What Is the Queen Sniffing in "Bridgerton"? A Brief History Lesson

At several points throughout "Bridgerton," we see the imperious, gossip-loving Queen Charlotte stepping aside to sniff a brown, powdered substance up her nose. While sniffing or snorting a substance typically has a very particular connotation in present day, no one bats an eye when Queen Charlotte does it. Here's what you need to know about the substance Queen Charlotte is sniffing.

What Is the Powder Queen Charlotte Sniffs in "Bridgerton"?

The name of the substance the queen is snorting was actually revealed in season one when, at one point, the queen orders her nosy manservant to fetch her more "snuff" as a means of getting him out of the room while she has a conversation with Violet Bridgerton.

What Is Snuff?

Although we do see at least one character getting very high off of an unspecified substance in "Bridgerton" season two, and the queen consumes her snuff by inhaling it through her nose, it's not actually a "hard" drug habit like modern viewers might assume.

Snuff is a finely powdered tobacco product, which was something of a status symbol in the 1700s and 1800s. The tobacco powder was often combined with other ingredients for added scent. Essentially, snuff provided the nicotine that users craved without the actual smoke of other tobacco products.

Historically, taking snuff was actually a very popular habit, especially in Regency-era England where "Bridgerton" is set. It was especially popular among the upper classes, functioning to denote wealth and status as opposed to other, more "common" tobacco products. In fact, according to BBC History, the real Queen Charlotte was nicknamed "Snuffy Charlotte" for her well-known and extensive snuff habit!

Is Golda Rosheuvel Really Sniffing Snuff on Camera in "Bridgerton"?

No, the actual substance Golda Rosheuvel (who plays the queen) is sniffing on the "Bridgerton" set isn't the authentic snuff! Rosheuvel told Decider that the powder they used for filming is basically a dyed sugar substance. "I think it's like glucose stuff. At the end of the day I'm like, yeah, wild sugar rush," Rosheuvel said. "It's harmless, it's fine. Absolutely harmless."