It’s been over a year since audiences were swept away by the Bridgerton family and the rest of the characters in Netflix's drama drama. Set in Regency-era England, "Bridgerton" is based on Julia Quinn's romance novels of the same name.
On March 25, when season two of the Shonda Rhimes-created show lands on Netflix, audiences will be able to catch up on all the gossip Lady Whistledown has to share about the season's leads, Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).
But note, dear reader (or viewer): The second season is poised to be different than the season before. For one, there will be fewer sex scenes. “It’s a different story this season, with different characters,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen said of the changes a press conference.
Below, find everything we know about the upcoming season.
Hold on — how did season 1 of 'Bridgerton' end? Here's a recap
Season one focused on the love story between the oldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page.
The pair began a fake courtship to make Daphne appear more desirable and Simon less attainable — until feelings got in the way. After the two were caught in a “compromising position” by the oldest Bridgerton, Anthony, the pair were forced to marry, despite Simon’s death-bed promise to his father that he would never have a child. Eventually, the two reconcile their differences and admit their love for each other, sealing their happy ending with the birth of a baby.
As far as the rest of the cast goes, Anthony (Bailey) carried on an affair with an opera singer, Siena Rosso, throughout the season. After episodes filled with “will-they, won’t-they” tension, Siena chooses to move on, deciding that Anthony cannot give her the protection she needs. Following this heartbreak, Anthony declares his intentions to find a wife adding that the difficulty is love itself, and instead he resolves that “removing it from all romantic relations shall make me all the better for it.”
Across the square from the Bridgerton household, the Featherington family reels from the death of their patriarch and awaits news of the new heir. Penelope Featherington, best friend of Eloise Bridgerton, ends the season heartbroken over the news that her unrequited love, Colin Bridgerton, is to leave town following the scandalous ending of his engagement with Marina Thompson.
Eloise, who was set on finding out who was behind Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, discovers that her theory of the modiste, Madame Delacroix, was incorrect. On the night when Lady Whistledown was almost caught in her carriage outside of a print shop, the dressmaker was with none other than the second eldest brother, Benedict, all night. In one of the last moments of the show, it is revealed that Lady Whistledown was in fact Penelope all along.
‘Bridgerton’ season 2 follows Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma's love story
Edwina Sharma, played by Charithra Chandran, catches the queen's eye and Anthony’s attention. But her older sister, Kate Sharma (Ashley), refuses to let her sister settle for anything less than the very best when it comes to marriage.
Bailey told Entertainment Weekly that a “love triangle” will emerge, as Anthony pursues a courtship of Edwina but can't ignore the spark he has with Kate.
The season will also follow Penelope’s attempts to hide her identity, especially from the investigations of her best friend. Eloise is likely to continue her quest to discover the identity Lady Whistledown even as she debuts onto the social scene for her first season.
“The main theme of season two is head versus heart,” creator Chris Van Dusen told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s true for Anthony and Kate, and it’s also true for Penelope. Her heart is with Lady Whistledown, but even she has to wonder if being London’s most notorious gossip writer is the wisest thing.”
When does ‘Bridgerton’ season 2 come out?
Season two will be released on Netflix on March 25. The cast announced the premiere date in a video on Dec. 25, one year after the show first aired. The group, opening with season two leads Bailey and Ashley, read out the announcement via a letter from Lady Whistledown.
“Happy anniversary to our buzzy Ton,” the letter read, as told by the cast. “It is customary for a first anniversary to gift paper, dear readers. I do hope you find this one informative. ‘Bridgerton’ returns March 25th.”
Who stars in season 2 of 'Bridgerton'?
Known for its ensemble cast, "Bridgerton" season two brings both familiar faces and new ones. Simone Ashley, known for her roles in “Sex Education” and “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” will star in season two opposite Bailey as Kate Sharma.
The role of Kate was cast over Zoom due to the pandemic, but the chemistry between Ashley and Bailey was that palpable, Van Dusen promised.
Joining her is Charithra Chandran as her sister, Edwina Sharma, and Shelley Conn as her stepmother, Mary Sharma. The trio arrives in London for the season from Bombay with connections to Lady Danbury, played by Adjoa Andoh.
Other newcomers to season two include Calam Lynch, who will play Theo Sharpe, a printer’s assistant, Rupert Evans, who will play the late father to the Bridgerton brood, Edmund Bridgerton, and Rupert Young, who will play Jack, a mysterious new figure with ties to one of the well-connected families of the Ton. Plus, Kate brings not only attitude and spunk but also a new furry face in the show, a corgi named Newton.
Don't expect to see the Duke, played by Regé-Jean Page
Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne, the star of season one, is set to appear in the next season. However, her on-screen husband played by Regé-Jean Page is not, Netflix announced in 2021.
“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,” the official announcement stated.
The announcement revealed that Daphne will remain a “devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season.”
Dynevor said the duke will likely be “referred to a lot,” and that she thinks viewers will get glimpses of their baby. As Daphne moves out of the spotlight, the show will focus on her relationship with the rest of her siblings.
What happens in the books 'Bridgerton' is based on?
Like season two, book two in Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” series, titled “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” follows Anthony’s attempts to marry. And like in the show, Anthony aims to make this match without involving any feelings of love. In the book, the arrival of Edwina and Kate Sheffield onto the social scene provide Anthony with the primary object and obstacle, respectively, for his ideal loveless marriage.
One of the major differences between the show and the book is the role of Siena Rosso, likely based on the opera singer Maria Rosso in the book. Maria is a minor character who appears for only one scene. She and Anthony had an intimate relationship, but without any real feelings involved.
But in the show, Siena and Anthony were shown to have a very passionate relationship, and his heartbreak over her rejection appears to be the impetus for Anthony’s mission of finding a purely pragmatic match.
In the book, Anthony’s fear of love stems not from past heartbreak but from the early loss of his father, Edmund Bridgerton. In the book, Edmund died at age 38 due to a bee sting, a traumatic experience for the 18-year-old Anthony that later comes back to haunt him.
Season one featured several occasions of bee symbolism, including on the door of the Bridgerton household in the show’s first episode, the opening credits and in the show’s final shot, when the camera pans to a bee sitting on the window sill after Daphne gives birth to her child.
What about the music?
Season one brought modern twists to classic Regency ballroom scenes through classical covers of pop songs, such as "Thank u, next" and "Wildest Dreams." Season two promises the same.
Here's a list of the songs that will be featured in season two of "Bridgerton":
- “Stay Away” by Nirvana, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet
- “Material Girl” by Madonna, performed by Kris Bowers
- “Diamonds” by Rihanna, performed by Hannah V and Joe Rodwell
- “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet
- “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, performed by Duomo
- “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” performed by Kris Bowers
- “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles, performed by Steve Horner
- “What About Us” by Pink, performed by Duomo
- “How Deep Is Your Love” by Calvin Harris and Disciples, performed by Kiris
- “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, performed by the Midnight String Quartet
Will there be a season three of 'Bridgerton?'
You bet: In 2021, Netflix renewed the Regency drama through season four. "Bridgerton" smashed viewership records after its first release, inspiring renewed interest in the original book series which first came out in 2000. The show even led to an entire spin-off album, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.”
Based on the order of the books by Julia Quinn, season three may follow Benedict in his journey to find love. His book, entitled “An Offer From a Gentleman,” is a Cinderella retelling, in which Sophie Beckett, the illegitimate daughter of an earl relegated to the servant class by her stepmother, sneaks off to a masquerade ball hosted by the Bridgertons.
Season four will likely be based on the book “Romancing Mister Bridgerton,” in which Penelope, Lady Whistledown herself, puts down her quill and aims to find love of her own — hopefully in the arms of her longtime crush, Colin Bridgerton.
Though anything could happen. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Rhimes said that while all eight siblings will get love stories in "Bridgerton," they might deviate from the order Quinn laid out in her novels.
Who will season three of "Bridgerton" focus on? Your guess is as good as ours. For now, we'll swoon through season two.