Queen Charlotte miniseries was not just about the queen and her marital woes. The show also delved deep into the life of Lady Agatha Danbury, popularly known as Lady Danbury. The show manages to make this her origin story as well. When we see the love that is blossoming between the King and the Queen, we get to see Lady Danbury losing faith in the concept of love. Why is that? Lady Danbury in the Bridgerton timeline managed to be the smartest woman of the ton, but as the story goes back a few decades, we get to see the young Lady Danbury, her life as a woman of means, and the struggles she faced.
The story of Lady Danbury begins with her husband making love to her on their marital bed, but the lady herself is not in a state of mind to fall in love with the man. She rather takes this as his right over her body, and Lady Danbury just put up with it because she has been taught her life’s purpose is to serve the man she is married to, give him children, and take care of his children. Lady Danbury does not love her husband, and everything she does for him is not just her obligation as his wife but also her way of staying in power and relevance. Once she became a part of Queen Charlotte’s lady-in-waiting line up, it became easier for her to come closer to being called a woman of means. Somehow Queen Charlotte found a friend in Danbury, and the lady made sure she would remain friends with her. Danbury, though, never took advantage of her connection to the Queen because she saw the innocent girl in Charlotte who needed to be guided. Lady Danbury was older than Queen Charlotte, and she made sure to be the companion Queen Charlotte was looking for.
Lady Danbury was the only woman who came as close as she did with Queen Charlotte, and this information reaches the ears of the Dowager Princess, the King’s mother, who would want to know if the King and the Queen are getting along. This is where one can say she used her intelligence. In exchange for the information King’s mother was seeking, she asked for an estate, land, and income for her husband so that they would remain on par with the white population. Technically, Lord Danbury is from the royal family, and they have more money than the white population, but again, they were being discriminated against based on the color of their skin. She wanted that to be eradicated and demanded that her husband be given these things so that his respect was retained. She took ten steps ahead and hosted the first ball of the season, which many were planning to not attend as their way of protesting it. But she was clever enough to ask Queen Charlotte to request that the King endorse the ball. Lady Danbury planned to make herself and her husband feel seen and accepted by society in the wake of the great experiment. Even with the experiment being successful, there were still factions that did not want to mingle with people of color. Lady Danbury’s ball made sure that would happen.
Even after losing her husband, she managed to keep her calm and composure and did not let anyone know how she felt about the marriage. The older Lady Danbury, too, was fascinated to hear the stories of love and cherishing moments that Violet shared with her husband. Lady Danbury was quick to let Violet know that she was fortunate enough to have a husband who loved her, and who she loved back. Lady Danbury means every word of it because there was no love or fondness between Lady Danbury and her husband, Lord Danbury. Lady Danbury was learning a lot about Queen Charlotte and his equation with King George, and as an extension, she was giving just enough information to the King’s mother.
Lady Danbury suddenly felt freedom when her husband passed. She did not want to let anyone know how much she’d craved this freedom. But this freedom came with a cost. She was on the verge of losing the estate that was bestowed upon her husband. The crown was going to take it back because the will did not state it would pass on to her and from her to her children. Lady Danbury did not just leave things to fate, and the goodwill she had earned here worked in her favor. Queen Charlotte, as a friend, helped Danbury get the estate work done and get it named after Lady Danbury. In this way, Lady Danbury would not lose her legacy. The strong bond she had maintained with the Queen, eventually worked in her favor.
Danbury found her first and only love in Lord Ledger, but it did not work out because she didn’t want to be the person who would break up his marriage. Lord Ledger, just like Queen Charlotte, remained her friend and they shared a fondness for each other. Unlike others, Lord Ledger was there for her when she was grieving for her husband. In Lord Ledger, she found a man who she cared about, and he reciprocated her feelings. Lady Danbury suddenly became the talk of the town for having been widowed at such a young age. Charlotte’s brother, too, pursued her to marry him. But she had to reject the man because she had just felt a gush of freedom with her husband gone. She would want to be on her own and raise her kids without anyone breathing down her neck. Love is beautiful, but she is sure that is not enough to sustain a marriage. Lady Danbury managed to become the smartest woman because she survived on her own at a time when there was stigma after stigma about women of her age and their need to depend on a man for love, companionship, and money. She raised her children on her own and remained a single woman with tremendous influence over the Queen.