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How Bridgerton season 2 sets up the queen's spin-off story

What Queen Charlotte's vulnerability really says about the future of the Bridgerton spin-off

Golda Rosheuvel's depiction of Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton is, well, perfection. She is the sum of her majesty, her might and those cutting eyes, all three coming together to equal someone you'd be foolish to cross.

To the casual watcher, it seems the queen rules not only by royal decree but by sheer intimidation and fear. She bestows honours that young debutantes are bursting at the corsets to obtain.

Yet even to be in her favour is a nerve-wracking experience – just ask socialite rebel Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie). Eloise practically breaks into hives this season after unintentionally and unwillingly charming the queen, because she knows to be noticed is to abide by social expectations she despises.

Yes, on the surface, Her Maj may appear to possess an almost god-like power but those with more discerning eyes will have noticed that power beginning to unravel.

The threat of Lady Whistledown and the power she wields with a simple flick of the quill reveals a vulnerable side of Queen Charlotte, one she'd rather keep buried underneath her colossal wig.

"I think there is a bit of a threat," admitted Golda during an interview with Digital Spy. "She's put the queen's nose out of joint. The queen is the ruler of the ton. She's the one that says what goes."

queen charlotte and lady danbury bridgerton season 2 netflix

Now the eyes of the ton look ever so slightly to the left to glimpse what Whistledown's latest scandal sheet has to say about their affairs, and this shakes her.

This more human side to the queen strips away some of her intimidation, her power and reverence, but this is no mere accident. The Bridgerton creators are too clever for that. After all, they do exist within the Shondaland universe – Shondaland being known for constructing intricate plots. The intentional humanisation of the Queen is likely setting up the Bridgerton spin-off.

The spin-off, which does not yet have an air date, will tell the backstories of Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), Lady Agatha Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte.

This makes the scene between Charithra Chandran's Edwina, the queen and King George (played by James Fleet) much more purposeful.

golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte, bridgerton, season 2

During this scene, a very confused King is calmed by Edwina's comforting touch and words. Not only does this save Edwina from the queen's impending wrath, it also reveals the sadness Charlotte feels over the king's mental illness, her heartbreak and her loss of control.

This private situation made public – having taken place in front of the Sharmas, a couple of Bridgertons and Lady Danbury – is extremely humbling for Bridgerton's tyrannical queen.

By teasing her more private life and emotional sides we are getting a taste of the foundations of her personality and the softer, warmer person she may have been. The events in the spin-off will likely reveal how this version of the queen came to be, the one who covets control and power, which she now fears losing.

bridgerton season 2  bridgerton family, including ruth gemmell as violet, claudia jessie as eloise, jonathan bailey as anthony and luke thompson as benedict

Season two also sets up the backstory of Lady Bridgerton. Through Anthony's flashback scenes we get a peek into her life with husband Lord Edmund Bridgerton before his death and the emotional and mental breakdown that followed. It wouldn't be surprising if the spin-off delved further into their love story, perhaps even their courtship.

This is after all the Bridger-verse, which is rooted in romance. If that is the case we could see the return of Charmed reboot star Rupert Evans, who plays Edmund.

Unfortunately, season two doesn't allude to much of what viewers will get in terms of Lady Danbury's storyline but according to Adjoa fans are in for a treat:

"It's an origin short story," she told Digital Spy and other journalists. "You will see the younger Lady Violet, the younger Lady Agatha Danbury, the younger Queen Charlotte and we're hoping it answers that delicious question that we all have when you meet someone. Who are they? How did they get to be this? So that's what Shonda thrillingly is going to be sharing with the world."

Ruth also teases the ninth book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton book series could have clues about Lady Violet's storyline.

"There's a ninth book and there's some information about Violet's history. So whether or not [Shonda] draws on any of that for Violet, but the others I don't know."

Fans are in for a bit of a wait though as Adjoa reveals:

"There are no scripts as yet, no shooting has happened yet, but we know it's coming and we're all pretty excited."

Bridgerton is now available to watch on Netflix.

Secret Cinema with Fever Present Bridgerton is open now in Wembley. To purchase tickets, head here.

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