Shonda Rhimes and Golda Rusheuvel dish on how story points in the prequel may play into the anticipated new season of 'Bridgerton.'
Billed as a standalone prequel, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, also serves as a bridge between seasons 2 and 3 of the flagship series, and there are several surprising reveals that could impact how the upcoming Bridgerton season -- which follows the love story between Penelope Featherington, also known as Lady Whistledown, and Colin Bridgerton -- may unfold.
"There are some story points and story secrets that will definitely be played out in the next season of Bridgerton," Queen Charlotte creator and Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes confirmed to ET's Deidre Behar.
For one thing, the present-day timeline followed Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) as she implored her 13 grown children to find a suitable partner and bear an heir so the bloodline could safely continue. By the end of the season, she receives news that she and King George's fourth-eldest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Princess Victoria, were expecting a child -- a girl. (If we're to follow along with history, their child would later become Queen Victoria and assume the throne.)
"I don't know that we're going to see her children or any of that," Rhimes said when asked if they'd be worked into the larger fabric of Bridgerton. "For me and Golda, who plays Queen Charlotte, on Bridgerton [it] is sort of her front-of-the-house persona, who she is in front of the people. And Queen Charlotte really is the back of the house. You see the kids, you see her being a mom and I thought that was interesting for me to play with."
Rosheuvel noted that she filmed Queen Charlotte and Bridgerton at the same time, toggling back and forth between being the centerpiece of the story in the former and driving the narrative forward in the context of the Bridgerton family in the latter. "It was very informative. It was really weird. It was discombobulating," the actress admitted to ET's Nischelle Turner, adding that it was quite the experience seeing all 13 of Queen Charlotte's adult children in the prequel after having imagined them in the first two seasons of Bridgerton.
"A lot of the stuff [established in Queen Charlotte], I will take forward [in Bridgerton]. You can use it as another layer," Rosheuvel said. Unlike Rhimes, who didn't seem too open to the idea, the actress left the possibility on the table of Charlotte's children popping up here and there, especially with an heir coming: "Whether they will arrive in Bridgerton seasons 4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9 [or] 10, I'm not sure how long but we'll see."
"Bridgerton is a different beast because it's about a different family... [It'd] be really lovely to dip in and out of other characters," Rosheuvel entertained.
As the origins of Queen Charlotte's marriage to King George were explored and questions over his illness were answered, the next time viewers may see George on Bridgerton, it could be with a deeper understanding for the man he once was and is.
Another relationship that may be strengthened through Queen Charlotte is the queen's dynamic with her loyal secretary, Brimsley, who engaged in a secret romance with Reynolds, King George's footman.
"In Bridgerton, he doesn't speak but yet we have worked on that relationship in silence," Rosheuvel said. "When you see the silence, we have looks that we can we know exactly what Brimsley and the queen are talking about. So for him to come into Queen Charlotte and we actually have scenes of real intimacy, real kind of knowledge of how these two people are so dedicated, I'm so passionate about this. I love it so much. It's so important that relationship is given to the world because it means everything."
Speaking of Brimsley and Reynolds, in the present day, the queen's secretary stood alone in the garden, seemingly reflecting on the ball the queen and the king held decades earlier where he and Reynolds had a romantic moonlight dance away from prying eyes. But at that moment, Brimsley danced by himself, raising the question that he was very likely mourning his one true love: What happened to Reynolds? And what transpired between them after the ball?
Additionally, another longtime Bridgerton friendship -- specifically Lady Agatha Danbury and Lady Violet Bridgerton -- may very well be on ice amid Violet's discovery that Agatha had an affair with her married father, Lord Ledger, after she saw a handmade paper crown he used to make for her on birthdays hidden away on Agatha's mantle. Though Violet never directly mentioned the paper crown connection to Agatha, her knowing stare during their tea date in the finale was enough for the tension in the air to go up several notches. Will it color their relationship in season 3?
While Violet entertains the possibility of, ahem, keeping her garden in bloom (surely a hint at what could be coming romantically for the Bridgerton matriarch), the Agatha-Lord Ledger revelation more than likely changes their friendship for the time being.
There were brief mentions of the Bridgerton clan and what they were up to in the present day, most notably that Anthony was on his honeymoon with his wife, Kate Sharma; Eloise and Penelope were bickering following the Lady Whistledown reveal; and Gregory had gone through a growth spurt.
As for season 3 overall, Rhimes described it as "witty, intellectual, emotional and sexy." "I've been a huge fan of Penelope's for a long time, so I'm excited to have her story told," the executive producer teased. Rosheuvel, meanwhile, stayed mum on what awaits fans: "I can tell you we have finished filming it. I speak lines!"
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is streaming now on Netflix.