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Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story - What We Know So Far

Netflix's TUDUM fan event on Saturday included a blizzard of first-look trailers for upcoming movies and series, including Shonda Rhimes's "Bridgerton" prequel, "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." As "Bridgerton" kicks off Season 3 next year, the spinoff will show us the Queen's (Golda Rosheuvel) origin story, and Rhimes is eager to send members of her team across the line dividing the two series. She told Deadline, "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."

The series was first announced last year, and Netflix global TV chief Bela Bajaria echoed Rhimes's desire to grow the world she had created in "Bridgerton." "Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the 'Bridgerton' universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love." After a year of anticipation, Netflix finally gave fans a one-scene peek at the new series at TUDUM. But what else do we know about "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?"  

What is the plot of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?

"Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story" will take us back to the monarch's teenage years. In the real world, she served as Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818, seeing England through the American Revolution, the formation of Great Britain, and the threat of a Napoleonic invasion. "Bridgerton" has filled us in on a (heavily fictionalized) part of her later history, but "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story" will show us how she grew into the monarch who helped guide England through one of the most volatile periods in its many centuries of existence.

We can probably infer more about the show's plot from the history books than any official word from Netflix — the show's official description doesn't offer much in the way of specifics. It reads, "Centered on Queen Charlotte's rise to prominence and power, this Bridgerton-verse prequel tells the story of how the young Queen's marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the ton inherited by the characters in 'Bridgerton.'"

With decades of significant and dramatic historical events to draw from, Shonda Rhimes and her writing team will have a deep and wide pool of storylines from which to build on that premise, and "Bridgerton" has displayed no lack of imagination in spinning history into entertainment. 

Who is starring in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?

India Amarteifio, who some may recognize as Lizzie from "Sex Education" or Nora of "The Midwich Cuckoos," will star as the young Queen Charlotte. Golda Rosheuvel, who plays the Queen on "Bridgerton," (and also is set to appear in the prequel) showed enthusiasm about the casting choice for the prequel. "The baton is passed on, which I think is a really beautiful metaphor for the older and the younger," she said. "It's really cool. I love it" (via Hollywood Life). 

Adjoa Andoh — Lady Agatha Danbury in the original series — seconded that endorsement. "India has absolutely grabbed all of that and made her own and run with it," she said. "When I look at India, I see Golda and see young Charlotte become older Charlotte and it's a beautiful thing." Andoh and Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton will all return for the limited prequel, as will Hugh Sachs as Brimsley, the Queen's right-hand man. 

Relative newcomer Arsema Thomas ("Redeeming Love") steps in as the young Lady Danbury, and Michelle Fairley — who most know as Catelyn Stark from "Game of Thrones" — will play Princess Augusta. Katie Brayben ("A Serial Killer's Guide to Life") and Sam Clemmett ("Cherry") have also signed on to portray Lady Vivian Ledger and a young Brimsley. Connie Jenkins-Greig ("The Take Down") is Young Violet, and Corey Mylchreest ("The Sandman") the young King George.

Who is directing Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?

According to IMDb, Shonda Rhimes's longtime showrunning partner Tom Verica is set to direct at least the first episode of "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." Their collaborations have included such runaway successes as "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "Bridgerton." Betsy Beers, another veteran of the Shondaverse, will join Rhimes and Verica as executive producers. 

Verica, who also starred as Sam Keating on "How to Get Away with Murder" and has appeared on such legendary shows as "Seinfeld," "Frasier," and "L.A. Law," appreciates the unique workings of Rhimes's creative machinery. He told The Hollywood Reporter, "She has very specific ideas about the stories that she wants to tell and she articulates them to me, and then she trusts me to go off and do it ... there's just an ease and a very different kind of energy [at Shondaland]. We were able to talk about bigger picture things and it felt seamless to be a part of the group, even as limited as it was back then. And it feels like a natural progression to where we are now, and so I'm thrilled to be a part of the team on a larger scale."

Accomplished cinematographer Jeffrey Jur also moves over from the "Bridgerton" team to shoot "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story," and Laura Frecon ("Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw") and Lyn Paolo ("Shameless," "Scandal") will handle costume design duties.

Is there a trailer for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?

As part of their TUDUM fan event Saturday, Netflix released a two minute long first look teaser — available on YouTube — for "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." It's a single scene, presumably from the first episode, where we meet a teenage Charlotte in a white gown looking for a way to climb over a brick wall surrounding the palace garden. A young King George approaches her cautiously and balks at her request to help her vault the wall. Charlotte challenges his chivalry, asking him, "You refuse to help a lady in distress?"

His answer provides the first real clue as to what's happening in the teaser. "I refuse when that lady in distress is trying to go over a wall so she doesn't have to marry me," he responds gently. The normally self-assured Charlotte is visually taken aback by his forthrightness, and history and "Bridgerton" both tell us that she went on to marry George — so we know how this all turns out — but watching Charlotte and George grow together will clearly be a cornerstone of "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." The trailer only gives us a quick glimpse at the beginning of their relationship, leaving the rest of the story to be told once the series reaches viewers' homes next year.

Where to watch Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

For fans of the expanding "Bridgerton" universe, Netflix will be the place to train your eyes for more adventures from the late 18th and early 19th Century aristocrats. Before watching "Lady Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story," viewers can binge or rewatch Seasons 1 and 2 of "Bridgerton," which is currently available to Netflix subscribers. "Season 3 of "Bridgerton," which will follow the love story of Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), will also be released next year.

The prequel "Lady Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story" is intended to be a limited series and likely will not go beyond the first batch of episodes. However, the main "Bridgerton" show is expected to continue with Season 4 and beyond. So long as the series continues to enjoy a positive reception from both critics and audiences, it's possible that Netflix will create adaptations for all of the source books, and maybe even more original prequels and spin-offs.