The Regency-era drama Bridgerton from the hitmakers at Shondaland is one of the biggest Netflix hits of all time, which explains why the streaming giant is about to expand the franchise with not only a third season expected to debut later this year — but also a prequel spinoff, focused on a young version of Queen Charlotte, that arrives on Thursday, May 4.
By way of illustrating why it makes sense to release a spinoff focused on the fan-favorite queen, consider: Of the two previous seasons of Bridgerton that we’ve already gotten, both of them are on Netflix’s Top 10 list of the biggest TV releases of all time. Bridgerton Season 2, at #4 on that list, garnered 656.2 million hours of viewing time in its first month of streaming availability, while Bridgerton Season 1, at #6, raked in 625.4 million hours.
And it’s not totally apples-to-apples, but don’t forget, too, that another of the biggest Netflix releases of all time is, in fact, the recent spinoff of another popular franchise — Wednesday, which is, of course, about the youngest member of the Addams Family. And as for Queen Charlotte, here’s what Netflix says viewers can expect by way of summarizing the 6-episode prequel:
“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.”
That reference to the “Ton,” for those who haven’t yet dived into the world of the franchise’s parties and palaces, is just a fancy way of describing high society — a reference to the upper classes, in other words, that Bridgerton is all about.
Young Charlotte and young King George are played in the new series by India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest, respectively. The story finds Charlotte only beginning to understand her power and the meaning of love.
We meet her, Netflix explains, as she is embarking on a life-changing marriage to King George. “Naturally, a fearless leader like Charlotte is the one spearheading a societal shift that will lead to generations of change in the Bridgerton world. Although Queen Charlotte is dedicated to unraveling the past, it will also give fans a peek into the present-day lives of the Bridgerton coterie. (Well, their 19th-century lives, anyway.) So the series is also a can’t-miss for those thirsty to out-gossip Lady Whistledown come Bridgerton Season 3.”