Ending Explained

‘Sanditon’ Ending Explained: Does Charlotte Marry Colbourne?

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It feels like another lifetime ago that Sanditon fans watched young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) save Tom (Kris Marshall) and Mary Parker (Kate Ashfield) from their overturned carriage only to embark on a journey like no other. And now, an older, wiser Charlotte finally has come to her story’s end. Is it one of heartache like no other or did Charlotte finally get her happy ending? Did Charlotte marry Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes)? And is this really the end of Sanditon for good?

Since January 2020, Masterpiece on PBS fans have looked on as Charlotte first fell in love with Sidney Parker (Theo James), lost him because of a cruel twist of fate. In Sanditon Season 2, she learned to love again with Alexander Colbourne, but after a misunderstanding, she returned to Willingden and found herself stuck in an engagement with childhood friend Ralph (Cai Bridgen). When we last left Charlotte in Sanditon Season 3 Episode 5, she seemed finally free from her engagement, ergo free to marry her Mr. Colbourne. But did Sanditon‘s series finale end with wedding bells for Charlotte and Colbourne? Or still more heartbreak?

Here’s everything you need to know about the end of Sanditon on Masterpiece on PBS, including whether or not there’s a chance for a Sanditon Season 4…

Charlotte and Colbourne's wedding day on 'Sanditon'
Photo: PBS

Sanditon Ending Explained: Does Charlotte Marry Colbourne? Who Does Georgiana Marry? Does Everyone Live Happily Ever After?

Yes! Yes, she does! Charlotte marries Colbourne at the end of Sanditon Season 3. However, there is a moment where it seems she might not get that happy ending after all.

Even though Charlotte is free to marry Colbourne in Sanditon Season 3 Episode 6, he still believes her to be engaged. Because of this, he makes it known that he intends to move on and marry someone else. Specifically, Lydia Montrose (Alice Orr-Ewing). Charlotte never gets the chance to reveal to Colbourne that she’s no longer engaged, so when she learns Lydia is engaged, she gives up all hope. She decides it’s time to leave Sanditon and meet up with her sister Alison (Rosie Graham) in Ireland.

Luckily, news of this mix up reaches Colbourne in the nick of time. He races off on horseback to rendezvous with Charlotte’s carriage. When the two finally speak, he explains Lydia was carrying on a secret courtship and they are free to marry whomever they both choose. Colbourne declares his love once more, the two kiss, and next thing you know, they’re married.

However, Charlotte and Colbourne aren’t the only Sanditon couples who get a happy ending.

Georgiana (Crystal Clarke) marries Otis Molyneux (Jyuddah Jaymes) and the Parkers reaffirm their love after Mary nearly dies of illness. Although Lady Denham (Anne Reid) refuses to marry old flame Rowleigh Pryce (James Bolam), they agree to stick together as partners. Arthur Parker (Turlough Convery) and his love Harry Montrose (Edward Davis) are free to shack up in Wales together, and Augusta (Eloise Webb) bounces back from her tryst with Edward Denham (Jack Fox).

“I’ve said only half facetiously that the [Sanditon] season finale is basically Regency Love Actually because there’s so many love stories being resolved, left, right, and center. It was a real juggling act. I have to say,” Sanditon showrunner Justin Young told Decider.

But is everything resolved? Is Sanditon really over?

Charlotte (Rose Williams) in 'Sanditon' Season 3
Photo: PBS

Will There Be a Sanditon Season 4?

Sanditon fans know that the show has come back from the dead before, so could it happen again? Current showrunner Justin Young told Decider that he’d prefer the story end with Season 3.

“I’m really, really happy with how it ends. Honestly, I am and I really, really hope the audience will be, too,” Young said. “And it was funny because I think while we were making [Season] 2 and 3, there were ongoing conversations about, you know, leaving the door open about building up to a possible Season 4.”

“And I was always a bit wary about that because as a storyteller, it’s always, you know, it’s much more satisfying if you have an end point in mind. If you know where the story’s going to resolve, you can build to it. If, you know, you’ve got to leave things open ended, as we all learned at the end of season one, it can be a little bit trickier.”

“I felt very, very clear in my own mind that that was the end of the show. Certainly for me and I think my colleagues agree,” Young said. “There’s another parallel universe where it’s [like] Downtown Abbey and it runs forever. But I’m also kind of pleased that people can now approach it as, you know, sort of like a close-ended trilogy that is its own self-contained thing. And I think that’s quite nice. I think that’s quite, you know, quite lovely.”

While Young is officially done with Sanditon, executive producer Belinda Campbell didn’t officially close the door on returning to the milieu of the fictional seaside resort.

“You know, never say never on these things,” Campbell said. “I do feel that we have finished a chapter in the life of, we have told those stories and what we didn’t want to do was just to come back to Sanditon, see Charlotte marry, see Georgiana married, and then just turn something into kind of a soap.”

“And that’s one of the reasons that Charlotte Spencer, who played Esther didn’t come back into [Season 3], because much as we just loved her, and, you know, the audience loved her, it really felt we’d completed her story.”

“We didn’t want to sort of dilute the show by just treading water but — new characters? You know, who knows? Who knows what the future might hold?”

When Decider suggested to Campbell that Augusta still needs her happy ending, the EP teased, “I’m sure Mary’s got lots of nieces, nephews, but we’re very happy with how it all came together.”

When Decider asked Rose Williams if she would ever reprise the role of Charlotte Colbourne, she said, “I think [Charlotte’s story] was closed out in a way that I feel really happy about, but you just never know. I mean, for God’s sake after Season 1, that was it. I remember being told that it’s not going again and I had really thought that we were going to go again and processing that kind of disappointment, but also this bittersweet feeling. I’ve had this amazing experience in laying Charlotte to rest and then we were resurrected.”

“So, in this business, you never know.”