Princess Augusta: Queen Charlotte character explained

In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Princess Augusta is King George’s mother, who takes decisions in his stead to prevent the royal family from falling from favor. Michelle Fairley plays Princess Augusta.

King George is the head of the monarchy, but it is his mother who takes all the decisions in his place, as he is more interested in being a farmer than a king. 

She considers it her responsibility to make sure that the future of the monarchy and their family remains safe, which makes her interfere in George and Charlotte’s personal affairs more than necessary.

In the name of the King

Princess Augusta arranges George’s marriage to Charlotte without telling him because whenever she speaks to him about a potential bride, he dismisses her. George realizes that he has no choice and that he must marry the woman chosen by his mother.

Queen Charlotte Princess Augusta
Princess Augusta informs George that she has chosen a bride for him

The nation needs the King, as they do not have enough funds, the American colonies are withholding taxes, and the Parliament is revolting. It is imperative that George marries soon and secures the future of the monarchy.

When Charlotte arrives, Princess Augusta inspects her from head to toe to see whether she is a suitable bride for the King. Additionally, she is quick to assert her control over Charlotte, as she is the one who rules in George’s name. 

When Charlotte’s skin color is seen as a problem, Princess Augusta decides to bestow titles upon people of color to make it look like choosing Charlotte was intentional and was done by King George to unite their society.

When people like Lord Bute try to argue, she claims that this is King George’s decision, so there is no room for argument. She also claims that she is merely his mother, but everyone knows that the real power lies in her hands.

An admirable adversary

After George and Charlotte’s wedding, Princess Augusta is concerned about them consummating their marriage, as it is important with regard to their family’s position. 

She also faces pressure from the House of Lords. Lord Bute reminds her that George and Charlotte’s failure to consummate their marriage will lead to the failure of the Great Experiment.

To find out what is going on between George and Charlotte, she asks Lady Danbury to keep an eye on the couple and report to her. However, in exchange, Lady Danbury wants Princess Augusta to help the newly-titled gentlemen to get their rightful position in society.

Princess Augusta refuses, but Lady Danbury, who knows that she has been facing pressure from the House of Lords, uses her weakness to get her to agree. This is the start of their arrangement that sees both women negotiating with each other to get what they want.

When Lady Danbury wants to host the first ball of the season, Princess Augusta tells her that she will think about it. Lady Danbury decides to send out invitations before Princess Augusta can make up her mind, as she knows that Princess Augusta would not want to upset her.

She is not wrong. Princess Augusta does not want to upset her, but she is forced by Lord Bute to get Lady Danbury to cancel the ball. Something similar happens when Lady Danbury introduces her son as Lord Danbury to her, but Princess Augusta cannot acknowledge him as Lord Danbury.

When Lady Danbury refuses to give her any information about Charlotte and Princess Augusta threatens to end their arrangement, Lady Danbury loses control and starts crying. 

Princess Augusta does not care to know about her problems, but she consoles her in her own way. She tells her that she had to put up with her father-in-law, who was a cruel man, after her husband’s death.

She was at his mercy, and she as well as George have scars to show what they have gone through. Princess Augusta endured because she needed to secure her son’s position in order to gain control over her life. 

She advises Lady Danbury to do the same. She considers Lady Danbury an admirable opponent, as their negotiations bring her satisfaction. She asks her not to lose control, and this gives Lady Danbury the strength to negotiate tactfully with Princess Augusta once again.

Queen Charlotte Princess Augusta
Princess Augusta’s advice comforts Lady Danbury

To be the King’s mother

Like most mothers, Princess Augusta claims that her son is perfect. She does it rather often because he is the King, and kings cannot have flaws. She knows what the pressure of being a king has done to George. 

She later argues with Charlotte that he is not mad, just exhausted. He had to bear the weight of the nation, and she had to witness that take its toll on her son. 

She has gotten George treated by several different doctors and faced disappointment with him when nothing worked. When he does not seem fit to marry a week before his marriage, she allows Dr. Monro to treat him, as his treatment seems effective.

Princess Augusta forces George to marry and produce an heir but does not allow him to tell Charlotte about his illness. She is ready to do anything to protect him and stop him from breaking down, even if that means hiding his illness from his wife.

To further protect her son, she takes measures like replacing sharp knives with blunt ones, putting locks everywhere, and even getting rid of King Lear from the library at Buckingham House.

During Charlotte’s pregnancy, she decides to stay with her at Buckingham House during her confinement, which suffocates Charlotte. 

However, when Charlotte goes to live with George in Kew, Princess Augusta tries to assure Lord Bute that everything is fine, but it becomes clear to him that she has lost control.

As there is growing concern about George’s health, Princess Augusta goes to meet her son, but Charlotte stands in her way. This time, Charlotte does not let Princess Augusta have her way and reminds her that she is her queen. 

Princess Augusta then tells Charlotte that a king cannot hide, and since Charlotte is allowing George to hide, whatever will happen now will be her responsibility. 

Charlotte and George host a ball together, which shows the Parliament that George is fit to rule. The fact that she no longer has control does not bother Princess Augusta when she takes note of her son’s happiness. 

She finally acknowledges Charlotte as the queen and curtsies to her. She also thanks her for making her son happy and seems content to hand over George’s responsibility to his wife.

Also Read: Queen Charlotte: King George’s illness explained

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