Fans of Netflix’s soapy period series, Bridgerton, can now tuck into some new—but familiar-feeling—intrigue. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, debuted last week on the streaming network. The series tells the origin story of the haughty, complicated Queen Charlotte.
Queen Charlotte is another Shonda Rimes-created series, and the superstar showrunner brought in award-winning costume designer Lyn Paolo, who worked on Scandal with Rimes, to create the mountain of period costumes required for the story.
And while the jewelry in Bridgerton was on the whole small and delicate—and often felt like an afterthought, added to give the gorgeous gowns a little shine—the bling in Queen Charlotte is more voluminous in scale and feels more intentional and uniform.
In a behind-the-scenes video on the Shondaland website, Paolo says she begins every new show with research and sketches. The costume designer visited Windsor Palace to look at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation gown, and studied the gowns of Russian czarinas, among others, for Queen Charlotte.
But ultimately she was more concerned with appeal than period-specificity. In the video she says, “Yes, it’s a period show but we wanted to really have it feel like it was a Met Ball…more fashion forward. A cleaner look that appeals more to the modern eye.”
Paolo used dozens of parures (sets of matching jewels) in the show, on nearly every female character. The stunning sets work wonderfully on the small screen, and the look, which rose to popularity in early 19th-century Europe, jibes with the approximate period.
See how the designer and her team used jewelry to both beautify and amplify in these stills from Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Top: Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, outfitted in blue-stone jewelry pieces (all photos courtesy of Netflix)