“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” is a new spinoff series coming to Netflix on May 5 centered on the king and queen’s marriage. Starring India Ria Amarteifio as young Queen Charlotte and Corey Mylchreest as young King George, the six episodes introduce us to the royal couple and take us through their first few years of marriage. Along the way, we’re also presented with other members of the ton, including Arsema Thomas as young Lady Agatha Danbury and Sam Clemmett as young Brimsley.
The story is primarily told from the perspective of the young characters, but it occasionally flashes forward to the “Bridgerton” universe with some of the same beloved actors from that hit series, like Golda Rosheuvel as the older queen, Adjoa Andoh’s Lady Danbury, Ruth Gemmell’s Lady Violet Bridgerton, and more. With the prequel, you can expect some of the same period-piece charm, steamy sex scenes, lavish costumes, and, of course, breathtaking hair and makeup moments.
In total, the hair department created around 1,500 wigs for the series to be worn by the principal and background actors, and every single one was unique.
Nic Collins, the hair and makeup department head of the series, shares how the hair on “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” tells a story and discloses the significance behind a few key looks. Keep reading to learn some behind-the-scenes details.
Similar to the original story, the hair and makeup on “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” is magical. “I love the contemporization of period drama,” Collins tells POPSUGAR. To get inspiration, Collins says, she looks all over, including magazines, fashion shows, and 18th-century diaries. “We read a lot of diaries that were printed at the time, and that gave us technical instructions,” she says. Ultimately, they combined Regency-era wig-making practices with more modern techniques to get the wigs you see on the new show. This was necessary not only for time’s sake and to make the wigs more wearable for the actors but also because wigs from that period rarely featured natural hair — an important focus on “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.”
Paintings of the real Queen Charlotte were another prominent source of inspiration, but Collins and her team didn’t replicate any of her looks — they just used them for ideating purposes.
“There is one portrait that I love of Queen Charlotte, and she has the big oval shape of the 18th century,” Collins says. That shape loosely inspired the bridal hairstyle we see on the young Queen Charlotte on the show (more on that later).
“Bridgerton”‘s Queen Charlotte is known for her creative, larger-than-life wigs. But it took some time for her to reach that place, as witnessed on the new series. The evolving hairstyles on “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” show a journey. When we’re first introduced to Charlotte in episode one, she’s just traveled to a new country to marry a man she’s never met, and she wears her hair with its natural texture. “Our young Queen Charlotte really knows who she is and where she goes, and then, as she adapts to this world, the hair becomes more elaborate,” Collins says. Slowly, she morphs into the playful, experimental queen we know from “Bridgerton.”
Young Queen Charlotte’s hair is contrasted by young Lady Danbury’s, who wears a slightly looser, freer version of her same hairstyle as the older version of herself. “[Lady Danbury] kind of already conformed to that society, whereas our young Charlotte is fighting that right now.”
The hairstyles on “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” are loaded with hidden meanings, but one in particular stands out. A large focus of the show is producing an heir for the throne — it’s a prominent plotline in both Queen Charlotte and King Geoge’s story and also in Queen Charlotte’s relationship with her children. In the scene where the older Queen Charlotte is talking to her daughters and sons about continuing the family, she’s wearing a large wig that’s braided in the front, but the back holds a special detail. “It’s actually hollow in the back — it’s almost like an egg shape, and it’s full of flowers and orchids, which are for fertility,” Collins says.