Netflix is going all in on its Bridgerton franchise. Following the Regency-era romance drama’s phenomenal debut last December, a second season is already shooting and two more have been confirmed to follow it. Now, the streamer has announced that it’s getting a spinoff series – a limited prequel focusing on Queen Charlotte in her younger days.
Though she doesn’t feature in the original novels by author Julia Quinn, Charlotte – wife of George III – was a major presence on Bridgerton season 1, as played by Golda Rosheuvel. The Queen, who acted as both a friend and threat to the titular Bridgerton family, became a breakout character, so it’s no surprise that she’s getting her own spinoff.
The Queen Charlotte series will “center on the rise and love life” of the real-life monarch, who’s portrayed as a person of color on the show, as inspired by a long-held historical theory about her ethnicity. By the time of Bridgerton, Charlotte cares for her aging husband who’s suffering from dementia. However, it seems this series will reveal how the royal couple fell in love in their youth. What’s more, fans will be pleased to know that the spinoff will likewise explore the stories of young Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury, as played by Ruth Gemmell and Adjoa Andoh on the main show.
Exec producer Shonda Rhimes is due to take the reins of this project herself, acting as showrunner alongside Betsy Beers and Tom Verica. Speaking of, this news also comes with the confirmation that Bridgerton EP Chris Van Dusen is exiting the series after season 2, with another Shondaland veteran, Jess Brownell, stepping in to helm the following two runs.
“As we continue to expand the world of Bridgerton, we now have the opportunity to devote even more of the Shondaland fold to the Bridgerton-verse,” Rhimes wrote in a statement responding to the switchover, seemingly teasing that more spinoffs could follow this one.
Bridgerton season 2 will switch the focus to Jonathan Bailey’s Anthony Bridgerton and his own quest for love, following sister Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor, who’ll be back in a recurring role) marrying his old friend Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page, who won’t). Filming is underway in the UK now.