Who else is not-so-patiently waiting for Bridgerton season 3? *Raises hands*
Sure, we got our Ton fix with the Bridgerton spinoff, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, but we're still missing the O.G. Regency series. In all honesty, we've barely recovered from the love story in Bridgerton season 2 (hello Jonathan Bailey), which aired back in March 2022, but rest assured, we're ready for all the season 3 steaminess that awaits. Excitingly, Nicola Coughlan (a.k.a. Lady Whistledown herself) is getting her much-deserved time in the spotlight in the next go-round
Netflix confirmed the third season—and fourth!—of the hit period piece back in April 2021, which has given us plenty of time to gab and gossip over what we might be seeing in the show's third edition. After all, there are eight Bridgerton siblings, all of whom have their own dedicated book to explore their quests for love.
However, it looks like we may be getting a shake-up in terms of cast members, according to a January 2023 interview. Here's what fans can expect from Bridgerton season 3.
What will 'Bridgerton' season 3 be about?
Nicola Coughlan, who plays both Penelope Featherington and her gossipmonger alter ego Lady Whistledown, has confirmed what Bridgerton fans have long been suspecting: Bridgerton season 3 will focus on Penelope and Colin's love story.
In a post on Instagram on May 16, 2022, Coughlan wrote: "Like Lady Whistledown I’ve been keeping quite a big secret for quite a long time… but I can finally tell you that @bridgertonnetflix Season Three is Colin and Penelope’s Story."
Now, this may come as a surprise for some fans of the books, as the Netflix adaption has followed Julia Quinn's novel order up until now. Each Bridgerton book focuses on a different sibling, as does each respective season of the show, and we now know that showrunners are changing up the order, switching focus from Quinn's third book An Offer From A Gentleman—which follows the romantic adventures of Colin's older brother Benedict—for the fourth tome, Romancing Mister Bridgerton.
Season two's leading lady Simone Ashely confirmed as such in an interview with People: "I think we're passing the baton to Nicola and Luke. I'm so excited for them to perform their love story and to see what they've got up their sleeves. I think they're going to smash it out of the park."
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And if you're wondering if any of the plotlines in that Bridgerton prequel will have an effect on the future season, we've got word there, too. "There are some story points and story secrets that will definitely be played out in the next season of Bridgerton," Queen Charlotte creator and Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment Tonight.
"A lot of the stuff [established in Queen Charlotte], I will take forward [in Bridgerton]. You can use it as another layer," says the actress playing Queen Charlotte herself, Golda Rosheuvel, who features in both the original series and the spinoff. Maybe you'll even see some of Charlotte's adult children mixing it up in the Ton come future episodes of Bridgerton. "Whether they will arrive in Bridgerton seasons 4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9 [or] 10, I'm not sure how long but we'll see," she added. "Bridgerton is a different beast because it's about a different family... [It'd] be really lovely to dip in and out of other characters."
What are the 'Bridgerton' season 3 episode titles?
In September 2022, Netflix dropped "The Bridgerton Cast Portrait Challenge," where Nicola Coughlan gave a little taste of what's coming. In the video, we caught a brief glimpse of episode one's script which is titled, "Out of the Shadows," which could mean major character developments are in store for Penelope in the season premiere alone!
Nicola then went on to give us a little snippet from Lady's Whistledown's infamous column, saying: "Dearest gentle reader, we’ve been apart for far too long. At last, London’s smart set has made its return, and so too has this author."
She continued: "As the season begins, the question on everyone’s mind is, of course, which newly-minted debutante will shine the brightest? The crop this year appears to be rather dazzling indeed. Unfortunately, not every young lady can attract the light."
Who will be in the 'Bridgerton' season 3 cast?
As season three will focus on Colin and Pen, Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton are definitely returning. We will also likely see the return of Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, as things were left unresolved with him last season.
If showrunners do decide to lay the groundwork for Benedict's love story after all, then we will likely see a few new cast members, but there's no word yet on who would play Sophie Beckett or her evil stepmother Araminta.
Unfortunately, season one lead Phoebe Dynevor shocked fans everywhere in January 2023 with the reveal that she would not be reprising her role as Daphne Bridgerton in the third edition. "Sadly not in season 3, potentially in the future," she told ScreenRant about her participation in the Netflix series. "But season 3, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer."
Will Kate and Anthony be back for 'Bridgerton' season 3?
Yes, the Viscount and the Viscountess Bridgerton will make their grand return for season 3. While the first season's main couple Daphne and Simon were not shown together in season two due to star Regé-Jean Page's departure from the show, series newcomer Simone Ashley confirmed to Deadline that both enemies-to-lover Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton will be featured together next season.
“We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started,” Ashley told the outlet. “We have the amazing Jess Brownell who is taking the lead as showrunner in Season three. In Season two, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end. I think everything is just starting. I’d like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in Season three and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it.”
What is 'Romancing Mr. Bridgerton' about?
*Warning: season 2 spoilers ahead!*
Quinn's fourth book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, focuses on developing Colin and Penelope's relationship—which has now been confirmed as the plot of Bridgerton season three, much to the disappointment of Benedict stans.
Despite the end of season two leaving things looking very uncertain between the pair after Pen overhears Colin tell friends he would 'never marry her,' they do end up together in the books.
Things heat up between them when Colin confides in Penelope his fears that Eloise is in fact Lady Whistledown. Penelope tries to reassure him that she is not, but Colin makes the valid point that someone simply accusing her would see Eloise ruined. To evidence his fears, he tells Pen the same would be true if the Ton found out that they had kissed while meeting—even if they hadn't...
This conversation then results in, you guessed it, a kiss. In true romantic-novel fashion, this kiss blows Colin's mind and he becomes conflicted with his feelings. Things become more complicated when he spots Pen getting into her carriage and follows her to Lady Whistledown's printers. He discovers her secret and they argue, but somehow along the way, the argument turns into a proposal.
The pair get married after spending a night together during a very eventful ball—but we won't spoil that one for you.
What is 'An Offer From A Gentleman' about?
Julia Quinn's third Bridgerton book, An Offer From A Gentleman, opens with a Cinderella-type ball as Sophie Beckett sneaked out in a ballgown to attend a masquerade at the Bridgerton house. And yes, we did say sneak because even though Sophie was supposed to be raised as the earl’s ward, due to his untimely death and his hateful wife, she is treated more like a servant than a member of the family.
Even though Sophie tries to stay in the background at the party, she catches the eye of Benedict Bridgerton and they have a meet-cute. However, it all goes downhill when Sophie returns home, as her stepmother learns of her night out on Ton and accuses Sophie of theft—which at this time is punishable by death. She then kicks Sophie out onto the streets, starting Sophie's life on the run.
Benedict, meanwhile, searches for the beautiful woman he met at his family’s ball but whose identity he doesn't know. (The whole masquerade thing, remember?) The majority of the book flashes forward two years later and let us tell you, if you think seasons one and two were steamy, book three gives them a run for their money because Benedict and Sophie’s chemistry is insane.
It now seems like Benedict and Sophie's story will be put on hold until season four, but we may still get some relationship set up in season three. It's clear Shonda Rhimes has no issue interweaving the siblings' collected stories and love interests even if it's not their dedicated season.
Plus, we know season three is in good hands as last May, Netflix announced that Jess Brownell was taking over as Bridgerton showrunner for seasons three and four. Brownell is no guest to Shondaland, as she has worked on Scandal, Inventing Anna and the first two seasons of Bridgerton. Safe to say she knows what she’s doing!
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When is 'Bridgerton' season 3 coming out?
Given the release date of season two, we predict season 3 to drop at some point in 2023. Of course, we'll keep you posted when specifics and teaser trailers drop.
Liv is a freelance journalist currently studying English at university. She loves covering everything from entertainment and politics to lifestyle and travel. As well as writing for My Imperfect Life, Liv has bylines in The Times, HuffPost, Den of Geek, Bustle The Metro and The Bookseller.
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