Lady Whistledown broke some news of her own on Sunday, as Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan revealed that Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton will be the focus of the Netflix phenom’s third season.
“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,” Coughlan revealed at the show’s FYSEE panel. “I have kept that secret since two weeks into Season 2. This is the first time I am saying it here.”
Shondaland confirmed the news on Monday with some official correspondence from Lady Whistledown: “It is only fair that in this author’s third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair’s social season should find its focus on a third son… as well as a third daughter,” it reads. “With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author.”
The announcement marks a divergence from Julia Quinn’s book series, which doesn’t center on Penelope and Colin’s friendship-turned-romance until Book 4, titled Romancing Mister Bridgerton. Benedict Bridgerton (played by Luke Thompson) and the yet-to-be-cast Sophie Beckett are the focus of Quinn’s third novel, An Offer From a Gentleman, but there’s currently no word on whether Benedict and Sophie will headline Season 4 of the series instead.
As reported earlier this month, another Season 3 shake-up will come in the form of Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal), who has been tapped to take over the role of Francesca Bridgerton. The actress replaces original cast member Ruby Stokes, who was largely MIA in Season 2 due to her commitment to Netflix’s upcoming Lockwood & Co series.