Golda Rosheuvel, who plays the older version of Queen Charlotte in both the “Bridgerton” series as well as the new spinoff “Queen Charlotte,” had a vague idea of her character’s backstory when working on the flagship Netflix series, but she credits creator Shonda Rhimes with fully bringing her character out of the shadows.
“It was nothing like Shonda presented, but it was I think it was a lot darker because it’s from the imagination, so it’s distant. It’s kind of in the shadows,” she told The Wrap. “In the scenes in ‘Bridgerton,’ whatever it may be, if it’s a ball or a tea party or a tea thing with Lady Danbury, I always try to think of George at least once so that I have that intimate connection, that personal connection.”
While King George’s story does prove to be dark in the prequel series, Rosheuvel focused on the family aspect of Queen Charlotte.
“Coming into the light with ‘Queen Charlotte’ are all of those wonderful, beautiful ideas of family and love and a mother who has a very complex relationship with her [children], and that is all created by Shonda,” she said. “It’s physical. It’s absolute. It’s there for you. And it’s from her mind of her, so it’s really beautiful to be able to come from the shadows into the light.”
Like star Corey Mylchreest, who plays the younger version of King George, Rosheuvel doesn’t see the young royals’ relationship as fitting the “enemies to lovers” trope.
“It’s a unique pairing to arrive on the shores of Britain and then get married six hours later to somebody that you’d never met. As they meet, the love starts to find its way in, and I think the reason why the love starts to find its way in is because both of them are really confident with who they are,” she said. “Both of them understand the position that they are in and understand that the future is one to navigate. As we see that journey unfold through the episodes, that dedication becomes even stronger. So the love becomes even stronger. And the duty is driven by love and everything starts to be driven by love.”
The relationship between Queen Charlotte and Brimsley (portrayed by Sam Clemett with India Amarteifio’s Charlotte and Hugh Sachs with Rosheuvel’s) reveals even more layers of Charlotte.
“Brimsley and the Queen’s dedication to each other is a different kind of love story, and one that is equally as important to the one that is with George because he is her confidant. She is his confidant of him. They have been friends right from the beginning,” she said. “He’s the only person that I think she trusts, and that relationship — Hugh Sachs who plays Brimsley in ‘Bridgerton’ — we’ve discussed certain things, but it’s all done silently because you never hear us speak about it. In ‘Queen Charlotte,’ you do. You get to hear his voice from her and how important that voice is to her.”
Though viewers get a better glimpse into this relationship as Brimsely is brutally honest with Charlotte, there are still things between them that have yet to be revealed.
“I think it’s important for the Brimsley character to be able to say things to Charlotte that she doesn’t want to hear. He’s the only one that she allows to do that because of that deep history that they have,” Rosheuvel said. “What happened to Reynolds? I’m sure she knows, but we have not yet found that out. I love that scene where she tells him to go and stand over there and look the other way. It really is an insight to them as friends, but also her vulnerability and her insecurities of her and that he is the only one that she shows them to.”
Rosheuvel’s only advice to India Amarteifio was to make the role her own.
“It was about giving her the key that opened that door for herself, and to be confident to walk through holding Charlotte’s hand at that time. But she’s telling the story,” she said. “I never wanted to impose anything on India. It’s not my character to impose anything upon anybody else. I wanted that journey to be one of discovery for India. It’s a beautiful discovery. I went through it. Charlotte is very generous in that way of inviting you in and really helping you create a character for yourself that you can own and stand strong in.”
As for the female friendships, the spinoff only continues to illuminate them as well in Rosheuvel’s opinion.
“It’s great to see in ‘Bridgerton’ these really powerful, amazing women who have come together and who are essentially running society. You know, how did that happen? Where does that sisterhood come from? I hadn’t clocked that Violet was the youngest of us all because I think in ‘Bridgerton, for the queen, those two women are very equal. She invites that sisterhood, and it’s a really strong bond,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to change anything. I think those bonds that we have created, that friendship, that sisterhood in ‘Bridgerton’ will only thrive and become more of a bond from having seen and done this. This show is amazing. I think the essence is still there.”
“Queen Charlotte” is now streaming on Netflix.