Lady Danbury and the Queen’s Friendship Takes Center Stage in “Queen Charlotte”

Everett Collection / Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

One of the most underrated relationships on “Bridgerton” is between gossip-loving Queen Charlotte and the imperious and fabulous Lady Danbury. The two may be supporting characters to the Bridgerton siblings and their love interests, but there’s no question that they steal every scene they’re in. Watching closely, it’s clear that the Queen and Lady Danbury have a nuanced friendship of their own, and thanks to the “Queen Charlotte” prequel series, we’ve finally learned more about how they first bonded.

Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte’s Friendship in the “Bridgerton” TV Show

It’s not completely explained in the main “Bridgerton” series how Lady Danbury and the Queen are friends, but it’s pretty clear from their interactions that they’ve known each other well for a long time.

It’s the little moments that show their friendship. For instance, Lady Danbury’s knowledge of the Queen allows her to come up with the plan that succeeds in getting the Queen’s approval for Simon and Daphne’s marriage. When she then accompanies Simon and Daphne to plead their case, the Queen dryly asks a curtseying Lady Danbury, “As low as you can go, Lady Danbury?” and Lady Danbury snarkily responds, “With these knees? Yes, Your Majesty.” The fact that both women appear amused by the exchange gives more insight into their friendship that clearly goes deeper than we know. The second season also sees small moments like these, such as the Queen actually taking Lady Danbury’s advice on making Edwina Sharma the “diamond” of the season.

Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte’s Friendship in the “Queen Charlotte” Prequel

The limited-series prequel reveals how the Queen and Lady Danbury’s connection first formed in their early days at court. Both are newcomers to the royal court, with Charlotte arriving as a young German princess to marry the King she has never met, and Lady Danbury as one of the newly-elevated aristocrats of color. Lady Danbury’s motivations are complicated at first. She offers genuine, sometimes blunt advice and support as a naive Charlotte navigates court life (and newlywed life). At the same time, however, she has formed an alliance with Charlotte’s overbearing mother-in-law, Princess Augusta, and is providing her with some information on the progress of the new king and queen’s relationship in exchange for Augusta’s support as Lady Danbury maneuvers for a position of power at the precarious court.

In time, however, Lady Danbury comes down firmly on Queen Charlotte’s side. She acknowledges that she hasn’t been a true friend, but vows to be one in the future, which the Queen reciprocates. There is even a brief moment where it seems like the women might end up becoming sisters when Charlotte’s brother Adolphus proposes to the widowed Lady Danbury, but Lady Danbury turns him down, uninterested in remarrying after the disaster of her first. Instead, she remains in England, making her own life and remaining a loyal friend to the queen through the decades and through plenty of challenges for both of them.

Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte’s Friendship in the “Bridgerton” Books

If you’ve come into the world of “Bridgerton” through the TV show rather than the books, you might be in for a little bit of disappointment. It’s hard to imagine “Bridgerton” without Queen Charlotte presiding over everything, but in the books by Julia Quinn, that’s exactly what we’ve got. The Queen was an original character added for the Netflix adaptation, although she is loosely based, of course, on the historical Queen Charlotte.

Luckily, at least half of this witty pair is still on the page! Lady Danbury is there throughout the Bridgerton book series, with quips and observations as sharp as you could ask for. Adding in her relationship with the Queen just gives another layer to this scene-stealing character!

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