The actresses Ruth Gemmel (Lady Violet Bridgerton), Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), and Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury) sat down with ESSENCE to discuss the upcoming second season, what fans can expect, and how the societal misconceptions surrounding their portrayal of aristocratic Black women in Recency London actually expose historical truths.
Rosheuvel and Andoh both admit that this season explores their personalities more thoroughly. The King’s character and the effect of his connection on the Queen’s actions are both explored further. Through her interactions with the Sharmas, the new family in town, Lady Danbury is striving to atone for a past transgression. Seeing her younger self and frantically attempting to make amends as she leads them through social season is a real challenge.
As they all play the marital game in high society, the three social matriarchs—Queen Charlotte, Lady Bridgerton, and Lady Danbury—develop a stronger kinship with one another.
Actresses like these are well aware of the weight of their roles as wealthy, powerful, and esteemed Black women in a culture that is infamous for its treatment of people of African descent. On the other hand, they think it’s crucial to emphasize that the program isn’t depicting a dream or a reimagining of our past; rather, it’s depicting reality.
“History is being re-enacted by us. “These ladies were present,” Andoh said. The lineage of Queen Charlotte began with Alfonso III of Portugal and continued via an African lady from the kingdom of Benin, a country with which Portugal had trading relations. Therefore, she was probably a member of the royal family’s household.
Andoh substantiates the claim that several African-descended individuals resided in Regency London, amassing riches via independent means, marrying into affluence, and leading this very respectable, well-off lifestyle. Many women who had escaped slavery in the West Indies became wealthy and did not arrive to the UK destitute,” she went on to say. “The British nobility wed these ladies for their own benefit.
During one of the most memorable sequences of the season, Rosheuvel felt the weight of the show’s portrayal of millions of people.
When the Sharmas were introduced in season two of Bridgerton, it was one of the most impactful moments for me. After arriving at the ball, she said that Simone (Ashley), Charithra (Chandran), Shelly (Conn), and herself (Adjoa) were all making their way towards the camera. “In all their splendor and joy, these stunning black and brown faces are making their way towards the camera.”