Bridgerton is back. Netflix has dropped a brand new mini series delving into the world of Queen Charlotte, the glamorous, domineering monarch that we’ve grown to love and fear in equal measure in the last two seasons, played to perfection by Golda Rosheuvel.
In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Line of Duty and Sex Education actor India Amarteifio plays a younger iteration of Charlotte, exploring her sexual awakening, her quest for empowerment and acceptance within a racist monarchy and discovering the irrevocable, lifelong importance of female friendship.
The series follows Charlotte finding her feet as Queen of England, navigating her role as the only “brown” member of the Royal Family – her marriage to a white monarch called “the great experiment” – as well as her compelling relationship with King George as his mental health faces frightening depths.
We also see the beginning of Queen Charlotte’s friendship with Lady Danbury (her younger iteration played with fire by Arsema Thomas), a relationship just as important as any romantic one on screen, which India describes as having “natural chemistry”.
GLAMOUR catches up with the star from her family base back in London, to talk about building her own character, working with Shonda Rhimes, fighting for the representation we need on screen and the importance of staying true to herself as fame comes a-knocking.
What was it about Queen Charlotte that called to you as a character?
I felt so connected to her, before I knew too much about her. I’d watched Bridgerton and so I knew Golda [Rosheuvel]’s Charlotte. The character’s biracial background is similar to mine, and I related to the idea of coming into a community who aren’t from the same background as you and having to adapt. So it was really nice to see a character on a piece of paper and think ‘I relate to these topics already’.
In the first few minutes of the series you deliver this amazing speech about the constraints put on “ladies” – in this case, through what they wear. What was that like to play, with the knowledge of the different battles that modern women are fighting now, in terms of liberation?
It was really rewarding. A lot of showrunners and writers can be scared to tackle problems that are still present in society – because it creates conversation. But part of Shonda [Rhimes]’s brilliance is that she’s not afraid to do that. It makes for a more enjoyable watch, because not only will people be able to relate to these topics, but they’re no longer taboo. Why ignore the elephant in the room?
We tackle race in the show, we tackle finding one’s sexuality and sensuality. We really hit home on things that people shy away from. It’s great as an actor to say, ‘I don’t need to tiptoe around this’.