Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Netflix's Bridgerton.
Bridgerton has finally arrived on Netflix with eight episodes of sparks flying, scandal, seduction, and everything in between. At the core of the series, however, is the complicated love story of Simon and Daphne, whose fake relationship accidentally turned into a true romance. The romance between a brooding bachelor of a duke struggling with his past and a debutante looking for a love match resulted in no shortage of scenes worth swooning over, but there is one in particular that was a game-changer, and a Bridgerton star spoke with CinemaBlend to break it down.
After Daphne finally convinced Simon that she would rather marry him than let him duel her brother, they discovered that their plans for a hasty wedding hit a snag thanks to none other than Queen Charlotte. It fell to Daphne and Simon to try and convince the Queen that they needed to marry as soon as possible. When Daphne's attempt to spin a story of love at first sight was obviously failing, Simon came forward to tell the Queen the truth about their fake relationship turning to friendship turning to love.
Although Daphne didn't know that Simon was sincere in anything other than a desire to get Queen Charlotte's approval for their marriage license at the time, the Queen was convinced by Simon's impassioned and seriously swoon-worthy speech. Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte for Bridgerton, broke down the scene of Simon and Daphne appealing for royal help. As it turns out, there's a reason why it was so easy for Charlotte to come across as especially regal. Rosheuvel shared:
First of all, we were filming in Lancaster House, which is a royal residence and working building for the royal family. So that in itself was amazing. I think the room that we filmed in, I think a month before had, you know, all the dignitaries from around. The Queen was hosting a dinner party for all the dignitaries around the world. And we were filming in that very very room. So, you know, to start off you have the regal excitement that that brings. And they had made this kind of platform for the throne that I sit in, so that was fun to play as well, looking down on the two of them.
Shortly before Bridgerton visited Lancaster House to film the dramatic scene between Queen Charlotte and Simon and Daphne, the real-life Queen Elizabeth II was hosting dignitaries in the very same building. What better place for Bridgerton's Queen to pass royal judgment on two subjects than in an actual royal residence? The platform for Queen Charlotte's throne was new, and certainly made her all the more imposing.
That said, viewers know that the scene wasn't just a stone cold Queen Charlotte listening to Simon's speech without any kind of reaction, and they know the reason why. An earlier scene had shown the warm relationship between Charlotte and King George, but the touching moment turned tragic when George had an outburst, revealing that his health struggles throughout the series relate to his mental health.
Golda Rosheuvel explained how Charlotte's decision following Simon's plea was informed by her relationship with George, telling me:
You obviously know in the storyline that [Queen Charlotte] scuppers their license to marry. You know, it's all because of her. So to have them come and kind of beg in the way, there's empowerment and naughtiness in that as well, with the Queen. But I think also it is a beautiful moment in that scene where Simon has that great speech, which is honest. And nobody knows that other than the audience. Do you know what I mean, that are watching? And I think it's a really lovely turning point for the Queen where she realizes, she remembers the love that she has for her King. She remembers that marriage and communication and partnership is difficult. It's a really lovely complex scene.
Where Daphne's invented romantic platitudes about love at first sight fell flat for the Queen, Simon saying that their love is founded on friendship convinced Charlotte to give Daphne the ultimate choice about whether or not she wanted to marry. The scene not only advanced Simon and Daphne's relationship, but provided a rare glimpse of Charlotte showing vulnerability in the company of others.
When I noted that Charlotte is guarded so much of the time in front of others with the exception of the King, Golda Rosheuvel elaborated on her approach to that part of the Queen's life:
I think that's one of the things that I loved about the character is that she's complex. And we get to see, as you say, those private moments, where the complexity is dark, and it is rooted in sadness and it is rooted in confusion, and kind of opposite of how she is in her public life. And I think, you know, human beings, we have yin and yang, and it's wonderful to play a character that is rounded in that way.
Unfortunately for Queen Charlotte, her heartache with King George's condition isn't one of the complications that could simply be cleared up by the end of the season with some communication. She still faces the task of holding the throne of Great Britain with the King alive but ailing, so there was some bitter to go with the sweetness of the happy ending for Daphne and Simon. Golda Rosheuvel shared what she'd like to see for Charlotte if Bridgerton gets a Season 2:
I think I'd love to see more of the relationship with her and the King. I think that would be really interesting. I'd love her to get involved with finding out who Whistledown is. I mean, we're nearly there. So a little bit more of that would be lovely.
While viewers learned in the Season 1 finale that Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) was actually none other than Penelope Featherington, the characters are all still in the dark. Eloise Bridgerton was on the case, as was the Queen, so it would make sense if Penelope's secret gets out in the event of a second season, but only time will tell.