Netflix’s Queen Charlotte has introduced the first LGBTQ+ romance in the Bridgerton universe.
Over the last three years, Bridgerton has ruled the streaming world due to its scandalous plotlines and Regency-era backdrop.
The show has also received widespread acclaim from critics, with many lauding the series for its diversity and incredible performances from its talented cast.
However alongside the show’s positive praises, queer fans have also criticised the series for its lack of LGBTQ+ representation.
Before the first season premiered, a trailer highlighted a gay sex scene between two characters, but ultimately the storyline was side-lined.
Since then, fans have called on the Bridgerton writers to add more LGBTQ+ characters and representation.
Fortunately, the franchise’s new spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has answered their calls.
In the new limited series, which follows the titular character and her rise to power, a younger version of Brimsley (Sam Clemmett) is featured having a secret affair with King George’s secretary Reynolds (Freddie Dennis).
Unlike Bridgerton, the two characters’ touching queer love story is shown consistently throughout the six-episode series, which includes various heartwarming moments and steamy love scenes.
Shortly after the series debuted, fans took to social media to express excitement over its LGBTQ+ representation.
One fan wrote: “Not lying when I say Brimsely stole the show for me! He was just so good!!!”
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Another fan tweeted: “Reynolds and Brimsely is the greatest love story of #QueenCharlotte.”
LGBTQ+ viewers also commented on a heartbreaking scene which features Brimsley and Reynolds dancing before it transitions to an older Brismley waltzing alone.
“Brimsely dancing alone at the end paralleling him dancing with Reynolds I’m crying my eyes out. I need to know,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Clemmetts and Dennis opened up about their characters and bringing the franchise’s first LGBTQ+ love story to life.
“We’re both very, very proud to be able to tell the first LGBTQIA+ story within the Bridgerton-verse,” Clemmetts explained.
“And Shonda [Rhimes] has written these two very, very rich characters. It was very empowering process for us to tell their story. She’s created such an inclusive and diverse world, so to be able to be part of it, let alone tell their stories, has filled me with an immense sense of pride.”
Dennis echoed similar sentiments, stating: “Bridgerton is famous for its inclusivity and diversity. It’s an immense privilege, and we are filled with such pride to bring an LGBTQ story to a period drama.
“People have to feel represented by what they’re watching on screen. The society within which we live should be reflected in what people see.”
While fans were left with a bittersweet cliffhanger regarding Brimsley and Reynolds’ love story, Dennis assured fans their love would live on.
“You can see how much Reynolds means to Brimsley in that moment [where he’s remembering]. So their love very, very much runs deep and lives on,” he explained.
You can watch Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix.