Sanditon's Rose Williams Gets Candid About Why She Didn't Like Charlotte's Major Season 2 Finale Decision

rose williams as charlotte in sanditon season 2 on pbs
(Image credit: PBS)

Warning! Sanditon Season 2 spoilers await below! Look away if you haven’t caught up yet!

After a cancellation and surprise renewal, Sanditon Season 2 just completed its run as part of the 2022 TV schedule. And, the second set of episodes did, indeed, deliver on all of the Regency-era romantic drama that viewers wanted. There were plenty of surprises to go around in the Season 2 finale, but the biggest may have come from star Rose Williams’ Charlotte Heywood, who announced her engagement in the final moments. Now, Williams has gotten candid about why she actually didn’t like Charlotte’s major finale decision.

Why Sanditon’s Rose Williams Didn’t Like Charlotte’s Season 2 Decision

For well over a year, it looked like fans of the PBS Masterpiece drama, Sanditon, would need a streamer like Amazon to come in with a save. Fortunately, even though we lost Theo James’ Sidney Parker, it was finally renewed for two additional seasons. While Charlotte went on to begin to find love again with the broody Alexander Colbourne, he rebuffed her toward the end of the finale, and she went on to become engaged to someone else just two months later, shocking her friends, family, and many fans. And, Rose Williams has told PBS Masterpiece that she wasn’t happy with Charlotte’s choice, saying:

I found it very hard to shoot because I didn’t like her decision. I felt like, I can’t believe she’s doing this. This is so far from what I wanted for the character that I was like, ‘These words …’ I found it very hard to say those lines—I could barely say the words—because I felt so frustrated for this girl. Why have you done this? You’ve worked so hard to create this independence and now you’ve just given in. What are you doing? That’s how I felt.

Well, that's refreshingly honest. Look, a big part of the story for Season 2 was how Charlotte and the Parkers dealt with Sidney’s death, which took place off-screen. When Mary Parker arrives in Charlotte’s hometown of Willingden to tell her of Sidney’s death, Charlotte seems to be doing quite well when it comes to getting over her heartbreak from the Season 1 finale, when Sidney left her to marry someone with money so that he could bail out his brother, Tom. But, his death throws her for a serious loop.

Charlotte then spent much of Sanditon Season 2 giving up her life as a woman of marriageable age so that she could work as a governess for Colbourne, which put her at a much lower station than that of a regular farmer’s daughter. She clearly loved having her independence, though, and being able to nurture that in her young charges, which is a major part of why Williams found it so hard to deal with her character seeming to abandon all of that so that she could be the wife of farmer Ralph Starling (though he did appear to be a decent enough fellow).

While I completely admit to being startled by Charlotte’s decision to suddenly marry someone we all know she isn’t in love with (as was everyone she told, who were all stunned into wide-eyed, open-mouthed silence), it was even harder for Williams to work through portraying Charlotte’s reveal, which took place at the reception for her sister’s wedding. But, she does believe she understands why Charlotte chose to spring the news on everyone like she did. Added Williams:

I think what’s going on for Charlotte is that she knows it’s not right for her, and that her friends are going to think and react in a negative way, because it’s not right for her. That’s why she hasn’t told anyone. I think she feels deeply awkward, and she’s left it to the absolute last minute, and she just wants a hole to appear in the ground and for it to swallow her up.

Yeah, if you watched the Sanditon Season 2 ending, you will probably recall just how sheepish and unsure Rose Williams had Charlotte look when delivering the news, while Farmer Ralph appeared so delighted that he could burst. Something tells me that he’s gonna get his heart broken when Charlotte and Colbourne eventually see each other again.

Luckily, we’ll get to watch that happen, because Sanditon Season 3 will debut at some point in 2023

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.