'Bridgerton' Season 3: Everything We Know

The show is moving up a fan-favorite's love story, deviating from the order of the books.

still from bridgerton season 3
(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Eighteen months after the first season of Bridgerton, we returned to the ton for eight brand-new episodes. The second season of Bridgerton left Daphne and Simon behind and followed Anthony Bridgerton in his quest to find a suitable match. Considerably less sexy than its predecessor, but equally compelling, season two of Bridgerton features the same all-star cast (with the welcome addition of the Sharma sisters) and the extraordinary hair, makeup, and fashion we're used to seeing in the ton. It's also broken the record for Netflix's most viewed English-language TV series, viewed for 251.7 million hours over its debut week. If you've whipped through season 2 and are wondering when to expect season 3 of Bridgerton—and which sibling will be under the spotlight—look no further.

Has 'Bridgerton' been renewed for a third season?

Yes! Our favorite Regency drama was renewed for both seasons 3 and 4 way back in April 2021, following the record-breaking ratings of season 1. Netflix released the news in a letter from Lady Whistledown herself, reading, "Esteemed members of the Ton, it seems we have a rather special announcement. Bridgerton shall return for seasons three and four. This author shall have to pen more ink..."

Rhimes also released a statement at the time, saying, "Betsy [Beers] and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue bringing the world of Bridgerton to a worldwide audience," per People. The super-producer also told Entertainment Tonight that season 3 is already in the works. "[We] got a little bit creative so we're already hard at work writing season 3...That is already in progress and you'll see. Give it time," she said.

When could 'Bridgerton' season 3 come out?

Netflix certainly has incentive to get season 3 to viewers as soon as possible: The second season of Bridgerton smashed the records set by the first to become the streaming service's most popular English-language TV series ever. Now that Queen Charlotte has premiered and landed at the top of Netflix's Top 10, fans are clamoring for more of the franchise.

What's on Netflix reported last March that filming has concluded on the third season, though Netflix itself has yet to confirm. If that's true, and considering that seasons 1 and 2 had December and March premiere dates, respectively, we could see season 3's premiere in either the 2023 holiday season or early spring 2024.

Is there a trailer for 'Bridgerton' season 3?

We're still waiting for the first season 3 teaser, but Netflix has been keeping fans updated over the long wait. The first look at season 3 dropped during the streamer's annual fan event Tudum, giving the first glimpse of Colin and Penelope's building romance. Both of the characters look different in the four new pics, with Colin receiving a male-lead glow-up and Penelope dressed in a more muted color scheme (no more yellow dresses!).

still from bridgerton season 3

(Image credit: Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix)

still from bridgerton season 3

(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

still from bridgerton season 3

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

still from bridgerton season 3

(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Previously, Lady Whistledown-slash-Netflix announced the start of production on season 3 with a video dispatch from the set, which featured all of our faves in different stages of hair and makeup around a traditional British manor. Among the many familiar faces shown are the Bridgertons (minus Daphne, plus Anthony!), Lady Danbury, and the Queen. The clip ends with Penelope herself, Nicola Coughlan, confirming that season 3 has begun filming (while wearing an adorable pair of Crocs).

The streamer also teased a bit more about the new season during an adorable painting-themed interview, as part of Tudum 2022. In the clip, after Colin and Eloise Bridgerton actors Luke Newton and Claudia Jessie paint each other's portraits, Coughlan appears with a copy of the script for season 3's premiere, and reads the first few lines of the episode.

Season 3's premiere is titled Out of the Shadows, written by new showrunner Jess Brownell and directed by Tricia Brock. It begins in the same tradition as seasons 1 and 2, with Lady Whistledown introducing a new social season:

"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. As the season begins, the question on everyone’s mind, of course, is, which newly minted debutante will shine the brightest. The crop this year proves to be rather dazzling indeed. Unfortunately, not every young lady can attract the light."

How did 'Bridgerton' season 2 end?

The finale saw Anthony and Kate as happy, PDA-heavy newlyweds after they finally get together at the Featherington Ball. BFFs Eloise and Penelope are on the rocks after Eloise finally discovered the Lady Whistledown secret, but in the end, Penelope decided that it will be a long time before she puts down her quill. The intellectual also breaks things off with apprentice Theo because of a fear Penelope puts in her head.

Among the other storylines, Benedict quits art school after discovering Anthony's large donation got him in. Colin has a brief hero moment revealing Lord Featherington's scam, and then breaks Penelope's heart when she overhears him telling his friends that he'd never court her. Kate's sister Edwina and mom Mary will also be sticking around London, with Queen Charlotte mentioning that she might set up Edwina with her nephew Prince Friedrich (Freddie Stroma), who wooed Daphne in season 1.

And while Regé-Jean Page is not, repeat not, returning to the world of Bridgerton, he's open to the series recasting Simon. "They're free to do as they like," he told Variety. (He also revealed he isn't yet caught up on the second season, months after its release on Netflix—ouch!)

bridgerton season 3 netflix


Which Julia Quinn book will 'Bridgerton' season 3 be based on?

If we're following the order of Quinn's series, the next novel would be An Offer From a Gentleman, a Cinderella-esque story of Benedict's love story with Sophie Beckett, an earl’s daughter forced into servitude by her hateful stepmother. For anyone confused why the next leading Bridgerton wouldn't be a woman, the order of the books started with Daphne, then follows the children in alphabetical/age order (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Eloise, Francesca, Hyacinth, Gregory).

However, the Netflix show has decided to star another sibling earlier than expected. During a panel conversation at Netflix's FYSEE event, Coughlan revealed that next season will follow Colin and Penelope's romance, which will be complicated by Penelope's activities as Lady Whistledown and her falling out with Eloise.

"Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time and I can confirm to you all that season 3 is Colin and Penelope's love story," she said. "I have kept that secret since two weeks into season 2."

Coughlan also spoke on the decision in a Tudum article, saying that following Colin and Penelope's story a season earlier makes sense. "I feel like if you see Penelope fawning over this boy for another season, you’ll be like, 'Get it together! Come on, move on and get over it,'" she said. "Jess has talked to Luke and I through the season, and I think people are going to be really obsessed. I think book fans are going to be happy." When asked about how sexy season three would be—super-sexy, like season one; or more chaste, like season two—Coughlan said: "We've had two seasons of build up, it's probably going to be the former."

New showrunner Jess Brownell elaborated in an interview with Variety: "I really feel like it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching both of these actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them a little bit. We know who they are as people...Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up.”

Though this is a surprise for fans of the Bridgerton books, the show's creative team has hinted in recent interviews that it doesn't have to follow the same path. In an Entertainment Tonight interview, Rhimes alluded that the show doesn't have to follow the order of the books. 

"There's eight Bridgerton siblings, so we're planning on following each one of the siblings' romantic stories. We're not necessarily going in order but we are going to be seeing each of the siblings and their stories."

The official deviation from the book order means that anything goes for future seasons (assuming that Netflix will definitely renew its biggest hit). Season 4 could go back to Benedict's love story, or maybe have another Bridgerton sister be the lead. In that case, Eloise could be up sooner than the book order, or maybe Francesca, who's set for a bigger role in Season 3.

In an interview with E!, Jonathan Bailey noted that he's looking forward to Eloise's season. "I can't wait to walk Eloise down the aisle for so many reasons," he said. "Partly because, if there's ever going to be another character that has a bigger arc as Anthony, in terms of having to overcome psychological warfare, it's going to be Eloise." Speaking to The Wrap, he added of Anthony in season 3: "It’s really important to be there because obviously, [Anthony’s] the older bro, but to make space and to make sure that they have their amazing sweeping love story as well.”

What do we know about the plot of 'Bridgerton' season 3?

Netflix revealed the first summary of the upcoming season's plot to Shondaland. Penelope will seemingly start the season in the same state as she ended season 2, angry at Colin for dismissing her and still not talking to Eloise. Per the outlet, Pen will dedicate herself to the task of finding a husband, since marriage will give her the independence she needs to keep being Lady Whistledown. However, as we saw with Daphne, navigating the social season is no easy task.

After returning from more summer travels, Colin will get the cold shoulder from his friend and try to win her back by helping her "find the confidence she needs in the marriage mart." As all fans of the friends-to-lovers trope know, situations like these are when hidden feelings come to light.

Meanwhile, the rift between Penelope and Eloise may grow even wider, as Eloise makes a surprising new friend while Penelope balances the Whistledown secret with her busy social season. Hopefully the friends will reconcile by the end, maybe with Eloise offering Penelope some much-needed help?

Who will be in the cast?

We will officially be getting more appearances from the newlyweds, as Jonathan Bailey (Anthony Bridgerton) and Simone Ashley (Kate Bridgerton née Sharma) are set to appear. Ashley herself shared the news at a Netflix dinner, telling Deadline that "Kate and Anthony are just getting started."

"We're going to be back!" she told the outlet. "In Season 2, 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 3 and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it."

Later, she added in an interview with iMDB: "I'm excited to see Kate become Viscountess and head of the household. I think she has much to learn from Anthony. They'll be two little partners. I'd love to see them have a baby, to put it simply. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't."

With Anthony moving into the role of the most-recently-married Bridgerton, fans were left wondering if Phoebe Dynevor would have a large role as Daphne. Unfortunately, the actress revealed in a new Screen Rant interview that her character will likely be absent in the new season.

"Sadly, not in season 3. Potentially in the future," she told the outlet. "But season 3, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer." 

All of the other Bridgerton actors—Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton), Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), and Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton)—are also guaranteed to return. Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington) will also move into the leading lady role. Other likely favorites returning include Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury) and Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte). 

We may also (hopefully!) get appearances from Charithra Chandran (Edwina Sharma) and Shelly Conn (Mary Sharma) since their characters are said to be around next social season. Chandran, speaking to Extra, hinted: “Edwina’s love story was with herself and it was epic and life changing. The Bridgerton world is expanding, we call it the Bridgerverse, and Edwina exists somewhere in the Bridgerverse, so who knows what’s in store."

Deadline reported that Hannah Dodd will join the show as Francesca, the sixth-eldest Bridgerton child, in the new season. Ruby Stokes, who has played the character for the past two seasons, is leaving the Ton to star in another Netflix show, Lockwood & Co.

Francesca's story is the sixth book in the series, but Dodd will be a series regular in season 3, so we'll hopefully spend a good amount of time with the least-seen Bridgerton so far. "It’s such a beautiful book and she’s such a beautiful character. I can’t really believe that I get to play her," Dodd told TV Line. “I know how people feel about her as well, so I’m going to do my best."

"Francesca Bridgerton is a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family," Netflix said in a statement.  "Despite her reserved nature, she goes along to get along when it comes to society affairs, fortified with a dry wit and pragmatism that confound the fickle ton yet seem to draw attention when she least desires it."

bridgerton season 3 francesca

(Image credit: MICHAEL SHELFORD)

With the announcement that filming had begun on season 3, Shondaland also revealed three new actors coming to the series. Daniel Francis will play Marcus Anderson, a charismatic man who draws both attention and "ire" among the women of the Ton. Francis is a classically trained stage actor who's best known for playing Dave Shaw in the Netflix thriller Stay Close.

Sam Phillips will play Lord Debling, an eccentric man who has enough money to both sustain his strange interests and draw the women's attention. Phillips also has extensive stage experience, and previously appeared in seasons 3 and 4 The Crown, as well as the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.

Rounding out the trio, James Phoon joins the cast as Harry Dankworth, a dashing man whose looks make up for him being a bit dim-witted. Phoon is a rising star who also appears in the upcoming BBC horror-comedy Wreck. He also acted in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the West End for two years.

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What has the cast and crew said about 'Bridgerton' season 3?

Several cast members have expressed their excitement in their characters' next steps in their stories. Ashley told Deadline that she wants Kate to thrive in her new marriage and position. “She’s in charge of the household now and she’s got big boots to put on. I think she can do it,” she said. “I want to keep that softness and vulnerability to Kate, for sure, and she can share that with Anthony. I’m just excited for her to have a home and to have a family. I’m excited to see her grow. I think I’d like to see Kate being much braver and less headstrong and more heart strong.”

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Ashley also noted that season three will continue to explore the growing bond between Kate and Anthony. "It's a very surface-level kind of strength to be someone who thinks they can do it all on their own—but, actually, it’s a much deeper rooted strength to depend on others and have others depend on you. So, I’m really excited to see her journey.”

Luke Thompson also shared his hopes for Benedict in an Entertainment Weekly interview, where he addressed the possibility that his love story may be up next.

"The thing is the books are the books, and the show is completely rooted in the books, but it's not tied to the books. ... So, I don't know. The books would indicate that the next one up is Benedict, but we don't know that for sure because the show is the show, and the show has license to do all sorts of things. The show is such an ensemble effort anyway, and it does feel like there's so much to get our teeth into even when you're not in the driver's seat. It's not like I'm sitting around waiting for my 'big moment' because it's such a huge group effort, and that's what makes it satisfying to do. As long as Benedict keeps being explored, I'm happy."

As for the aftermath of Penelope and Eloise's massive fight, Nicola Coughlan told Entertainment Tonight, "They have to [reconcile]. They have to, because it would break my heart [if they didn't]. Also, I think, in deep life-long friendships, there are moments like that when you do fight and you've just got to learn to grow a little bit. But I think Penelope has got some apologizing to do. I think she has some apologizing to do."

Claudia Jessie also told the outlet that she wants the friends to make up "as soon as possible," and gave her thoughts on how Eloise might handle the huge secret. 

"I think she'll be a good friend. That's what I think [she] always will be. I think she'll be a loyal friend [who] didn't tell anyone," she hypothesized. "I don't know what's going to happen. I mean, they might match scars but I don't think she will. I think she'll be furious, but then be really respectful and not say anything. I don't think she'll want to ruin Penelope."

In a TV Guide interview, Coughlan elaborated on Penelope's stance going into season 3, saying that she thinks the Whistledown author will be "a bit of a savage."

"I think Penelope is going to be in a dark place because she's lost Eloise and she's lost Colin, so all she has is Whistledown," she said. "I feel like she's going to be a bit of a savage. I think, ultimately, this time around she found herself and lost herself at the same time if that makes sense. She got a little bit more arrogance as time went on because you walk around a ballroom and everyone's going, 'Lady Whistledown is the biggest genius. Oh, she's wonderful. The queen is scared of her.' She's got all this money [and] that's going to have some effect on her, but I think she needed to come back down a few pegs." 

There's also specific scenes from the books that the actors are excited to explore. Mama Bridgerton actor Ruth Gemmell told Cosmopolitan that there's a Book 3 scene she'd love for the show.

"I think it’s in Benedict’s story where there’s a ball, Violet’s hosting it. She’s slightly exasperated by her children, and somebody asks her to dance and she dances. What I liked about that is all the children didn’t like it. Then you catch her eavesdropping on their conversation about: Who on earth is this bloke? I hope they do bring in a bit of that, because there is something lovely about that," she said.

Luke Newton, who plays Colin, told The Hollywood Reporter that he hopes to get a Whistledown reveal scene similar to the one Eloise got in season 2.

 "I hope sooner rather than later, because I’m dying to know his reaction. He’s obviously got a very close connection with her, just like Eloise does, but I think it’s difficult because…is he over the stuff with Marina? That’s the only scandal that he’s really been involved in with Whistledown. But then, is he going to be OK with being lied to for however many years? It’s put his family in very difficult positions every now and then," he said. "So it’s definitely going to stir things up, particularly now with Eloise sort of writing off her best friend. It’ll be really interesting if Penelope has any loyalty to the Bridgertons at all, because they’ve been kept quite safe because of their connection. And now she isn’t close with anyone because Colin’s been horrible and Eloise has found out everything. I’m really excited to see how the Bridgertons are treated next year."

Meanwhile Adjoa Andoh told the outlet that she wants to see Lady Danbury collaborate with other characters in later seasons, including Eloise and Penelope.

"I have to say, although she appears not to give her much attention, I think [Lady Danbury] quite liked Lady Featherington,” she added. "I think there’s something about Lady Featherington’s determination. I would really love to see a bit more of them." 

She's also hoping to see her character in a romance. "I would love Lady Danbury to have someone to love. It would be so great. And I just love her appetite. So I would love anything that allows more of that appetite to be present," she said.

What about that Queen Charlotte spin-off?

Netflix has revealed some plot details for its highly anticipated Queen Charlotte prequel, titled Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, with its description noting that it will cover the moment Queen Charlotte finds out that "she was not exactly what the royals were expecting." The prequel will also establish Lady Danbury as a “guiding light for the new Queen, all while finding her own voice and power."

In September, Netflix released the first photo of India Amarteifio as the young Queen Charlotte:

Queen Charlotte

(Image credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel)
Quinci LeGardye
Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.