The long-awaited fan-favorite, Bridgerton is back. This time, Shonda Rhimes’ romantic, historical drama focuses on a young Queen Charlotte. The spinoff premiered May 4. India Amarteifio plays a Queen Charlotte in the prequel.

The main characters of the fictional television drama are based on the real Queen Charlotte and King George III. The story told in the show is about the couple’s love and Charlotte’s rise to power. Viewers praise the show’s writing and its Black lead whose natural hair is celebrated throughout the production.

Natural Hair Styling On Television

Amarteifio sat down with Teen Vogue to discuss how her natural tresses play a factor in her ability to execute her role. She praises Black hair regardless of its texture or state. Amarteifio loves how the show leans into the the narrative that Black hair can be elegant and sophisticated no matter the texture. Amarteifio was honored to play a woman of such opulence and rock her natural hair while doing so. 

The actress shared that since her days as a child actress, she faced anxiety around having her hair styled on set. She was often left to wonder if she would suffer heat damage or have her curls ruined by a stylist that did not understand her texture. In the interview she points out that the industry is are evolving and afro-textured hair is becoming less of a novelty and more common place.

Queen Charlotte Is More than Her Race

The prequel follows the queen’s journey to marry the young, King George III. The arranged marriage is set to unify racial tensions in the kingdom. Amarteifio says her character will endure microaggressions because her race does matter, but she says her character’s title sets the tone on the show. 

Amarteifio credits Rhimes for uplifting Black women in her shows. She says Rhimes makes people “feel included.” Amarteifio says her character’s skin color is a controversial subject but she offers complexities other than her race.