As Lady Bridgerton says, “Love can bloom from the thorniest of gardens.” That is definitely true for Netflix’s new romantic series.
The first-ever spinoff of the popular Bridgerton series, titled “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” introduces viewers to a fresh cast portraying the younger versions of the beloved royals and aristocrats.
This includes Queen Charlotte, portrayed by Golda Rosheuvel, one of the standout characters on Bridgerton, known for her scheming nature and support for love.
The character is based on the real-life wife of King George III, who was famously involved in the American Revolution of 1776.
This prequel delves into the romance and life of the young queen, becoming one of Netflix’s most popular shows.
“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” has maintained its position as the most-watched show on the streaming service for two consecutive weeks.
In its first week, it amassed a total of 307 million viewing hours. The second week amassed 158.68 million hours.
But why is the show so popular? Is it the story or the cast behind it?
A look into the childhood, education and life of the cast may offer some answers — some as tantalising as Queen Charlotte and King George’s love story and the scandals that surround them.
Here’s where the cast of Netflix’s Queen Charlotte gained their acting skills worthy of Lady Whistledown:
Though many of the cast members have attended university and attained their degrees, Arsema Thomas, who plays young Lady Danbury, definitely has the longest list of academic qualifications that will shock many.
Thomas completed her secondary education at Linden Hall, where she actively participated in various extracurricular activities, including tennis, soccer, drama, debate, student council, and the National Honor Society.
Initially, she had plans to pursue a “secure career” in global public health, which led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biophysics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016.
She then attended the world-class institution Yale University where she gained a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the School of Public Health. During her master’s degree , she focused on health policy with a concentration in Global Health as she aimed to promote health equity.
In pursuit of her goal, Thomas actively contributed her skills and knowledge in various locations. She worked in a mobile health clinic focused on maternal and child health in Northern Kenya and at the Kakumah Refugee Camp on the Kenya-Sudan border.
During her second year of the MPH programme, Thomas delivered a thought-provoking TEDxYale talk titled “Charity, one hell of a drug,” addressing the issue of dependency on donor aid.
Not stopping there, she took the initiative to establish Enki, a women-empowerment health app that provided female condoms to combat HIV/AIDS.
Thomas’s list of accomplishments goes on as she co-founded a startup called Mosaic, an online platform that enables refugees to sell their products worldwide, enabling them to support themselves and their families.
In her professional journey, Thomas was an associate of the United Nations Population Fund and became a fellow of the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University.
She also held a position as a board member of the Adebisi Babatunde Thomas Entrepreneurship Institute (ABTEI) in Nairobi, Kenya. Thomas actively volunteered with organisations such as Habitat for Humanity and International Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS).
She then decided to follow her passion for acting and embarked on her acting career.
She enrolled in short training programmes at renowned institutions such as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Cours Florent in Paris and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London to gain her skills.
While pursuing her passion, she began studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). However, her educational pursuits were cut short when she secured the role of Lady Danbury.
And if all of the above isn’t enough to show how prolific she is — here’s the list of countries she’s lived in:
And below are all the languages Thomas is fluent in:
- American Sign Language
The main star of the show, playing a young Queen Charlotte, is British-born India Amartefio. Though born in the UK, Amarteifio has Ghanaian and German origins from her parents.
This made her the perfect fit to play Queen Charlotte in the Netflix original, as the series based the character on the assumption that she was the first mixed-race member of the British Royal family.
“I’m mixed race. I’ve got a white mum, and my dad is Black – born in London, but with Ghanaian ancestry – so I can relate to [my character Queen Charlotte] in terms of not really knowing where you fit in,” she told Vogue.
In 2012, she joined the Richmond Academy of Dance, a dance studio internationally recognised for its outstanding training programmes encouraging individuality and attention to detail.
There, she auditioned and earned a scholarship to attend the Sylvia Young Theatre School.
She had originally planned to be a dancer, but a hamstring injury led her to acting – a blessing in disguise that would ultimately lead her to win the title role of Queen Charlotte.
Speaking to Vogue about her injury, she said, “As I got older, I realised it might never properly heal.”
Born in London, Cory Mylchreest achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Acting from the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2020.
During his time as a student, he showcased his talent in notable Shakespearean plays like Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet. He appeared in stage productions as well, including Mysterious Bruises and Tales From the Vienna Woods.
Mylchreest isn’t the only talented actor that attended RADA. Other famous alumni include Anthony Hopkins, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Matthew Rhys, and Luke Thompson, who portrayed Benedict Bridgerton on “Bridgerton.”
This rising actor made his acting debut on another Netflix series, taking on the role of Adonis in the premiere episode of Neil Gaiman’s fantastical series, “The Sandman.” He has also contributed to the film industry with appearances in two short films, with “Queen Charlotte” marking his first major role.
Speaking of his portrayal of King George, he says, “He is a man, affliction aside, who has a wide spectrum of behaviour, which, as an actor, is amazing. I think it was brilliant, not only to be able to explore his health and the pain that he individually experiences and the misery that he individually experiences but also how that affected the main narrative, which is the love story and how their love finds ways—like running water, evade and keep flowing.”
Adjoa Andoh attended the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), where she pursued a degree in law.
However, she made the bold decision to leave after two years to pursue her acting career.
Since then, she has been appointed as a temporary professor at Oxford University. In 2021, it was revealed that she would hold the esteemed position of the 29th Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University, with the association of St Catherine’s College.
Queen Charlotte’s brother in the series, Adolphus, is played by award-nominated actor Tunji Kasim. Similar to his cast mates, Kasim did not set out to be an actor.
When thinking of his career, Kasim planned to become a boxer or a dishwasher. Fortunately, he fell in love with acting.
The talented young actor studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Musics and Drama in Glasgow, now called the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Ranked as one of the world’s top 10 destinations to study performing arts, the school is a world-leading conservatoire of music, drama, dance, production and film.
It is Scotland’s national conservatoire and takes the number six spot in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023
Cyril Nri may portray Lord Danbury, Lady Danbury’s older husband, but don’t be fooled by his character.
Nri is a Nigerian-born British actor and director with many accomplishments throughout his life – and he definitely looks much better in real life.
Nri was born in Nigeria but soon after fled the country with his family before the Nigerian Civil War ended. They first moved to Portugal before settling down in London.
There he attended Holland Park School, where he started acting from a young age in a school production of Three Penny Opera. He later attended the Young Vic Youth Theatre in Waterloo and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before making it to the big screens.
Today he is known for his work in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Roald Dahl’s The Witches,” and for playing Superintendent Adam Okaro in the police TV series “The Bill.”
The two actresses portraying Queen Charlotte share more similarities than just the character they play. Like Amarteifio, Golda Rosheuvel, who portrays the older Queen Charlotte, is of mixed race.
She was born in Guyana to a Guyanese father and an English mother. She later moved to the UK when she was five years old.
Rosheuvel also did not intend to become an actress. The talented star had her heart set on being a professional athlete. She spent most of her teenage years training for the Olympics.
She took part in the 100m sprint, javelin and long jump. “I was going to be a decathlon kind of athlete,” she says.
However, as she was interested in acting, Rosheuvel participated in singing, dancing and acting in school plays on the side.
Her passion for the arts grew over time, and she went on to study for a diploma in performance at Hertford Regional College which was then called East Herts College before the merger.
She later studied musical theatre at the British dance and theatre school, London Studio Centre, which helped her land her first job playing Donna in a touring production of “Hair”.