The Royal Who Inspired Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte Had It Worse Than The Show Implied

Fans of the Netflix hit Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story know the events it portrays aren’t entirely true to historical fact. The show doesn’t make a secret of this: a disclaimer on screen at the start of the series literally tells us, “It is not a history lesson. It is fiction inspired by fact.” That’s good to know, but viewers who’ve become hopelessly engrossed by the fictional Charlotte have probably started to wonder about the real person. What are the facts of her life? How far off the mark is the show? Was her life really this interesting? Well, while Charlotte’s real life may not mirror the show perfectly, it was still full of drama.

Massaging the facts

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story follows the relationship between Charlotte and her long-time spouse King George III. The characters are played by two sets of actors, with India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest portraying the royals during their younger years and Golda Rosheuvel and James Fleet playing the older versions. The show digs into the romance these real historical figures shared together, but the creator of the program, Shona Rhimes, is at pains to make it clear the events depicted have been massaged for dramatic effect. As she explained to Netflix, “It’s very important to me that people understand that, because I’m telling the story of Queen Charlotte of Bridgerton, not of Queen Charlotte of England.”

Having a ball

The character of Charlotte was initially introduced to viewers in the original Bridgerton series, a decision we can attribute to showrunner Chris Van Dusen. After that Rhimes largely took on the character, as she set about writing the spinoff series dedicated to her. She decided to take a look into Charlotte’s early years for the program, exploring the period in which she tied the knot with George. By all accounts, she and everyone else involved in making the show had a ball putting it together.

Playing with the story

Showrunner Van Dusen was delighted by what this character brought him and his colleagues, in the sense that they got to play around with fact and fiction. He told Oprah Daily, “Queen Charlotte opened up an entirely new world for us. What really struck me with the books from the beginning is that this was an opportunity to marry history and fantasy in a really exciting, interesting way. So in Queen Charlotte, that was the history. And then it was thinking of these fantastical scenes and situations to put her in that were really fun to write, too.”

Digging down into the truth

But that begs the question: what actually is fact in the show, and what is fiction? Is any of it accurate, or did the filmmakers make use of creative license at every opportunity they could? Well, they certainly played fast and loose with the truth a lot of the time, but there’s also a fair amount in there that reflects reality. With that in mind, let’s dive into the real Charlotte’s life story to compare it to what we saw on TV.