"Queen Charlotte" by Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes.

‘Queen Charlotte’ Is ‘A Bridgerton Story,’ but Is It Based on a ‘Bridgerton’ Novel?

The Bridgerton TV show, created by Shonda Rhimes, is famously an adaptation of Julia Quinn’s series of Bridgerton novels. Each novel features the love story of one of the eight Bridgerton children; the next follows Colin Bridgerton as he falls for one of his oldest friends, Penelope Featherington, a.k.a. Lady Whistledown. But until Bridgerton season 3 premieres, fans have been rewarded with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a six-episode prequel miniseries which delves deeper into the mysterious life of Queen Charlotte and her love story with King George III.

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As Bridgerton is based on a series of books, many fans have wondered whether Queen Charlotte is also based on a previously published novel.

Is Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story based on a novel?

The Queen Charlotte Bridgerton prequel is not based on a book. In fact, Queen Charlotte as a character wasn’t present in Julia Quinn’s original novels at all. The character of Queen Charlotte as seen in the Bridgerton universe, while loosely based on an actual historical figure, was created by Shonda Rhimes for the show. Memorably portrayed by Golda Rosheuvel in all three seasons, and with India Amarteifio deftly portraying a younger version of the character, Queen Charlotte proved popular and compelling enough to headline her own spinoff.

Said spinoff is split into two separate timelines: one follows Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, and Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton, soon after the events of Bridgerton season 2. The other, more prominent storyline unfolds as Charlotte and George meet for the first time and are married, with Charlotte coming to terms with becoming Queen as well as learning her husband George’s secrets.

While the show may not have been based on a previously published story, Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes did write a book inspired by the Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story prequel together. This novel will be published by HarperCollins on May 9, 2023 and will be available from all the usual retailers.

Perhaps this means more Bridgerton books—either based on the show or new original stories—from Julia Quinn are on the horizon, but only time will tell.

(featured image: Netflix and HarperCollins)


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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.