What illness did King George have in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story? We discuss the popular Netflix series and will include spoilers.
The spin-off royal drama series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has captured viewers’ imaginations who the spectacle of this period.
The latest six-episode mini-series has delved into the lives of King George III and Queen Charlotte and explores their long marriage and the former’s tragic battle with mental illness.
As far as Bridgerton goes, the focus here is on the very real figure King George III, and a lot of screen time is devoted to him in this new series.
This historical fact-based article will take a look at and answer the question of what illness did King George have in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?
Who is King George in Bridgerton?
Bridgerton takes place in the early 1800s and, as such, is pretty much a fictionalized Victorian-era England. In the show, the country is under the rule of King George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte. Previously King George only appeared in three episodes of the series.
He is first seen in season 1, episode 5, then, in Bridgerton Season 2, the King rudely interrupts the queen during a meeting with the Sharmas, wrapped in only his bedclothes, convinced by the idea that it is his and the queen’s wedding day.
King George III would become the reigning monarch in 1760. He married Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (a territory in northern Germany) in 1761.
King George III would reign from 1760 till his death in 1820 and was the longest-reigning monarch before Queen Victoria.
He was the first Hanoverian King born in England as opposed to Germany.
What mental illness did King George have in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?
There has been long-running speculation about the mental illness of King George III, and there have been ongoing investigations into his condition that continues even today. The general consensus seems that George was bipolar, a condition that would not be understood or treatable in the 1800s. In the series, there are scenes of the King being dunked in cold water to help his condition, a practice known today as wild sea swimming.
The true and exact nature of his mental illness still provokes debate.
Is King George’s illness in Bridgerton historically accurate?
It is difficult to accurately assess the extent and nature of King George’s illness. In 1969, it was first diagnosed that he had Porphyria, a blood disorder known to cause restlessness, insomnia, confusion, anxiety, paranoia, and sometimes hallucinations. However, further research would then reveal that this may not have been accurate.
In 2010 researchers would take a different approach to the King’s case. They would instead look at his handwritten letters, and analysis would find two very different styles, indicative of the euphoric and depressed states associated with bipolar disorder.
So with no exact diagnosis, the show would portray, to the best of its abilities, the deteriorating nature of the mental illness and its effects on King George.
What is true is that Queen Charlotte would stay with The King through his illness and would be supportive and loyal throughout his reign.