“I wish to be entertained,” Queen Charlotte famously remarked in season one of Bridgerton. Well, had she been at the premiere of the new Bridgerton prequel series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, in Los Angeles, even this notoriously hard-to-please monarch would’ve likely had a ball.

Actually, Queen Charlotte was at the world premiere event on April 26 — in more ways than one. Golda Rosheuvel, who has played the matriarch in two seasons of Bridgerton and continues her portrayal in the new Queen Charlotte series, was on hand alongside India Amarteifio, our new young queen in the series that digs into the backstory of how a young princess came to sit next to the king of the most powerful nation in the world.

Rosheuvel and Amarteifio weren’t the only distinguished guests in attendance. Shondaland took the opportunity to get some one-on-one time with the stars of the series, arriving May 4, to get their take on the show, their characters, and what they loved most about being a part of the much-anticipated prequel dropping soon on Netflix.

“Every single storyline has its high points,” executive producer Betsy Beers told Shondaland when talking about the love story between King George and Queen Charlotte. “The meeting of the two is incredible, and the process of them getting to know each other as she realizes she’s married to someone she doesn’t know. There’s a lot to love.”

In addition to the romance of the young royals, Queen Charlotte also lays out, scene by scene, how young Charlotte went from being a young woman of exceptional pedigree in Germany to becoming the wife of King George (Corey Mylchreest). Intertwined with the everyday aristocratic drama of the ton are the demands Charlotte faced to be a “perfect” head of state, the pressure she was under to give birth to a royal heir, and the discrimination she had to maneuver around as a woman of color in an environment deliberately cultivated to remain homogeneous.

india ria amarteifio, corey mylchreest and arsema thomas at the premiere of queen charlotte a bridgerton story held at regency village theatre on april 26, 2023 in los angeles, california photo by gilbert floresvariety via getty images
India Amarteifio, Corey Mylchreest, and Arsema Thomas at the premiere of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story held at Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.
Gilbert Flores//Getty Images

“I feel very honored,” Amarteifio told Shondaland of her role as the young queen, while also adding that the storylines she’s proudest of are those examining her relationship with George and also the ride-or-die sisterhood that we see germinate with young Lady Danbury (Arsema Thomas). “What that means to have such an important, empowering female role model in your life — someone to bring you up — it was very special.”

Thomas, whom we see as a young woman navigating her own marriage and upward mobility as a society power player, agreed. “For sure, it was the female friendships between two Black women,” they said. “There’s so much that the world does to pit us against each other, that to see these two women form a genuine friendship is one of the most revolutionary things that can be shown on TV right now — I think that was one of the most impactful things to act out with another amazing Black woman.”

Being that Queen Charlotte’s cast and creative team spent several months living in a universe so unlike our modern world, we naturally wondered what from that opulent Georgian era the creative team would like to bring into the present. Julia Quinn, whose novels provided the inspiration for Bridgerton, said she’d love to bring the era’s preferred (and pretty much only) mode of transportation to 2023. “I wouldn’t mind a nice carriage ride now and then,” she quipped. “That would be nice.”

preview for The Stars of ‘Queen Charlotte’ Get Royally Real About the New ‘Bridgerton’ Prequel Series: Julia Quinn

Mylchreest, who told Shondaland he was most taken with what he called George and Charlotte’s “battle to accept love” in the series, had more to say about what he wouldn’t bring into the present: the type of arranged marriages that were common then and cell phones. “I feel like there was so much less communication back then,” he said, and if pressured to marry someone he didn’t know, “I’d spin out and be off doing something else.” Communication is important to him, clearly, but perhaps ironically, he said he’d happily nix mobile phones — arguably the greatest communication device mankind has ever known — from contemporary times if he could. “Better posture, first of all,” he said. “And it’s probably better for your head [mental health].”

Tom Verica, producer and director of all six episodes, said he was into the old-school romantic rituals. “I love the courtship,” he said. “The elegance and formality. In our time period, I think it would be kind of cool to get that back a little bit. Swiping left and right — it’s a little too impersonal. A little bit of face time and working for that relationship is an art that’s lost.”

preview for The Stars of ‘Queen Charlotte’ Get Royally Real About the New ‘Bridgerton’ Prequel Series: Tom Verica

Hugh Sachs, Queen Charlotte’s chief assistant Brimsley in Bridgerton, who sees an expanded role in Queen Charlotte, wished he could bring another lost art to our times: “Letter writing,” he said. “Everyone lives on emails and text … a whole generation of people don’t know what it’s like to get letters.”

Other Queen Charlotte stars were as taken by the show’s costuming and wardrobe as they were by its more serious elements. “The amount of beautiful color, it’s wonderful,” said Sam Clemmett, who plays young Brimsley in the prequel series. “Brimsley’s jacket is so beautifully fitted to him. It was great for my posture — it’s taught me to check in with myself a bit more.”

preview for The Stars of ‘Queen Charlotte’ Get Royally Real About the New ‘Bridgerton’ Prequel Series: Peyvand Sadeghian

Tunji Kasim, who portrays Charlotte’s brother Adolphus, who helps her adjust to life in the court, agreed. Though Kasim’s more poignant position in the story is delivering Charlotte to her husband in service of country and the royal bloodline, he couldn’t help falling in love with the garments he spent so much time in. “The sense of flamboyant style — you have to hold yourself constantly.” Peyvand Sadeghian, who plays Coral, the main maiden of young Lady Danbury, said, somewhat surprisingly, she even grew fond of the corsets. “They’re more comfortable than you might think,” she said with a chuckle. “I got quite used to it!”

preview for The Stars of ‘Queen Charlotte’ Get Royally Real About the New ‘Bridgerton’ Prequel Series: Shonda Rhimes

Queen Charlotte’s showrunner and creator, Shonda Rhimes, for her part, was also enthralled by the clothes — not surprising given her very public enthusiasm for Bridgerton’s costumes … and wigs. “Golda wears this gray, amazing, super-tall wig that’s beautiful, but I really love the wig that young Charlotte is wearing in the wedding scenes.” Of course, Queen Charlotte is full of drama, surprises, big reveals, and unforgettable moments — some of Rhimes’ personal favorites include scenes involving young Charlotte and young Lady Danbury — but when asked what fans should look out for, she was characteristically enigmatic, choosing to quote a line the elder Charlotte delivers in the first episode. “Sorrows,” she said with a grin. “Sorrows, prayers.”

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story premieres Thursday, May 4, on Netflix. Be sure to check Shondaland.com for cast interviews, behind-the-scenes features, and all the tidbits of the ton you could ever want. You can also catch up on everything we know about Bridgerton season three and listen and subscribe to Bridgerton: The Official Podcast, available on Apple, iHeart, and wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

Malcolm Venable is a Senior Staff Writer at Shondaland. Follow him on Twitter @malcolmvenable.

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