The story of Queen Charlotte has been in the making for a while, thanks to the original show Bridgerton on Netflix. Bridgerton was an alternate history genre piece where the story of the British high society was retold in the form of stories. People of various races lived in a mixed community. The great experiment is something that was spoken about in detail in Queen Charlotte’s miniseries, where people from different races and the white population were living together in an attempt to integrate them in an experiment to showcase that all of them could live in harmony. But the inherent racist talk and gestures were still visible, and people of color were being discriminated against even though many people of other races could be just as educated and possibly even richer than the white elites.
This is just the beginning of the struggle that Queen Charlotte faced, which probably shaped her into the future Queen of England and allowed her to remain so for a long time. The show begins with Charlotte of Germany’s marriage being arranged by her brother Adolphus. Though Charlotte is not keen on marriage in the first place, she is informed by her brother that for people like them, it is a huge honor and opportunity to be embraced as equals on a stage such as the British monarchy. Charlotte was surrounded by privileges but the only privilege she could take advantage of were the books. Charlotte though is unaware of the importance of her alliance. She never understood the race card which was used against her people, and that is why Adolphus was the one to voice the importance of this marriage. Their race has been a topic of contempt, and they have struggled a lot to reach where they have reached, especially on a racially charged continent like Europe in the 18th century. Adolphus is thrilled to have received a match for their family. Their status as a royal family would amp up, and they would finally garner the respect they always deserved. Charlotte was made a mockery of by the Dowager Princess, the King’s mother, because of her skin color. Nevertheless, the wedding took place, and many in the audience were people of color. This was the Princess Dowager’s way of keeping the people closer to the monarchy and letting them know the King was a good man.
Queen Charlotte’s older version, which is showcased in the miniseries, comes across as a woman who loves being a part of the high society balls and entertains plenty of gossip being flown around about men and women. The younger Charlotte in the miniseries abhorred gossiping, as she mentioned to Lady Danbury. As both women get older, it is easy to notice how times have changed. These two women, who happen to be good friends, have changed over time and become a part of society instead of standing out from it. They begin their journey as friends but end up being the ones who daily thrive on the gossip published in a booklet by Lady Whistledown, whose words are mostly true but malicious.
The young Queen Charlotte was easily a relatable person who wanted to help her husband be a better person and accept him for who he was. She was smart, down to earth, not a brat, and kind of a realist when it came to dealing with daily chores as Queen. She remained frank with her husband and her staff, but the older Queen, who remained loyal to her husband, kind of forgot the younger version and became an entitled queen over the years, expecting people to follow her orders without bothering to be considerate or compassionate. The reason for such drastic changes would be her finally having the King on her side and probably the years of struggle she faced in the process of becoming a mother of 15 children. Somewhere down the line, the Queen went from being a friend to an inconsiderate parent who never understood the pain of a woman. The society around her, and the system that they follow molded the young Charlotte to become a bitter person as she got odler. Maybe Queen Charlotte was raised in such a manner that her only duty remaining was to be by her husband’s side and help him rule the country. The rest of the attributes did not come to her at all because there is nothing as important as being an efficient consort to the King.
Keeping that in mind, Queen Charlotte always thought her only job was to be next to the King, and in times when the King was not in the right position to make any decision, she would step up. By the end of the series, Charlotte was the woman who loved her husband, King George, a lot and made sure to help him with his nervous breakdowns. She continuously does that for her husband even as they are getting older, but the older Charlotte obsesses about wanting to have an heir for their line to move forward. The Queen goes to the point of pressuring her children, belittling her daughters for remaining spinsters, and humiliating the sons for not choosing the right woman from a good, respectable family. Her thought process comes from the fact that she was not given a choice in choosing her husband, but she came around and fell in love with her husband, who turned out to be a decent man. He did not cheat on her or purposely stayed away from her. He found a way to love her, and she found a way to love him as well. But again, one can say it was luck and destiny that brought them together. If one looks at Lady Danbury, she never got married again because she did not dare to live that life again—the strenuous life of an elite who was told her purpose in life was to bear children and take care of them.
The older Queen Charlotte pushed her son Edward to marry Victoria, a woman of means. Even though Edward had his understandable doubts, Charlotte claimed that love that prospers out of so-called magic does not happen in real life. Marriage is a reality, and the love that prospers from marriage is the real one. One would have to struggle, but the result is worth waiting for. This idea of marriage might have been right in the era when she was raised, but that would not work in her children’s era. Since the story is based on an alternate history genre, it can be reimagined that her idea of love and marriage seems outdated. Queen Charlotte’s change of personality was all about the time she was born and raised in. It could also be attributed to being in privy of society women who thrived on tittle-tattle. She was not completely right about everything she wanted to do as a monarch, but she was also not completely wrong about it. Her nature does come off as hypocritical, but who isn’t a hypocritical person in that society?