By now, Lady Whistledown's secret identity on "Bridgerton" is well known to fans. And if you're not one of them, you might want to stop now, because we have a big spoiler to reveal!
As those who watched the entire first season of the hit Netflix series now know, Penelope Featherington (played by Nicola Coughlan) had an alter ego as the gossip-mongering, newsletter-writing Lady Featherington's secret identity.
But what almost no one realized was that Coughlan gave away a huge Easter Egg clue to that identity in her very first scene!
Coughlan helpfully revealed it on Twitter Saturday with a cheeky question to her fans:
"Ok I’m just curious, has anyone spotted the massive Easter Egg about Penelope in the very first scene of Bridgerton?" she wondered, including a GIF of Penelope giving a big thumbs-up.
A few fans speculated, but after @TimCollettUK tweeted the right answer, she wrote back, "Ding Ding Ding!!" and then replied with an answer that incorporated his tweet:
"When I filmed Penelope’s first scene I chose a prop, a massive massive feather that looked a lot like (the quill)," she tweeted.
Now, this is not precisely the big "how could I have missed it" reveal you might think it would be, though it is fun as a callback once you've seen the whole first season. First of all, no one knew how critical Lady Whistledown's missives would be to the plot turns of the show. Second, Penelope's last name is Featherington. It's hardly unusual to imagine her wearing a namesake object!
Finally, Lady Whistledown was voiced, off camera, by Julie Andrews — and pretty much every fan wondered if she'd be making a cameo appearance at some point. (In the books the series is based on, readers found this out in the fourth novel, "Romancing Mister Bridgerton"; she's only revealed 11 years after she started writing her gossip column.)
Well, now we know. And it turns out that wasn't the only bit of fascinating backstage information: As E! reported, character looks were based on everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Beyoncé to "Little House on the Prairie's" Nellie Oleson, while the Duke of Hastings (played by Regé-Jean Page) always wears a diamond enamel brooch that belonged to his late mother.
"It was so much fun (to film the reveal scenes)," Coughlan told Variety in December. "We had to film that in the middle of COVID. I had to be super, super secret. I had to be flown over from Ireland, and tested and tested and tested, and do the fitting. It was hyper secret; I couldn't let anyone know I was there or what was going on. But it was so much fun to film that."
Of course, that's not all; Coughlan also tweeted that there are many, many more potential clues scattered throughout the series. As she tweeted:
"If you re-watch there are lots of little hints in there, let me know if you spot any more and I can confirm/deny," she wrote.
Sounds like it's time to start rewatching the season!