King Charles III and Queen Charlotte: Bridgerton and The Blackest Coronation

Bridgerton was the aspiration; the coronation was a performative attempt at that aspiration.

Simone Samuels

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Designed by author; Photo Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix via Slate; Christopher Furlong/Getty via People

When I was little, I nursed juvenile dreams of becoming a princess. Not just a Disney princess. Like, marrying into the British royal family. As a pre-teen, I looked up the ages of Diana’s boys. “William… 1982… too old… oh Harry is only four years older than me. I just might be in luck!”

But even in my young imaginings I knew that me marrying the third (at the time) in line to the British throne was naive at best and far-fetched at worst. Not only was I (a lower-middle-class girl born to janitors of Jamaican descent living in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) not remotely involved in any circle connected to him, but there was a glaring issue, a distinct difference: I was Black (in fact, I still am).

Innately, I knew I wouldn’t “fit” into the Royal Family — “Innate” in the sense that I have historically had trouble fitting in anywhere on account of gender, size, personality… and yes race. Growing up and now working in the equity, diversity and inclusion space has made me realize that perhaps it’s less about burrowing my way into spaces in which I was never intended to fit and more about those spaces making a concerted attempt to welcome me. It’s less about diversity and more about inclusion and belonging.

It’s why I was struck by the jarring juxtaposition of watching the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla in the morning of May 6th and in the evening of May 6th binging the coronation of Their Majesties King George III and Queen Charlotte of Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton series.

What a collocation of two coronations, of two Britains. One factual, the other fictional. One aspirational, both performative. One the product of White imaginings. The other the product of a Black woman’s mind.

Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

When I watched King Charles’ coronation, I saw multiculturalism and diversity on full display. In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, after…

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Simone Samuels

I like big stories and I cannot lie. Authentic, transparent musings & connecting with others so we can all feel less alone. https://linktr.ee/simonesamuels