Violet for advice and inspiration. However, Lady Danbury and Violet have different opinions on the matter.
Then enters the debate of "Marriage is a duty, not a pleasure... But it can be such a pleasure"... "It can be a painful lifelong sentence"... "Marriage offers so much companionship, tradition, family, warmth, and if they take the time to become close, well, a match doesn't have to start out as love. It can grow. Love can bloom from the thorniest of gardens, can it not?" It was so interesting listening to two different women talk about marriage and love. It showed just how different they are and the different experiences they had.
It is unfortunate to say that the present Queen Charlotte still seems to have a solitary life, even with 13 children who claim she has never been a mother, only their queen. I feel that the responsibility of caring for George was such a task at hand that her children didn't get the mother that she had hoped to be to them. However, the pressure she had put on her children to have an heir clearly gave her children some resentment towards her. Nevertheless, she took the responsibility of finding wives for her sons and arranging marriages, which makes me wonder: would young Charlotte have approved of that?
However, in a present scene with one of her sons, he tells her he is nervous to marry. When hearing this, she shows a real piece of herself on what love is. She tells him, "Love is not a thing one is able or not able to do based on some magic, some chemistry. That is for plays. Love is for determination. Love is a choice one makes. You take someone in marriage, and you choose to love them. You do not give yourself any other option because marriage is difficult, full of pains, and the life of a royal is lonely. So you grab someone and you hang on, you love, and you love hard because if you do not, you are lost." I really loved a lot about this because I do agree that marriage isn't magic. I believe love is something you must work for. Love isn't easy; it's well, everything Queen Charlotte said and more. And I do believe that if you're going to love, then love hard because what's the point of loving if you're only in it for yourself?
The king's mother and Lady Danbury had a very interesting relationship, and one of my favourite interactions between them has to be what I call "The Battle of Tea." The carefully worded conversation between King George's mum and Lady Danbury over tea was quite amusing. Just imagine a polite and well-thought-through exchange of information as well as a negotiation. At first, I was not a fan of the king's mother; she came across as very manipulative, rude, and disrespectful. But then she shares a sad truth about her past, a real side to her. She showed us just how courageous and powerful she is, and I found her to be quite inspirational too.
The most underrated and one of my absolute favourite characters has to be Brimsley. He's caring, kind, has a good heart, and I just loved how much he cared for Queen Charlotte from day one. He has always followed his duties but also, on some occasions, followed his heart. He served Charlotte his entire life and was the main character who would always do his best to remind her that she wasn't alone.
Now, young Violet is smart, pretty, and you can tell where Eloise gets her curiosity and attitude from. Past and present, Lady Violet and Lady Danbury have a really sweet friendship that grows closer in the present time and still stays strong after finding out that Lady Danbury and Violet's father had a secret affair. It was only when Violet came across one of the hats her dad made, which I thought was such a humble thing to do. Anyway, Violet found one of those hats in Lady Danbury's house. She realised, after some other conversations, that Lady Danbury and her father had been more than just friends.
While on the topic of Lady Violet and Lady Danbury, I really want to talk about the blooming garden conversation they had in the present time. “It seems my garden is in bloom.” Now, in those days, it was not proper for a woman to talk about their “garden blooming.” And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then go watch the scene. It's light, funny, and I feel it's a real topic that women should be able to feel comfortable talking about. I feel that women have just as much right to have their gardens attended to. It's a natural human experience, and most men have no problem talking about their sex lives. So, women should feel just as confident and comfortable to do the same. No one should feel ashamed for having intimate thoughts and needs that need to be met. So, for anyone out there feeling like sex is something to feel ashamed of, don’t. For me personally, sex is an intimacy you have with someone you love, and there is nothing wrong with letting your garden bloom and flourish.
So, we have spoken about Queen Charlotte and King George, Queen Charlotte and Lady Danbury, Lady Danbury and the king's mother, young and present Violet and Lady Danbury, Queen Charlotte and Brimsley. But there is one relationship, the most underrated one, that we have yet to speak of, and that’s Brimsley and Reynolds. I loved everything about their relationship. At first, I thought it was a friends-with-benefits kind of thing, but as the episodes continue, it was clear they were so much more to each other. I absolutely loved the moment you see them dancing far away from the ball but still close enough to hear the music. It was the greatest love story that no one would know of, and from what I can tell, no one did know of. The only question is: what happened to Brimsley’s love? Where did Reynolds go? Did they not last? Did Reynolds die? I need more information! Let's be honest, who wouldn't watch the Brimsley and Reynolds love story? Because I know I would. I'm team Brinolds all the way! Or maybe Reysley. I'm not sure which sounds better.
The actors and actresses did a phenomenal job from start to end. They each played every character brilliantly. They looked, sounded, and played their roles to perfection. Fantastic outfits, excellent song choices, beautiful locations, and a compelling storyline with such challenging lifestyles behind every character. They didn’t fail to bring their characters to life and should be so proud, as they did an excellent job continuing to hold Bridgerton's name high.
The last and most humble lines spoken between George and Charlotte were heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. “You did not go over the wall… No, George, I did not go over the wall.” This was just everything!