The Bridgerton universe began as a TV show adapted by an American producer, Shonda Rhimes, from a series of novels by an American writer, Julia Quinn. But the result was as British as teatime, thanks to some brilliant casting. It also made one more smart alteration, adding in royal couple Queen Charlotte and King George III. The first official spinoff, focusing on Queen Charlotte's early years, is doing something completely separate from the books, digging into actual British history of a real-life Queen — though most likely with fictional results. And the new cast members have fans hopeful that some of Quinn's stories will be part of the show.
Fans of Quinn's novels know there is also a set of prequels to the Bridgerton series, known as The Rokesby Series. None of them feature Queen Charlotte; they center around the previous generation of Bridgertons—just not Edmund and Violet, who are cameo characters in romances focused on Edmund's sisters and their friends, the Rokesby family. But with a TV series that is focused on Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and her inner circle, which includes Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell), and their younger counterparts, fans have been hoping to see some Rokesby action.
That seems likely with the most recent casting announcement. Deadline confirmed that the as-yet-untitled Queen Charlotte spinoff would include British actors Katie Brayben (King Charles III) and Keir Charles (Flesh and Blood) will play recurring characters Vivian Ledger and Lord Ledger. Bridgerton viewers won't necessarily recognize those names, but Rokesby fans will: Edmund married Violet Ledger when he was 20 years old, and she was 17 after a six-month courtship. Violet was the only child of the Ledger family, and her parents were wary, but as she and Edmund had known each other since childhood, they allowed it.
The new show will spring for the same conception of them in Bridgerton. Charlotte was a woman of color; she and George were a love match, and their relationship changed the makeup of the 'ton from lily-white to an effortlessly diverse group, the likes of which still don't exist among the British upper classes today. Rather than being Regency-set, the show will rewind the clock to the Georgian era of the late 1700s, when Charlotte was first introduced at court, and will chronicle her love affair with George and her struggles as a young ruler.
Brayben and Charles will join Rosheuvel, Andoh, and Gemmell, who will reprise their roles as the present-day trio of Charlotte, Agatha, and Violet, with Hugh Sachs returning to play Charlotte's right hand, Brimsley. The spinoff cast also includes India Amarteifio (Line of Duty) plays Young Queen Charlotte, Corey Mylchreest (Sandman) as Young King George, Sam Clemmett (Cherry) as Young Brimsley, and newcomer Arsema Thomas as Young Agatha Danbury. Also announced so far: Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Richard Cunningham (The Witcher), Tunji Kasim (Florence Foster Jenkins), Rob Maloney (Coronation Street), and Cyril Nri (Noughts + Crosses).
The as-yet-untitled Queen Charlotte spinoff is currently in production and is expected to premiere probably in early 2023 on Netflix.