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How Golda Rosheuvel And India Amarteifio Play Same Role in ‘Queen Charlotte’

While Golda Rosheuvel and India Amarteifio play the same character, the “Bridgerton” veteran had only one piece of feedback for Amarteifio when she was cast as her younger counterpart: “Take it.”

“The only thing that I said to India was, ‘Take it and make it your own,'” Rosheuvel shared at the Los Angeles premiere of “Queen Charlotte.”

As for Amarteifio’s reaction? A mix between an uneasy, “How do I do that?” and an assured “I know what that means,” she said at the premiere.

“There’s always something in the back of your mind, especially when you’re playing an established character, that there needs to be some through line,” she said. “However, in life … you age, and through your aging, you grow and develop, you basically become different people in different decades.”

“It gave me complete liberty to play a completely new person,” she added.

Their different understandings of the character show. When asked what title they would choose for an official biography of Queen Charlotte in the Bridgerton universe, their answers reflect the decidedly different points in time each actor finds Charlotte in.

The only thing that I said to India was ‘Take it and make it your own.’

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL

“My Life: In Dresses,” Amarteifio tells TODAY.com.

“Mine would be, ‘Sorrows, Sorrows, Prayers,'” Rosheuvel answers. “That would be my tombstone as well.”

While Rosheuvel and Amarteifio both play Queen Charlotte in the “Bridgerton” universe, their performances span more than five decades. The two are unified by an appreciation for the character’s confidence and the stakes of the storyline itself, which depicts a biracial woman at the height of power in a genre that is not often populated by people with marginalized identities.

Golda Rosheuvel and India Ria Amarteifio.NETFLIX

Queen Charlotte’s advice for Queen Charlotte

Amarteifio tells TODAY.com Rosheuvel “lent” her the character of Charlotte. Before filming, there was some discussion about who Rosheuvel thought Charlotte was, but other than that, she largely emphasized that she would be there for Amarteifio along the way.

“She gave me her advice and her hand and her opinions on things,” she says. “I’m very lucky that I get to work so closely with her.”

The differences between their performances is something that Rosheuvel embraces. She says she is “thrilled” with what Amarteifio has captured, noting that she doesn’t think her Charlotte would have any advice for her younger self after seeing all she accomplishes.

“I think Charlotte is definitely standing proud and looking back and going, ‘Yeah, yeah, we did it,’” Rosheuvel tells TODAY.com. “We did it, we were there. We stood firm. Yes, it was difficult in some occasions, we had to navigate some s—, but we stood there. And we stood strong in who we are.”

Meanwhile, Amarteifio hopes her character’s older self always remembers her love for King George III. This lasting love has been hinted at in the “Bridgerton” series through fleeting moments of George’s lucidity and the cracking of Charlotte’s hardy exterior during those vulnerable moments.

“The reason why she is able to persist everyday is because of her love for George, that just like, unconditional love,” Amarteifio says. “The most selfless act that she has done is basically give her life to his country because she knows how important it is to him.”

A bittersweet love story

While “Queen Charlotte” follows the romance between Charlotte and King George III (played by Corey Mylchreest in the miniseries), it has an inherent element of a tragic ending. A scene from Season Two of “Bridgerton” almost serves as a backdoor pilot and hints at the character’s complicated fate.

In Episode Six, as Charlotte waits for Edwina to make a decision on whether she would go through with her wedding to Anthony Bridgerton, a confused King George III (then played by James Fleet) bursts into her chambers, calling for “Lottie.”

The reason why she is able to persist everyday is because of her love for George, that just like, unconditional love. The most selfless act that she has done is basically give her life to his country because she knows how important it is to him.

India Amarteifio

Rosheuvel’s Charlotte is visibly rankled, her eyes welling with tears as she casts furtive glances at the company in the room witnessing her husband’s disordered state.

Edwina steps in and calms George down, reminding him of how beautiful his bride is. Charlotte then gives Edwina a moving speech about the impermanence of “true love.”

“It changes. It forgets,” Charlotte says of love. “It’s forces you to remember who you once were, and it forces you to choose how you will live with it, again and again.”

“Queen Charlotte” explores how Charlotte’s inner circle views her relationship with George, and two primary interpretations emerge — one that views her as stuck in a marriage to a “mad” king, or one that sees her as the embodiment of the strength that love at its best represents.

Rosheuvel and Amarteifio agree that Charlotte experiences both.

“That’s the balance of this story,” Rosheuvel says. “You do have this beautiful flower blooming, but then you have that duty and sense of the realm, the society, the Ton — the weight of it all. I think the balance of that is a really beautiful place where this character sits.”

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. (L to R) India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte, Corey Mylchreest as Young King George in episode 106 of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Cr.
India Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte falling in love with Corey Mylchreest’s young King George. Nick Wall / NETFLIX

The importance of representation in ‘Queen Charlotte’

While “Queen Charlotte” deals with a real historical figure, it also helps to introduce a modern take on society. The show sets up the racially mixed world of “Bridgerton,” explaining that it came about through George and Charlotte’s marriage.

Rosheuvel explains that the framework of a period piece takes the “heat” off of modern day discussions while they also “make space for those people who weren’t necessarily included in that genre.”

“Now, they can come and sit with us and enjoy and see themselves gossiping, wearing fabulous clothes, wearing fabulous wigs, wandering around beautiful manor houses, and be included,” Rosheuvel says.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. (L to R) Hugh Sachs as Brimsley, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in episode 103 of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023
Golda Rosheuvel in “Queen Charlotte.”Liam Daniel / NETFLIX

Amarteifio credits this modernity to the writing of Shonda Rhimes, who created “Queen Charlotte” and is the executive producer of “Bridgerton.” She says race, gender, class and sexuality are represented and analyzed in the show through a depiction of how identity impacts experience.

“It feels really great to be on a project that’s kind of so unapologetic to do that,” she says.

The actors also experienced this acknowledgement of their racial identity behind the scenes through the inclusion of their natural hair. Rosheuvel says she got emotional when the costumers teased her own hair out to include it in her character’s wig.

“That’s everything, because you see the person, you see the actress and you see the character,” she says. “And I think moving forward, we need to understand how we live our lives.”

“I wrap my head up at night,” she continues. “I think India does it in ‘Queen Charlotte,’ you see her in bed with a head wrap. Black women do that. And the more we have those stories out there and information out there, the more we can be in these spaces together and live.”

On a personal level, each actor feels differently on how they relate to Charlotte. Rosheuvel explains that while Charlotte has “a persona of her own,” she’s taught her to be more confident and trust that she belongs in the spaces she inhabits.

Amarteifio, however, says she feels “very, very dissimilar” to Charlotte’s innate sense of self-assurance and vulnerability.

“You know, I felt like that at the beginning,” Rosheuvel points out. “I think it’s beautiful that you don’t feel confident, because that’s the journey, isn’t it? That’s the story that we’re telling. You see her come into her own through India’s depiction of the past and how beautiful that is done.”

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