‘Bridgerton’: The Surprising Story of How Golda Rosheuvel’s Parents Met

Bridgerton has captivated audiences everywhere thanks to its perfect combination of period drama and lighthearted comedy. It’s Shonda Rhimes’ first show for Netflix as part of her multi-year deal with the streaming giant, and it has already become one of the company’s biggest shows to date.

Bridgerton cast without Lady Whistlefown
The Bridgerton family on Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ | Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2020

‘Bridgerton’ has a TV first

One of the first things viewers notice about the world of Bridgerton is that it portrays 19th-century England as a racially diverse society, unlike what most people have come to know. Most notable is the fact that for the first time in on-screen history, Queen Charlotte is played by a Black woman.

Longtime theatre actor Golda Rosheuvel captures everything about her regal character while injecting it with her own unique personality. The experience was emotional for Rosheuvel, who told Insider that seeing more actors of color in period dramas was “long overdue.” 

“It’s so empowering for an actress,” she admitted, “to have that background and that feeling that a person in the 1800s could have been fighting for her people and could have been fighting for representation.”

Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton | Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2020
Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton | Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2020

Golda Rosheuvel wasn’t born in the UK

Despite building a career over the past two decades in London, Rosheuvel wasn’t born anywhere in the UK — or anywhere in Europe, for that matter. She recently spoke about her early life in an interview with supermodel Naomi Campbell for her web show No Filter with Naomi.

Rosheuvel was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1970. At the time, Guyana had only become independent from British colonial rule a few years prior. As a country, Guyana has a diverse population of people hailing from all over the world, including Black descendants of slaves, Indian descendants of indentured servants, and several Indigenous groups.

Despite this, interracial marriages were frowned upon both in Guyana and around the world at the time, which is why Rosheuvel’s parents’ love story is so inspiring to her.

“I remember my parents being in love,” Rosheuvel reminisced. “My parents left me very, very grounded. Both me and my brother have good heads on our shoulders and good feet on the earth, and I’m so proud to call them my mother and father.”

Rosheuvel went on to describe the hardship that they faced as a young couple and how it affected how she grew up to see the world — and them.

“[I]n Guyana, that’s the feeling that I always had with my parents: of being super, super proud of their journey, of their struggle, being a mixed-race couple back in the day. It wasn’t easy for them.”

Golda Rosheuvel attends the press night after party for "The American Clock" at Baltic on February 13, 2019 in London, England | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
Golda Rosheuvel attends the press night after party for “The American Clock” at Baltic on February 13, 2019 in London, England | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

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Golda Rosheuvel’s parents met in an endearing way

In the 1960s, Rosheuvel’s father was a Church of England priest, and as a result, was musically talented across several instruments. That love of music is what brought her parents together.

According to Guyanese publication Stabroek News, her father, Siegfried Rosheuvel, was in Barbados for a music event. It was there where met the niece of the Bishop of Barbados at the time, Judith Evans. They married in Guyana where her father was doing his missionary work and moved around several times before going to the UK when she was 5 years old.

“They had a love of so many things,” Rosheuvel recalled. “They met in Barbados singing in a choir together. And they stood next to each other, and my mom tells this story of how my dad started to sing, and… that was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard.”

“So that kind of ignited the flame of love, I suppose,” she smiled.