Everything You Need to Remember Before 'Bridgerton' Season 3 Premieres

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington whispering secrets in 'Bridgerton' Season 3

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in 'Bridgerton' Season 3

Netflix

Love is in the air because it's finally time for another season of Bridgerton. The Netflix Regency romance series is loosely based on the best-selling novels by Julia Quinn and adapted by Shonda Rhimes and her production company, Shondaland. The series' name comes from the show's central family; Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) is the mother of eight children and dreams of seeing each of them married for love. Each season follows a different Bridgerton child on their quest for marital bliss, which the anonymous gossip columnist Lady Whistledown also documents.

When it premiered in December 2020, the series instantly became a smash success. It has already launched a spin-off limited series, and the first half of Season 3 premieres on May 16, 2024. The second half of the season follows in June. 

The SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in 2023 delayed Bridgerton Season 3 from premiering, making it two years since we've had new episodes of the flagship series. We know fans love to rewatch, but we also don't blame you if you don't remember everything that went down in the ton in the previous seasons. Telly Visions is here to catch you up and remind you of everything you need to know before Bridgerton Season 3 arrives, including what you may have missed on Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

'Bridgerton' Season 1

Rege-Jean Page as Simon and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne taking a turn around the ballroom in 'Bridgerton' Season 1

Rege-Jean Page as Simon and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne in 'Bridgerton' Season 1

Netflix

The Romance

Bridgerton Season 1 focused on Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, and her relationship with Duke Simon Hastings (Regé Jean Page). The two paired up early on in the series in a fake dating scheme to save Daphne from having to marry her brother Anthony's (Jonathan Bailey) choice of suitor and for Simon to avoid cloying mamas desperate to pair him up with their eligible daughters. Daphne and Simon's quick banter soon paved the way for genuine sexual chemistry and love. Anthony caught them making out – a huge no-no in the Regency era – and the two were forced to marry. The only problem? Simon told Daphne they wouldn't have any children. 

Daphne was willing to give up her dream of having a large family when she thought Simon's declaration meant that he couldn't have children. When she discovered that he simply refused to have children to spite his dead, abusive father, their marriage almost imploded. The duo were able to repair their broken trust after Simon purposefully misled her about what was going on between them in the bedroom, and Daphne forced Simon to completion during one of their sexual escapades (It was not a great moment, for her or the show!). Simon realized that creating a happy life with Daphne, the woman he loved, was more important than sticking it to his dad, who was no longer alive to feel the spite. 

The two remained married and Daphne gave birth to a baby boy nearly a year later while Anthony decided it was time for him to start looking for a wife. 

The Cliffhanger

Throughout Season 1, Daphne and Simon's romance, along with all the other gossip in the ton, was chronicled by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, voiced by the iconic Julie Andrews. The end of Season 1 revealed that wallflower Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) was actually writing the scathing newsletters that the entire ton was obsessed with. 

Other Important Notes

  • Anthony may be the eldest boy of Bridgerton, but his brother Benedict (Luke Thompson) is the fan-favorite. The audience fell in love with Benedict's dreamer spirit and his art school aspirations – and also picked up on the sexual tension between him and Sir Henry Granville (Julian Ovenden), though it did not come to anything. 

  • Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) fell for the Featherington cousin Marina (Ruby Barker), only to discover that she was pregnant out of wedlock. Colin was willing to marry her anyway until a column from Lady Whistledown exposed the scandal, and Marina ended up with the brother of the father of her baby, after learning that her former lover had died at war. 

  • Penelope's father, Baron Featherington (Ben Miller), was murdered at the end of the season, leaving the family, including mother Portia Featherington (Polly Walker) and unmarried sisters Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Phillipa (Harriet Cains), penniless after he gambled away their entire fortune. 

'Bridgerton' Season 2

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony, Simone Ashley as Kate nearly kiss in 'Bridgerton' Season 2

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma and Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in 'Bridgerton' Season 2

Netflix

The Romance

Season 2 turned the focus to Anthony, the eldest Bridgerton child and the Viscount of the town. After seeing his father die from a bee sting when he was only 18, Anthony refused to marry for love in case he should also suffer an early death. He did not want his wife to be heartbroken like his mother. He entered an engagement with the charming Edwina Schwarma (Charithra Chandran) despite having a contentious and passionate relationship with her older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). Anthony and Kate tried their best to ignore their feelings for each other under the misguided notion that it was the best for both of their families, but Edwina realized what was going on during her and Anthony's wedding and called the whole thing off. 

Kate and Anthony then had a long apology tour to go on for wasting everyone's time. They still struggled to give up their roles as family martyrs, but when a horseback riding accident led to Kate being concussed, Anthony realized he couldn't live without her. The two got married and stopped hiding from everyone that they were pathologically obsessed with each other. 

The Cliffhanger

Eloise (Claudia Jesse) almost gave up finding Lady Whistledown after starting a scandalous romance with a "radical" newspaper boy. When the queen (Golda Rosheuvel) catches wind, Eloise hangs around the printer; she decides that the second Bridgerton daughter must be Lady Whistledown and demands that she turn herself in. Penelope writes a scathing column about Eloise's affair in Whistledown to take the heat off of Eloise as a suspect, but the column does more to damage Eloise's reputation than even the queen would have done. It also leads Eloise to discover that Penelope is the one who has been behind Whistledown the entire time. Their friendship is destroyed when Eloise finally confronts Penelope, and Penelope refuses to give up on writing the column. 

Other Important Notes

  • Benedict finally went to art school but dropped out when he discovered Anthony had paid for him to get in. No nepo-babying for our boy! 

  • Colin was overheard at The Featherington Ball saying that he would never court Penelope Featherington. Penelope had never suspected her childhood crush of turning into marriage, but hearing him declare it so adamantly to a crowd really hurt. 

  • Portia started a romance with Jack (Rupert Young), the new Baron Featherington, hoping to pull the family out of debt. When Portia realized that Jack was a fraud and would also lead the family to ruin, she took the money he had collected and sent him packing. However, it did get Phillipa married to her true love, Albion Finch (Lorn Macdonald), who is sweet, though not well off, and now one of her remaining daughters must marry well to keep the family in good graces. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Corey Mylchreest as Young King George and India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte take the throne together for the first time as Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta looks on in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Corey Mylchreest as Young King George, India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte, Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023

The Romance

Queen Charlotte is a prequel limited series that primarily tells the story of how young Queen Charlotte's (India Amarteifio) romance with King George (Corey Mylchreest) was forged. It was an arranged marriage, but George completely charmed Charlotte before the wedding ceremony when he caught her trying to escape over the garden wall. They tie the knot in the first episode, but then George immediately distances himself because he doesn't want Charlotte to discover he is prone to delusions and mental breaks. 

The two are forced by the societal expectation for them to produce an heir to have sex, which not only forces them to be in physical proximity to each other but also to let their guards down. George became more endeavored to heal his psychosis and volunteered for dangerous experimental treatments without Charlotte's knowledge. When she eventually discovered what was going on, she immediately put a stop to it and the couple's confrontation about it led to one of the most romantic declarations in all of the Bridgerton universe. George stopped trying to fix himself, and Charlotte helped guide him through being king as best she could. 

Other Important Notes

  • Queen Charlotte also explains how Charlotte championed giving people of color titles within the ton. Lady Agatha Danbury (Arsema Thomas) became a close friend of Charlotte's and helped her see why the new titleholders needed her help. 

  • The limited series oscillated between young Charlotte and George's early days, to the "present day" between Bridgerton Seasons 2 and 3. In the future timeline, Charlotte's main mission was to get one of her underachieving children to produce an heir for the crown so their father's legacy wouldn't end with them. One of her daughters was pregnant with a potential heir by the end of the season.

  • After the death of her first husband, Lady Danbury struck up an unexpected romance with Lord Ledger (Keir Charles), Violet Bridgerton's father. The affair was brief but meaningful for both of them. It was kept a secret until adult Violet discovered that Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) possessed one of her father's birthday crowns. 

What to Know Before 'Bridgerton' Season 3

Claudia Jessie, Luke Newton, Ruth Gemmell, and Hannah Dodd in "Bridgerton" Season 3

Claudia Jessie, Luke Newton, Ruth Gemmell, and Hannah Dodd in "Bridgerton" Season 3

(Photo: Netflix)

Bridgerton Season 3 will center on Penelope and Colin's romance and adapt the Romancing Mr. Bridgerton novel. It is a friend-to-lovers story arc, with a splash of the Cyrano trope. Colin returns to the ton at the top of Season 3 after traveling around the continent to find that Penelope has had a makeover and has not forgiven him for his declaration at The Featherington Ball about never wanting to court her. To make amends, he offers to tutor her in flirting so that she can find a husband and escape her suffocating house. However, the lessons work too well, and Colin finds himself rethinking his previous claims about Penelope and worrying that it might be too late to do anything about the new revelations. 

Meanwhile, Penelope is balancing her search for a husband while still writing Lady Whistledown. The latter task is made harder by the fact that her best friend is still not speaking to her. Is Penelope really willing to let her prowess as Lady Whistledown trump her years of friendship with Eloise? 

Penelope is not the only one questioning things. Lady Bridgerton is also thinking about the future after a late second sexual awakening during Queen Charlotte. Fans will be eager to see if love is in the cards for the dowager viscountess and whether she'll bring it up to Lady Danbury, who she still hasn't confronted about sleeping with her father when they were both much younger. 

We also wait with bated breath to find out which Bridgerton sibling will be the next one to look for love. If it's not Benedict, we all revolt, right?

Bridgerton Season 3, Part 1 premieres Thursday, May 16, 2024 on Netflix. Part 2 arrives on Thursday, June 13, 2024.

 


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Megan Vick has been writing about pop culture on the internet professionally since she was 18 years old, but she's not going to tell you how long ago that was. 

She grew up on British TV thanks to her very British mother, but she also loves mom shows of all kinds and YA romances. Her byline has appeared in TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and more. 

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