The Bridgerton spinoff Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, has arrived to Netflix! In season 1 episode 1 audiences meet Charlotte, who is chosen to be King George’s wife, essentially against her will.
Although their brief meeting seems sweet enough, Charlotte quickly learns there is more to her new husband than anyone will allow her to know.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 1 recap – Meet Charlotte
The first episode of the season begins with Charlotte begrudgingly making the long ride from Germany to England with her brother. Charlotte, channeling Eloise Bridgerton, is deeply annoyed and upset that she will be marrying King George, whom she has never met.
Her brother, her sole caretaker as their parents had long since passed, seems exhausted from having to care for his sister. He appears more than happy to be rid of her, but tries his best to reassure her that her marriage is going to be better than she could have ever imagined.
Not long after Charlotte arrives, she meets her future mother-in-law, who is not pleased by her skin tone. Apparently, she was told that Charlotte was of Moor heritage and expected her to be lighter skinned.
However, they do not cancel the wedding that will be occurring, assumingly the same day. To save the wedding, she orders more families of Charlotte’s heritage/skin tone to be invited last minute.
This includes Agatha Danbury, whom is unfortunately unhappily married to her much older husband. When she learns that she and her husband have been invited to the wedding, she’s immediately apprehensive.
In the hours leading up to the wedding Charlotte meets Brimsley, whom she immediately becomes annoyed by. What annoys her even more is the fact that no one will tell her anything about the king.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 1 recap – Charlotte weds George
As Charlotte dons the simple wedding dress her future mother-in-law had already chosen for her, she decides to flee. As guests arrive, including the Danbury’s who now receive Lord and Lady titles, Charlotte attempts to climb over the wall when George catches her.
The two have their first meeting which goes, splendidly well. George is kind, sweet, well-spoken and even allows Charlotte to decide for herself if she wants to marry him. Due to this pleasant introduction, she decides to marry him in the wedding dress she already had prepared from France.
The two wed and enjoy the evening together, leading to a most abrupt and terrible surprise. As George leads Charlotte via carriage to her “surprise”, she quickly realizes that he had gifted her a smaller palace all to herself.
This means she would not be living with George, not even on their wedding night. Charlotte is devastated but as she tries to explain why his idea is so horrid, he loses his temper and assures her it’s for her own good.
Refusing to argue anymore, embarrassed and heartbroken, she flees to her chambers regretting her decision to marry him.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 1 recap –Present day
Throughout the episode, audiences are thrust into the present where Queen Charlotte and Brimsley are awakened in the night by terrible news. Her granddaughter had tragically died in childbirth, which means, yes, sadly, the baby died as well.
Queen Charlotte, more angry than upset, decides to call her surviving 13 children to the palace to address the fact that there is now no heir to the throne. Well no legitimate heir, as her sons seem to impregnant prostitutes and some of her daughters remain unwed.
Her children are annoyed by this meeting, unhappy to be told what to do. But none of them seem to truly understand that without an heir, their family line is over; something Lady Whistledown makes note of in her gossip pamphlet.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Season 1 Episode 1 review
There is a lot to unpack but let’s start with the obvious, King George is already showing signs of his illness. It goes without saying but I’m assuming he’s already going through the mood swings and forgetfulness, to the point that this marriage had to have been rushed.
Charlotte was not allowed to be told of any of this and in fact may be intended to never know. This is why she is ordered to live separately from her husband.
This is probably also why her brother was so keen on marrying her right away, without truly telling her why. But as we later learn, the two wind up happily married with 15 children, two of which pass away.
What is rather confusing is the situation that the 13 surviving children have no legitimate children. Every monarchy, from the beginning, practically planned their children’s marriages while they were still babies.
How it is that Queen Charlotte didn’t plan for any of this? Lady Agatha Danbury’s marriage is also confusing as the age gap between she and her husband is enormous compared to most of the time.
What’s even more confusing is that she never hinted at having a miserable marriage to Kate or even Simon in Bridgerton. She was trying to convince them how happy she was to be married for her brief time.
Surely, she can’t mean to the man we see in this episode, right? What is clear already is that we can see why Charlotte and Agatha create such a tight bond with each other.
Both will be coming from unhappy marriages, which will enable them to comfort and console each other.
What did you think of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story season 1, episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You can watch Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story season 1 on Netflix.