When Bridgerton returns for season two, the focus will shift to Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and the show’s new heroine Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). But that doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to the stars of season one: the ensemble cast is still expected to include fan favourites Regé-Jean Page (Simon), Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne) and Nicola Coughlan (Penelope).
And when we say that Bridgerton has an “ensemble” cast, boy do we mean it. Netflix‘s sumptuous period drama has a list of characters as long as your arm, with some very well-known faces taking on many of the key roles (alongside some relative newcomers).
The hit drama is billed as “a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series” that follows the adventures of the Bridgerton siblings on Regency London’s marriage market. This Shondaland production is based on the best-selling Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn.
Here is your guide to the characters in the show, and the actors who play them.
Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma
Who is Kate Sharma? “Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included,” Netflix tells us. In the books, this character is known as “Kate Sheffield” and is the older half-sister of Edwina Sheffield, the season’s “incomparable” (who Anthony has decided to marry, for very practical reasons). Kate and Edwina have both just arrived in London to make their debuts on the marriage mart.
What else has Simone Ashley been in? Elsewhere on Netflix, Simone Ashley starred as Olivia in Sex Education. She also played Elise Fox in the TV mini-series The Sister, and she’s been in Broadchurch, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, and Strike.
Jonathan Bailey plays Anthony Bridgerton
Who is Anthony Bridgerton? Anthony is the eldest Bridgerton sibling, and has been head of the family since assuming the title of Viscount – after his late father’s untimely death. He’s handsome, charming and rich, but he has previously shied away from marriage (preferring the pursuit of pleasure, and of socially-unsuitable women). However, as we begin season two, Anthony is now a man with a mission: to find a wife, do his duty and produce an heir. And as far as he’s concerned, love doesn’t enter into that equation.
What else has Jonathan Bailey been in? Jonny Bailey has previously starred as Jack Patterson in W1A, Lance Miller in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Edward in Hooten & the Lady, Sam in Crashing, Leonardo da Vinci in the historical drama Leonardo, and Olly Stevens in Broadchurch. In 2014 Doctor Who episode Time Heist he played the character Psi, and he’s also appeared in the movies The Mercy, The Young Messiah, and Testament of Youth. Meanwhile, his performance in the 2018 West End revival of Company earned him an Olivier Award.
Julie Andrews is the voice of Lady Whistledown
Who is Lady Whistledown? Well, that’s the question everyone’s asking! Someone going by the name “Lady Whistledown” has just started putting out society papers (basically, newsletters) full of gossip about the ins and outs of high society. Nobody is sure who she could be, but she sure seems to know a lot about what’s going on.
What else has Julie Andrews been in? In case you needed reminding, Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews’ screen credits include Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, The Princess Diaries, and Victor Victoria. Lady Whistledown is also far from her first voice acting role: she’s the voice of Gru’s mum in Despicable Me, the Queen in Shrek, Karathen in Aquaman, and the narrator in Enchanted.
Phoebe Dynevor plays Daphne Bridgerton
Who is Daphne Bridgerton? A young, beautiful woman from a prominent family who has just entered society and must now find a suitable husband. She is the eldest daughter, and the pressure is on. But as Netflix teases: “Not everything goes exactly as planned for this diamond of the first water, especially after she meets a certain Duke.”
What else has Phoebe Dynevor been in? Having started out as Siobhan Mailey in the TV series Waterloo Road, the actress has since starred in The Village, Prisoners Wives, Dickensian (as Martha Cratchit), Snatch (as Lotti Mott) and Younger (as Clare). Her mother is the actress Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster in Coronation Street.
Regé-Jean Page plays Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings
Who is Simon Basset? Simon has just returned to London, having inherited his father’s title and become the Duke of Hastings – but he only intends his stay to be brief. While his late mother’s old friend Lady Danbury hopes he might marry, Simon is determined not to give in; he must also avoid the ambitious “mamas” who are desperate for him to marry their daughters. Regé-Jean Page says: “Simon Basset doesn’t really fit into this world. He’s very much a roguish outsider who has been forced into this environment that he feels restricted by. I see Simon as something of a dark horse.”
What else has Regé-Jean Page been in? Like his co-star Phoebe Dyvenor, he’s appeared in the TV series Waterloo Road – although she’d left by the time he played Guy Braxton in 2015. Other roles have included Dean in Fresh Meat, Chicken George in the 2016 mini-series Roots, and Leonard Knox in Shonda Rhimes’s legal drama For The People.
Golda Rosheuvel plays Queen Charlotte
Who is Queen Charlotte? In Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte is married to the monarch King George III – but he is unwell and is kept out of the public eye, while she is the face of the monarchy. Several years ago, the King’s decision to marry a black woman led to major changes in society, elevating the status of black people and other ethnic minorities. In personality, the Queen is a gossip, who loves to follow (and interfere) all the romances and marriage of high society; she also loves to be right. She doesn’t suffer fools.
The character is very loosely based on the real Queen Charlotte, who was indeed married to King George III. He increasingly suffered bouts mental and physical illness, and the couple’s eldest son was appointed Prince Regent to rule in his father’s place. Over the last few decades, historians have debated whether Queen Charlotte may have had a distant ancestor who was black.
What else has Golda Rosheuvel been in? She’s also previously appeared Dead Boss, Torchwood, Lady Macbeth, and Luther – and she has an upcoming role in the tenth season of Death in Paradise.
Nicola Coughlan plays Penelope Featherington
Who is Penelope Featherington? Intelligent, romantic and kind, “Pen” is the youngest of three girls – but she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Featheringtons. She is a little shy, and “would prefer to quietly sway near the perimeter of any ballroom rather than take centre stage.” Penelope has a particular friendship with Eloise Bridgerton.
What else has Nicola Coughlan been in? Nicola Coughlan is best known for her role as Clare Devlin in Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls. She also played Hannah Dalton in Harlots, and in 2018 she made her West End debut in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Claudia Jessie plays Eloise Bridgerton
Who is Eloise Bridgerton? 17-year-old Eloise is described as “whip-smart, brazen, and rebellious” and “believes she’s destined for something much greater, though she’s quite rapidly approaching marriageable age”. She is horrified by the idea of being a debutante and finding a husband. Eloise is close friends with Penelope.
What else has Claudia Jessie been in? This isn’t the only time we’ve seen Claudia Jessie in Regency costume: she also starred as Amelia Sedley in the 2018 adaptation of Vanity Fair. Other roles have included Nessa in Defending the Guilty, Jodie in Line of Duty, Lucy in Porters, Kira Arlo in Doctor Who episode Kerblam!, and WPC Annie Taylor in WPC 56.
Adjoa Andoh plays Lady Danbury
Who is Lady Danbury? Described as “the legendary, acerbic, lioness of a dowager who runs this town,” Lady Danbury serves as a sort of honorary godmother to Simon Basset: “She is a friend of Simon’s late mother, having shown the now Duke a rare kindness when he was a child.”
What else has Adjoa Andoh been in? Adjoa Andoh starred as Francine Jones in Doctor Who. Aside from her many theatre credits, she’s also been in Casualty (as Colette Griffiths), M.I.Hugh (as the Head of M.I.9), Missing (as DCI Lauren Ford), Invictus (as Brenda Mazibuko), Fractured (as Dr Jacobs), Thunderbirds Are Go (as the voice of Colonel Casey), Liar (as Margaret Rust), Cucumber (as Marie).
Ruth Gemmell plays Lady Violet Bridgerton
Who is Lady Violet Bridgerton? A respectable, kind-hearted, wealthy widow. She deeply loved her husband, and after his death she has been left to look after their eight children by herself. Because of societal conventions and legal restrictions on women, her eldest son Anthony is now officially head of the family; but Lady Violet knows she must do her own part behind the scenes to make sure her children find marriages as loving (and as suitable) as her own.
What else has Ruth Gemmell been in? Over the last few years, the actress has starred as Sarah Collingborne in Home Fires, Gina Graham in Deep State, and Octavia Putney in Penny Dreadful. She played Jen Dugdale in Utopia and has made several appearances in Silent Witness. On the big screen, she starred as Sarah Hughes in Fever Pitch.
Ben Miller plays Lord Featherington
Who is Lord Featherington? The head of the Featherington family. He has three daughters who are all on the marriage mart this year, but as a father he takes a back seat (generally on the sofa, behind a newspaper).
What else has Ben Miller been in? He first teamed up with Alexander Armstrong for The Armstrong and Miller Show back in 1997, performing sketch comedy. Acting roles have included DI Richard Poole in Death in Paradise, Colonel Lancaster in Paddington 2, Rupert Murdoch in Tracey Ullman’s Show, James Lester in Primeval, The Sheriff of Nottingham in Doctor Who, and Bough in Johnny English. We’ll also soon see him in upcoming drama Professor T, and he’ll be making a cameo appearance in the new season of Death in Paradise.
Polly Walker plays Lady Portia Featherington
Who is Lady Portia Featherington? The scheming mother of the Featherington family. She knows the family does not have the social standing or the wealth of the Bridgertons, but she is utterly determined to find husbands for her three daughters. Lady Portia sets out the Featherington brand with a mandatory colour scheme for the whole family: lots of yellows and bright colours.
What else has Polly Walker been in? Polly Walker has enjoyed a prolific few years of TV appearances. She plays Gill in Line of Duty, Peggy Sykes in Pennyworth, Lady Lunete in Cursed, and Bel in Age Before Beauty; before that, she was in The Syndicate, Paranoid, Mr Selfridge, Prisoners Wives, Rome, and State of Play.
Harriet Cains plays Philippa Featherington
Who is Philippa Featherington? “Not exactly known for her smarts or cleverness,” as Netflix puts it, Philippa is the middle daughter and is focused on finding a husband.
What else has Harriet Cains been in? She’s had three major roles in her career so far: Jem Walker in In The Flesh, Gail Davidson in Marcella, and Louisa in Safe House. The actress has also made appearances in Hollyoaks Later, Vera, No Offence, and Line of Duty.
Bessie Carter plays Prudence Featherington
Who is Prudence Featherington? The eldest Featherington daughter. Prudence must find herself a husband on the marriage mart.
What else has Bessie Carter been in? Bessie Carter played Violet Woodhouse in the TV series Beecham House, and Evie Wilcox in the 2017 adaptation of Howards End. She’s also been seen in Doc Martin, Les Misérables, and The Good Liar.
Luke Thompson plays Benedict Bridgerton
Who is Benedict Bridgerton? The second-eldest Bridgerton boy. He harbours dreams of being an artist, but is unsure of his talent.
What else has Luke Thompson been in? He’s appeared in Kiss Me First, In the Club (as Simon), Dunkirk, and Misbehaviour.
Luke Newton plays Colin Bridgerton
Who is Colin Bridgerton? The third-oldest of the Bridgerton sons. He has a friendly relationship with Penelope Featherington.
What else has Luke Newton been in? Credits include The Cut, Disney Channel series The Lodge, Mr Selfridge, and Doctors.
Ruby Barker plays Marina Thompson
Who is Marina Thompson? At the start of the season, Marina is sent from the country to live with her cousins, the Featheringtons. She is the poor relation; but as Netflix tells us, “the arrival of this resourceful young lady seems to make more than just a splash in our glittering, exclusive world.”
What else has Ruby Barker been in? Ruby Barker previously appeared in the TV series Wolfblood as Daisie, and in an episode of Cobra as Georgia Nixon.
Jamie Beamish plays Nigel Berbrooke
Who is Nigel Berbrooke? An unpleasant, nasty suitor who is keen to find himself a wife. He has a high opinion of himself and is hard to put off.
What else has Jamie Beamish been in? He played Ciaran in Derry Girls, Nathan in The Commuter, and Augustine Phillips in the TV series Will.
Freddie Stroma plays Prince Friederich
Who is Prince Friederich? A charming, eligible Prince who has arrived from Germany to find himself a Princess. He is related to the Queen, and she is keen to secure him a good match.
What else has Freddie Stroma been in? Having played Cormac McLaggen in the Harry Potter movies, Freddie Stroma went on to appear as Ben in The Inbetweeners 2, Luke in Pitch Perfect, and Dickon Tarly in Game of Thrones. Other credits include Time After Time and UnREAL.
Sabrina Bartlett plays Siena Rosso
Who is Siena Rosso? An opera singer. Anthony Bridgerton has been enjoying a passionate affair with her, but can their relationship really work long-term?
What else has Sabrina Bartlett been in? In the TV series Victoria, Sabrina Bartlett played Abigail Turner – and in Versailles she played Mathilde. She has also been seen as Sophie in Da Vinci’s Demons, Keren Smith in Poldark, and Princess Isabella in Knightfall.
Pippa Haywood plays Mrs Colson
Who is Mrs Colson? The housekeeper at Clyvedon House, country home of the Duke of Hastings.
What else has Pippa Haywood been in? Pippa Haywood is perhaps best known for playing Joanna Clore in the hospital comedy drama Green Wing, or for playing Craddock in Jed Mercurio’s TV series Bodyguard. Other credits include Feel Good, Requiem, Porridge, Scott & Bailey, Brief Encounters, and Mr Selfridge.
James Fleet plays King George III
Who is King George III? In real life, King George III reigned from 1760 to 1820 – but in by later years of his reign, when Bridgerton is set, he was suffering very badly from mental illness. He was married to Queen Charlotte, and his eldest son took over as Prince Regent in 1810.
What else has James Fleet been in? James Fleet starred as Tom in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and as Hugo Horton in The Vicar of Dibley. Recent credits have included Belgravia, The Pale Horse, Unforgotten, Outlander, and Patrick Melrose.
Martins Imhangbe plays Will Mondrich
Who is Will Mondrich? A boxer, and a friend of Simon Basset’s. The two train together. Will is not a wealthy man, but he is in a loving marriage and enjoys being a father.
What else has Martins Imhangbe been in? This is one of his first screen roles. On stage, he’s been in shows including Othello, Death of a Salesman, An Adventure, and Uncle Vanya.
Julian Ovenden plays the painter Henry Granville
Who is Henry Granville? A painter who befriends Benedict Bridgerton. He has a somewhat libertine lifestyle.
What else has Julian Ovenden been in? We’ve recently seen him as Tom Pain in Adult Material, William De Nogaret in Knightfall, and Bobby Kennedy in The Crown. He also starred as Charles Blake in seasons four and five of Downton Abbey. But Julian Ovenden is also known for his stage work and for his singing career.
Lorraine Ashbourne plays Mrs Varley
Who is Mrs Varley? Servant to the Featherington family, and Lady Portia Featherington’s right-hand woman.
What else has Lorraine Ashbourne been in? Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen her play Barbara Castle in The Crown and appear in I Hate Suzie, Out of Her Mind, and Alma’s Not Normal. She also starred as Angela in the TV series Cheat, and she was DI Tessa Nixon in Unforgotten. Looking a little further back, credits include City Central (as Sergeant Yvonne Mackey), Playing the Field, Jane Eyre, and Public Enemies.
Jessica Madsen plays Cressida Cowper
Who is Cressida Cowper? Another young woman on the marriage mart. It’s a competitive world out there, finding a husband.
What else has Jessica Madsen been in? Her previous screen credits include Rambo: Last Blood, Tina and Bobby, Leatherface, Dark Light, and Mr Selfridge.
Kathryn Dysdale plays Genevieve Delacroix
Who is Genevieve Delacroix? A tailor and seamstress. She is friends with Siena.
What else has Kathryn Drysdale been in? The actress stars as Meghan Markle in comedy drama The Windsors. She’s also played Natalie Wood in Benidorm, Louise in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Bliss in the Doctor Who episode Love & Monsters, and Rhoda Swartz in Vanity Fair.
Florence Hunt plays Hyacinth Bridgerton
Who is Hyacinth Bridgerton? The youngest daughter of the Bridgerton family. She is fascinated by her sisters’ lives and is desperate to know all the gossip.
What else has Florence Hunt been in? The young actress played Nimue in Cursed.
Will Tilston plays Gregory Bridgerton
Who is Gregory Bridgerton? Another of the young Bridgertons.
What else has Will Tilston been in? Will Tilston played young Christopher Robin in the movie Goodbye Christopher Robin.
Ruby Stokes plays Francesca Bridgerton
Who is Francesca Bridgerton? The fifth (of eight) Bridgerton children – although she’s not around much in season one of the drama.
What else has Ruby Stokes been in? The young actress starred in the 2016 film Una, alongside Rooney Mara and Riz Ahmed. She’s also played Agnes in the acclaimed movie Rocks, Amelia in Da Vinci’s Demons, and Lucy in Not Going Out.
Molly McGlynn plays Daphne’s maid Rose
Who is Rose? Daphne’s lady’s maid and confidante. Rose is kind, helpful and loyal.
What else has Molly McGlynn been in? She played Leah Buckley in Coronation Street, and Jane Allum in Cobra.
Richard Pepple plays Simon’s father
Who is Simon’s father, the Duke of Hastings? A cruel father who treated his wife (Simon’s mother) abysmally. In Bridgerton, we only meet him in flashbacks.
What else has Richard Pepple been in? He played Ferringham in season five of Line of Duty, Mosi in Gangs of London, and Dublin Hilton in The Long Song. Other credits include Motherland, The Dumping Ground, Death in Paradise, Code 404, Holby City, and Cursed.
Hugh Sachs plays Brimsley
Who is Brimsley? The Queen’s manservant. He is a terrible gossip.
What else has Hugh Sachs been in? He is perhaps best known for playing Gavin Ramsbottom in Benidorm. On TV, he’s also been in shows including Endeavour, Aristocrats, Father Brown, and Midsomer Murders.
Geraldine Alexander plays Mrs Wilson
Who is Mrs Wilson? The housekeeper at Bridgerton House.
What else has Geraldine Alexander been in? She’s been in the TV soaps Coronation Street (as DS Louise Surrey) and EastEnders (as Andrea Rooney), while recent credits include The Child in Time, Marcella, Father Brown, and Shetland. Back in 1985 she played Areta in the Doctor Who story Vengeance on Varos.
Jason Barnett plays Jeffries
Who is Jeffries? Servant to Simon, the Duke of Hastings.
What else has Jason Barnett been in? Over the last few years he’s been in Agatha Raisin (as DCI Wilkes), Waffle the Wonder Dog (as Mr Nolan), Lee and Dean (as Midnight) and Porridge (as Shel). He also played CSE Eddie Olosunje in The Bill.
Joanna Bobin plays Lady Cowper
Who is Lady Cowper? An ‘ambitious mama’ who is competing with the other mothers of the ton – including Lady Bridgerton and Lady Featherington – to get her daughter married off. The daughter in question is Cressida Cowper.
What else has Joanna Bobin been in? She was Jackie in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Joanna in The Casual Vacancy, Felicity ‘Flic’ Jenner in Mr Selfridge, and Sarah Lawson in Collateral.
Bridgerton season one launched on Christmas Day 2020, and Netflix has now confirmed season two. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide. You can buy Julia Quinn’s best-selling Bridgerton books on Amazon now.