The Love Story Behind Bridgerton Season 3 Might Not Be What You Expect

Fret not after that tumultuous Bridgerton season 2 finale: Lady Whistledown will write again. Netflix announced way back on April 13, 2021, that it had already renewed the dazzling period romance for each a 3rd and fourth season, just because the highly anticipated second season began filming within the U.K.

Bridgerton relies on a series of eight novels (and multiple “epilogues”) written by Julia Quinn and adapted for Netflix by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland productions. They follow the Bridgerton family, comprised of widowed matriarch Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and her eight children, as they seek marriage matches in Regency England’s high society. The primary season, which premiered Dec. 25, 2020, broke Netflix viewing records because it followed eldest daughter Daphne’s (Phoebe Dynevor) seek for a husband, and her unexpected reference to the dashing Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Season 2 then tackled the second book within the series, honing in on eldest brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey)’s enemies-to-lovers romance with the foolhardy Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). Nevertheless it seems Netflix has every intention to proceed this story far beyond these installments.

“Bridgerton swept us off our feet,” Netflix VP of Global TV Bela Bajaria said in an announcement when seasons 3 and 4 were first announced. “The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the fabric and delivered a gorgeous, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They’ve some exciting plans for the long run, and we predict audiences will proceed to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be within the Bridgerton business for a very long time to come back.”

After a finale that resulted in marital bliss for Anthony and Kate but stinging deception for Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and her best friend, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), here’s what we find out about what could come next.

When will Bridgerton season 3 come out?

To this point, there isn’t any word yet on when the subsequent installment will land—only that it’s, actually, forthcoming and currently in production. Season 2 premiered slightly over a 12 months after season 1, but on condition that production was slowed by the pandemic, it’s possible the creative team might hasten season 3’s development. If that’s the case, we could possibly be taking a look at a spring 2023 debut date for the subsequent chapter.

Who will the season concentrate on?

Bridgerton season 3 will concentrate on Penelope, aka Lady Whistledown, and Colin Bridgerton’s (Luke Newton) romance, Coughlan confirmed in the course of the FYSEE panel on May 15, per Variety.

In an official synopsis, Netflix revealed that:

“Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) after hearing his disparaging words about her last season. She has, nonetheless, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to proceed her double life as Lady Whistledown, distant from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the wedding mart fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a recent look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to understand that Penelope, the one one who all the time appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Desperate to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope within the ways of confidence to assist her discover a husband this season. But when his lessons start working slightly too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), who has found a recent friend in a impossible place, while Penelope’s growing presence within the ton makes it all of the tougher to maintain her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret.”

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 2.

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

This direction marks a departure from the order of Quinn’s books; within the written series, the subsequent Bridgerton to get the lead treatment can be Benedict (Luke Thompson), who takes center stage in An Offer From a Gentleman. The story pulls heavily from Cinderella lore: Benedict falls for one Sophie Beckett, an earl’s daughter forced into servitude by her hateful stepmother. The Colin-focused book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, is fourth within the line-up.

Jess Brownell, who will succeed Chris Van Dusen as showrunner for season 3, explained the change to Variety. “I actually feel prefer it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching each of those actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them slightly bit. We all know who they’re as people,” she said. “I feel like, especially within the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks as much as the road of just about realizing that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there. As a substitute of treading water on that dynamic, we desired to push it into their season. It really felt like the right moment to tee it up.”

Coughlan already knew in regards to the season 3 plans since “two weeks into filming season two,” she told E! News, “so I had a whole lot of time to regulate to it.” The actress also joked about whether she’s able to film sex scenes: “I’m gonna should be!”

Other than the romance at its focus, season 3 will definitely delve deeper into its juicy subplots as well. At the top of season 2, Eloise had finally learned her best friend’s identity as Lady Whistledown; Jessie guarantees the fallout is unlikely to dissipate any time soon. She told ELLE.com, “I believe Eloise won’t tell anyone [Penelope’s secret]. I believe Eloise will proceed to be a great mate and never tell anyone, because what does Eloise gain, really? I do think they’ll make up, but I do not think it’ll occur quickly.”

Will the solid return?

After Page famously departed Bridgerton following his season 1 run, citing his accomplished arc and one-season commitment to the series, many fans is likely to be wondering if Bailey, Ashley, and other recent favorites will return for the third season. Thankfully, Ashley confirmed to Deadline that each she and Bailey plan to participate. “We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are only getting began,” she told the outlet, adding, “I’d wish to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in season 3 and sort of swim in that circle of affection together. I believe they each deserve it.”

Other solid members who’ve yet to explore their very own romances are expected to return as well, including Penelope, Eloise, Colin, Benedict, and more. In an interview with ELLE.com, Jessie revealed she has every intention to play Eloise “for so long as they’ll let me. I’ll happily be doing this fashion into my 40s.”

On May 14, 2021, Netflix also announced Jess Brownell would take over as Bridgerton showrunner for seasons 3 and 4. While we eagerly await further news from the ton, you are all the time welcome to dip into the source material to satisfy your cravings.

Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal) has been solid as Francesca Bridgerton for season 3, replacing actress Ruby Stokes who exited to work on Netflix’s upcoming Lockwood & Co. series. Variety reported the news on May 12, following the character’s noticeable absence within the second season. “I really like Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2,” Chris Van Dusen previously told TVLine. “After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come back out resulting from reasons beyond our control.”

anatomy of a scandal world premiere arrivals

Hanna Dodd, who will play Francesca Bridgerton in season 3, attends the Anatomy of a Scandal premiere in April 2022.

Jeff SpicerGetty Images

Netflix also announced three recent solid members for the third season: Daniel Francis (Stay Close) plays Marcus Anderson, a charismatic presence who lights up any room he enters, attracting the notice of certain matriarchs within the ton—and the ire of others. Sam Phillips (The Crown) plays Lord Debling, a genial lord with unusual interests; but with wealth and a noble title to back up his eccentricities, he’ll don’t have any shortage of interest from young ladies this season. And James Phoon (Wreck) plays Harry Dankworth: What he lacks in wit and intelligence, he greater than makes up for with serious attractiveness.

Are there any trailers or photos of the brand new season yet?

Decelerate there; season 3 just began filming. Nonetheless, the solid treated us to a behind-the-scenes sneak peek on July 20, confirming that production is officially underway in London. “Bridgerton season 3 filming has officially begun,” Coughlan says in the fast montage, as Newton joins her in a carriage on set.

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Is Regé-Jean Page coming back?

Sadly, no. Shortly after rumors bubbled up saying Page would return to reprise his role because the Duke of Hastings, the actor himself put the speculation to rest with an Instagram post on June 21. In it, he poses together with his former co-star Jonathan Bailey and wrote within the caption: “The boys are back on the town. ❤️ (No, I’m not going back to the show btw – the papers made that one up.) But we had the perfect, and most stylish, catch up I’ve had shortly over some truly excellent Italian coffee and sunshine ☕️.”

Read the Books that Inspired ‘Bridgerton’

Page later added that he’d be okay with Netflix recasting his former role: “They’re free to do as they like.” he said.


Associate Editor
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.


Senior Culture Editor
Julie Kosin is the senior culture editor of ELLE.com, where she oversees all things movies, TV, books, music, and art, from trawling Netflix for a worthy binge to endorsing your next book club pick.

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