This story originally appeared on ELLE AUSTRALIA
Making an explosive debut on Netflix, the release of Bridgerton was one of the silver linings to a rather bleak Christmas day for many.
Billed as Gossip Girl meets Pride and Prejudice, the inclusive period drama arrived at the perfect time, during a holiday season where many remained indoors and at home, ready for their next binge-watch alongside their Christmas feast.
And it looks like Shonda Rhimes’ adaptation of the ever-so popular book series by Julia Quinn has become an instant hit, thanks to its steamy romances, glamorous costumes and charming characters, some who redefined what cutlery should be used for—just ask the Duke Of Hastings.
Set in 1813 Regency-era England, the trials and tribulations of Bridgerton brought in 63 million viewers in just one month, meaning that we weren’t the only ones utterly obsessed with the series.
And of course, fans are wanting to know more about the hit show, and most importantly, whether it will be back for a second season.
Luckily, we’ve done the deep diving for you. Below, everything we know about season two of Bridgerton, from the possible plot to the release date and everything in between.
IS ‘BRIDGERTON’ GETTING A SEASON 2?
Rejoice! Bridgerton is coming back for season two! Officially confirmed by Netflix on January 22 via Twitter, the streaming giant shared a video to mark the announcement.
“Prepare for another social season! @Bridgerton shall be back for Season 2!” the post read.
— Netflix (@netflix) January 21, 2021
Naturally, Lady Whistledown had to make her own announcement about the series return, which she did via the show’s Instagram page, also revealing that the cast will resume production in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring 2021, and that the second season will focus on Anthony Bridgerton.
“Dearest Readers, The ton are abuzz with the latest gossip, and so it is my honour to impart to you: Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season. I do hope you have stored a bottle of ratafia for this most delightful occasion,” she wrote.
“The incomparable cast of Bridgerton will return to production in the Spring of 2021. This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season. I will have my pen ready to report on any and all of his romantic activities.”
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN ‘BRIDGERTON’ SEASON 2?
Bridgerton‘s final episode left a lot of story on the table, meaning that fans are desperately wanting to know what will happen next.
While the series’ first season focused on Daphne Bridgerton and her relationship with the Duke, Simon Basset, they are only just one part of the Bridgerton universe. Based on the bestselling Bridgerton novels by Julia Quinn, the story actually goes on to explore the lives of all eight Bridgerton children, meaning there’s an endless amount of narrative for a second season—and hopefully another six!
As for the next season (and as confirmed by Lady Whistledown), the show will base its plot on the next book in the series: The Viscount Who Loved Me, which follows Anthony Bridgerton’s love triangle between his bride-to-be and her older sister, Kate Sheffield.
For eagle-eyed fans who spotted the bee at in the season finale, they will know how in the second book, Anthony becomes Viscount Bridgerton only after his dad dies suddenly from a bee sting. And throughout the rest of the novel, bees become an important part of the story as Anthony’s love interest, Kate Sheffield, gets stung by one later on in the book, preparing us for Anthony’s storyline for season two.
But of course, as fans have pointed out, the show’s first season didn’t stick to the plot of the first book, proven by the early reveal of Lady Whistledown and early introduction of Marina Thompson. While there’s a good chance that season two will focus on Anthony’s quest to finding love, anything could happen.
Series creator Chris Van Dusen has previously opened up about his desire for a second season, telling The Wrap, “It might be too early to talk about at this point. I do have a plan and a vision in my head to success.”
He added, “The first season was about Daphne and it followed her relationship, her love story with Simon. And the Bridgerton books [written by Julia Quinn]—there are eight books, they are about eight siblings. And in success, I would love to be able to explore stories and romances for every Bridgerton sibling. Of course, I would love to be able to do that.”
WHO WILL PLAY KATE IN ‘BRIDGERTON’ SEASON 2?
As of February 2021, we now know who’ll be the next star that Bridgerton rockets through the Netflix fame pipeline. Simone Ashley will play Anthony’s new romantic love interest, Kate Sharma. Ashley is a face you might already recognize, having previously appeared in another Netflix hit Sex Education.
Per Deadline, her character is new to the London social scene. “Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included.”
In keeping with the tradition set in Bridgerton‘s first season, this is a reworking of the book’s original white character, Kate Sheffield. Ashley’s character Kate Sharma will be from a family of Indian descent, and we’re intrigued to see how the show will incorporate this new addition into the reimagined Regency era.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER NEW CHARACTERS JOINING THE ‘BRIDGERTON’ CAST?
On April 6, Variety reported that four new actors would be joining the original cast and newcomer Simone Ashley, namely Charithra Chandran, Shelly Conn, Calam Lynch and Rupert Young.
Per the outlet, Chandran will play Edwina Sharma, Kate’s younger sister. Chandran shared the announcement to her Instagram page, along with a blurb about her character, which read: “Edwina has been taught by her older sister Kate to be the perfect debutante. She’s kind-natured and endlessly endearing. But while she may be young and naive, she also knows what she wants: a true love match.”
Calam Lynch, who has previously held roles in Dunkirk and Derry Girls, also posted about his new role in the Shondaland series. Set to play Theo Sharpe, his character has been described as a “hardworking printer’s assistant”. The blurb about Theo also states that he’s “not just a working class man” and that he’s “also an intellectual who fights for the rights of all”.
Shelley Conn (The Irregulars, The Deceived) is slated to play Kate’s mother, Mary Sharma. Per Variety, Lady Mary’s marriage once “embroiled her and her family in scandal”. Now, newly returned to London with her daughters, she’s forced into the glare of the ton’s scrutiny yet again.
Rupert Young (Merlin, Doctor Who) will play Jack, who has been described as “the newest member of the ton with a connection to one of its most notable families”.
WHICH CAST MEMBERS WILL BE RETURNING FOR ‘BRIDGERTON’ SEASON 2?
With the first season of Bridgerton setting the scene for each of its characters, it looks likely that said characters will return for a second season—except for Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, AKA the Duke of Hastings.
Lady Whistledown herself broke the sad news (naturally), sharing her latest column on social media on the Easter long weekend with the caption: “Your Grace, it has been a pleasure. 💜🐝”.
In the paper itself, she wrote:
“Dearest Readers, while all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”
It continued: “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer—more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear. Yours Truly, Lady Whistledown.”
Page also stated he wouldn’t be returning for Bridgerton season two on Instagram, confirming that the news was, in fact, not just some delayed April Fool’s joke.
In his post, Page wrote: “The ride of a life time. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family—not just on screen, but off-screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans—it’s all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing ❤️❤️❤️💫.”
Aside from Page, it seems as though the rest of the Bridgerton cast will be returning for season two (although, who knows, we may still see him in future seasons!). Phoebe Dynevor is set to resume her role as Daphne Bridgerton, alongside Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton; Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington; Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson; Johnathon Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton; and Julie Andrews as the God-like Lady Whistledown.
Speaking on the topic of exploring the future of the Bridgerton crowd, Dynevor told Town & Country that she’d love to see future episodes play out, saying: “We’re just focused on the first season right now and getting that out to the world. I would love to explore stories for all the Bridgerton siblings, though.”
For those who’ve made it this far, you surely know that the finale episode revealed that Penelope Featherington was in fact the mysterious gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown. And now that her true identity has been revealed, fans are eager to know how would she fit into another season.
“One of the big things that I am really looking forward to is that, logically, Eloise [Bridgerton] would be entering into society,” Coughlan told BAZAAR U.S.
“And I’m really excited, both in real life and in the story, to have a friend at the balls. Just to let Penelope have a bit more fun, because I feel like she doesn’t get to.”
Coughlan also revealed that she would like to see Penelope “be a young girl and have fun, and hopefully get a little bit more confident.” Adding that the audience’s knowledge of Whistledown’s identity is “going to be amazing, because it’s like they’re in on the secret.”
HAS THE ‘BRIDGERTON’ CAST BEGUN FILMING?
The Bridgerton brothers have officially returned to London! On March 14, Luke Newton, who stars as the youngest of the Bridgerton brother, Colin, confirmed the cast is currently shooting its second season, with the actor posting a series of behind-the-scenes photos to his Instagram, which featured him and his co-stars dressed to film the period drama.
“The boys are back in town,” the 24-year-old actor caption the images.
Not only have the Bridgerton boys returned to the ton, but we’ve now been given our first look at Bridgerton‘s new leading lady in costume.
As of May 2021, photos of Simone Ashley and Jonathon Bailey have hit the internet, pictured at what appears to be the Royal Ascot racecourse. Eagled-eyed Bridgerton fans have also spotted Charithra Chandran, who’ll play Simone Ashley’s character’s younger sister.
FIRST LOOK at Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley on the set of Bridgerton season 2 pic.twitter.com/ALtkXTLHgV
— Film Updates (@TheFilmUpdates) April 30, 2021
— 🐝 bridgerton fancast 🐝 (@bridgertoncast) May 2, 2021
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.