People just can’t seem to get enough of Bridgerton. After two (incredibly) successful seasons, Netflix announced a prequel limited series was in the works, focusing on Queen Charlotte’s rise to power. And now a prequel novel has been announced that will explore her story even further. Penned by Julia Quinn, the novel will undoubtedly focus on the romance between Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and King George (James Fleet).
It’s a logical choice, though in a sense an odd one. Part of the appeal of Quinn’s genre of lighthearted romance novels is the promised Happily Ever After, after all. Nobody picks up a novel about the Bridgerton siblings to read how their stories end in tragedy. But Queen Charlotte’s story is indeed tragic in a way. Not just historically but within the Bridgerton world.
In the real world, historians have long debated the source of the famous “madness” of King George. Some speculate he suffered from porphyria, a blood disorder that can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Others theorize he suffered from bipolar disorder. In the world of Bridgerton, his episodes seem more akin to dementia or perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease. Either way, not precisely the Happily Ever After every reader likes to envision.
So Quinn may have a bit of a challenge ahead of her. However, if anyone can help her tackle it, it’s Shonda Rhimes, whose stories are known for their drama and shocking twists. And, she’ll have plenty to work with, as the story will center on not only the King and Queen’s romance, but also the ways that the royal love affair impacted society (and the Ton).
It might be somewhat different from Quinn’s usual fare. Still, Queen Charlotte has been one of the most interesting characters on Bridgerton. The glimpses of her love story with the King have been absolutely gutting. Brief though they’ve been, they’ve hinted at a depth of love and devotion that the prequel novel will be better able to explore. We can’t wait to see what Quinn and Rhimes do with her story.
Break our hearts, ladies. We’re ready.
The novel’s release will coincide with the series premiere, but no date has yet been announced.