Bridgerton's King George illness explained: What did the Queen Charlotte character suffer from?
5 May 2023, 11:16 | Updated: 5 May 2023, 16:42
Queen Charlotte's India Amarteifio & Corey Mylchreest Interview Each Other | Bridgerton
Corey Mylchreest says that King George was "so much more than a madman" and he wants people to know that.
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Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story explores King George III's history with mental illness and the story is based on real life.
At the end of the first episode of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, it becomes clear that King George is hiding something from Queen Charlotte. Instead of spending their first night as newlyweds together, George houses Charlotte in a completely different palace. It's only as the series progresses that we learn why George is so reluctant to be open with Charlotte.
READ MORE: Will there be a Queen Charlotte season 2? The future of the Bridgerton spin-off explained
As portrayed in Bridgerton, King George was known as "The Mad King" due to his various struggles with mental illness and Queen Charlotte shines light on this. However, as actor Corey Mylchreest stresses, the series also seeks to explore who George was outside of his mental illness.
What is wrong with King George in Queen Charlotte?
Throughout his reign, it's been documented that King George had struggles with mental illness. One time, he foamed at the mouth and was unable to speak coherently for hours. Another time, he became aggressive and was held in a straitjacket. There were also rumours that George once mistook a tree for the King of Prussia and tried to shake hands with it.
In the final decade of his reign, George's mental health took a turn for the worse and he rarely made public appearances. It is believed that the death of his favourite daughter Princess Amelia heavily affected him and he spent his final years in Windsor Castle. George passed away from pneumonia at the age of 81 in 1820.
Some people believe that George suffered from bipolar disorder but his mental illness was never officially diagnosed. Dr. Munro, who appears in the show, did exist in real life but Queen Charlotte reportedly only allowed him to observe King George. He later resigned after being accused of treating his patients in an inhumane manner.
READ MORE: Bridgerton season 3: Release date, cast, spoilers and what happens next
King George's bouts with mental illness led him to be labelled as 'The Mad King' but Corey Mylchreest and the team behind Queen Charlotte wanted to show King George in a different light. Speaking to Esquire Phillipines about King George, Corey said: "I think he is criminally misunderstood and misrepresented."
Corey continued: "He was so much more than a madman and tried his whole life to do right by himself, by his family, by his people. He really wanted to do the best for everyone involved, and he wasn't the most intelligent person but he was really dedicated to trying. I have such a deep love for him."
Corey then stated that he used Andrew Robert's biography George III: The Life and Reign of Britain's Most Misunderstood Monarch as a reference to educate him more about who King George actually was. The book uses George's actual words and builds a full picture of who he was.
Corey said: "I can't stress enough how in 2015, there were 20,000 pages of George's private journals and letters—some of them to Charlotte, some to family, hundreds to doctors, that were released by the Royal libraries. The man was amazing."
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