Netflix's 'Queen Charlotte' x Big Freedia Honor Black Royalty at Xavier University
An inclusive love letter to NOLA with a special performance from Big Freedia, herself.
In celebration of Shonda Rhimes‘ upcoming series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Netflix partners with the renowned HBCU Xavier University and icon Big Freedia for an evening of inclusivity, Black joy and royalty.
As Queen of Bounce, a style of hip hop that originated in NOLA, Big Freedia is among the likes of all of your favs — and directly responsible for influencing them, too. As a performer and activist, Big Freedia frequently puts on for her city and this past weekend, she joined Netflix and Shondaland to give the girls at Xavier University a treat they would never forget.
Based on the plot of Netflix’s Queen Charlotte, “the celebration was a love letter to the royal culture at HBCUs,” Netflix revealed. In attendance was Xavier University’s 87th Miss Xavier Nina Giddens, a proud queer woman who carried the evening with poise, Miss Dillard University, Miss Praire View A&M University and Miss Tuskegee. The evening echoed similar sentiments of Queen Charlotte from queer representation across the royal court, femme celebration via an all women-band, The Pinette’s – who effortlessly kept us dancing on our feet — and of course, the evening’s notable guest, big Freedia. “I think the story is so important for audiences because it gives all different queens from all different walks of life an opportunity to be viewed and to be seen in their own light,” she shared on the red carpet.
Front and center was a replica of Queen Charlotte’s crown that doubled as an art installation and the stage, where NOLA’s queen Big Freedia performed. As she hit the stage, the student body flocked to the crown to watch their queen perform her new Bridgerton-themed single, “Hey Queen.” In fact, the 20-foot tall crown “was rendered from the crown Charlotte actually wears in the show,” and will soon go on a tour, Netflix revealed. “We used a 3D scanner to create a model that the final product was rendered from” and in total, “it weighs over 2000 pounds” with “over 1,600 beads and 160 metal-cut flowers.”
Down to the details, the Spring Waltz exceeded all expectations due to one simple reason: for the evening, the Black struggle was not a hot commodity — as it usually is for the media. Instead, Black joy and royalty in all forms took precedence. From the 87th Miss Xavier prioritizing LGBTQIA+ representation to honoring Big Freedia and New Orleans culture, the event reminded the world why we are proud to be Black.
Big Freedia shared a similar sentiment. “New Orleans is a special place, I mean there’s no place like it in the world. I think New Orleans is very open-minded, our culture is very different here. We’re LGBTQ-friendly and we’re very open… and we got the qing of New Orleans here to represent for tonight,” she joked about herself.
“I think the story is so important for audiences because it gives all different queens from all different walks of life an opportunity to be viewed and to be seen in their own light,” Freedia concluded.
View the gallery above for the full experience, and tune into Big Freedia’s “Hey Queen” below.