Prepare yourself for plenty of scandal, love and deception: the Bridgertons are back!
Mirroring the format of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton book series, the attention has shifted from Regé-Jean Page's Dishy Duke of Hastings to a new Bridgerton sibling in season 2: eldest brother and dashing bachelor Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), who in fact knew that he would eventually play the lead from the moment he was cast.
Anthony’s quest for a bride introduces some exciting new additions to the Bridgerton cast in season 2: namely the Sharma sisters, Kate (played by Sex Education star Simone Ashley) and Edwina (Charithra Chandran).
It all kicks off as Kate (her sister's gatekeeper against potential suitors) tries to prevent Edwina's courtship with Anthony, believing him to be nothing more than a rake with a capital "R". She becomes embroiled in a war of words with the bachelor, which inadvertently brings them closer together.
Bailey recently teased Anthony’s character journey in season 2, revealing the new instalment will explore why Anthony displays such "toxic" traits.
“It’s interesting to get behind these Heathcliff and Darcy characters and explore why romantic male figures are so harsh and toxic towards women,” he told RadioTimes.com.
Read on for everything you need to know about Bridgerton season 2.
Bridgerton season 2 release date and time
Bridgerton season 2 was released on Netflix on Friday 25th March 2022 at 8am GMT.
The announcement was made on Christmas Day via a cast video that included lead stars Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley.
A tweet written in the voice of Lady Whistledown noted: "Dear readers, I know my absence has only made your hearts grow fonder; however, you will not have to wait much longer."
The cast began filming the second season in the spring of 2021 and completed its production in November.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen tweeted on 20th November: "That’s a wrap on season 2! So proud of this cast and crew who brought their A-games to work each and every day in this very challenging year. And these two in this photo with me right here. Words are not enough. Coming in [flame emojis] in 2022 #Bridgerton #SeasonTwo #BuckleUp".
Van Dusen was joined by actors Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley for a beaming snap.
Perhaps, we can expect it sooner rather than later given that Nicola Coughlan confirmed on Instagram in November that the cast had a special viewing of the premiere episode.
She penned on her Instagram: "Came to London to see these rascals and to see Bridgerton Season Two Episode One and spoiler-it’s f**king brilliant".
Don't make us jealous, Nicola!
Production faced a number of COVID-related delays, however, with filming being halted twice after crew members tested positive for coronavirus.
The first series received rave reviews from critics, including our five-star Bridgerton review, and has been a major hit with fans.
How many episodes are in Bridgerton season 2?
Bridgerton season 2 consists of eight episodes.
All episodes of the series' second run were released simultaneously on Netflix.
The episode titles for Bridgerton season 2 are as follows.
- Capital R Rake
- Off to the Races
- A Bee in Your Bonnet
- An Unthinkable Fate
- The Choice
- The Viscount Who Loved Me
The season 2 finale is named after the title of the second novel in Julia Quinn's series, which is the basis of the second run.
Bridgerton season 2 cast
The cast of Bridgerton season 2 has been confirmed as the following.
- Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury
- Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs Varley
- Jonathan Bailey as Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton
- Harriet Cains as Philippa Featherington
- Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington
- Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington
- Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Basset (née Bridgerton), Duchess of Hastings
- Ruth Gemmell as Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton
- Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton
- Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton
- Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton
- Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte
- Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton
- Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton
- Polly Walker as Portia, Baroness Featherington
- Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown
- Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma
- Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma
- Shelley Conn as Mary Sharma
- Rupert Young as Jack
Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) will no longer be the show's main characters, now that their conflict is resolved and they're happily making babies at Clyvedon Castle.
Nevertheless, Dynevor will return to the role of Daphne as a supporting player in her older brother's love story, although Page is - at least officially - out as the Duke, with his departure from the show confirmed in April 2021.
Jonathan Bailey (Anthony Bridgerton) will be the main star of the second season, alongside Simone Ashley as his potential bride (Kate Sharma).
The role of Edwina Sharma, Kate's sister who also plays a key role in Anthony's love story, will be played by newcomer Charithra Chandran.
Shelley Conn will play the girls' mother, Lady Mary Sharma, who was previously embroiled in a scandal; while Calam Lynch will play rebellious printer's assistant Theo Sharpe.
Meanwhile, Deadline confirmed in April 2021 that Merlin star Rupert Young will also be joining the series in season two. Young will play 'Jack', the latest member of the ton.
We also expect the Bridgerton cast for season two to include Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown, as well as the return of Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington), and the rest of the core cast including Claudia Jessie, Adjoa Andoh, Ruth Gemmell, and Polly Walker.
It remains to be seen whether Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker) reemerges in the story, having married her dead lover's brother so that her unborn child could be born in wedlock. The two were last seen driving away from Featherington House. (Fans of the book will know that Marina Thompson is an important figure in Eloise's story, even if we don't ever actually meet her in the novels...)
But one person who won't be back is Ben Miller, who played Lord Featherington. Or should we say, the late Lord Featherington?
Bridgerton season 2 trailer
You can check our this first-look glimpse at our central couple for season 2 here.
In the clip, released during Netflix 's fan event TUDUM, Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) meets Anthony Bridgerton – and it's safe to say their interaction is frosty.
As detailed above, a trailer dropped on Valentine's Day (14th February 2022), giving fans a first glimpse at the much-anticipated romance between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and newcomer Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), which will be the main focus of the season.
It also gives us a good look at Lady Whistledown plotting more mischief... Watch above.
Will Daphne and Simon be in Bridgerton season 2?
With their love story wrapped up, it appears we will be seeing less of Daphne (Dynevor) and her husband Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) from now on.
In April 2021, a letter from Lady Whistledown herself confirmed that we will "bid adieu" to Regé-Jean Page, who will not be reprising his role in the second season.
However, in an interview with British GQ in September 2021, he refused to deny the possibility of a surprise appearance, so we'll have to wait and see.
Dynevor will be returning to the role of Daphne and the character will be "helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season" in the episodes to come.
Dynevor had previously said: "There's no such thing as a happy ending, is there? I think love's always shifting and changing. So who knows? I'd like to see what happens next. And also, I'd like to see Daphne get involved in Anthony's love life since he was so involved in hers.”
The actor recently told The Wrap that while the Duke won't be appearing in season 2, he will be referred to throughout.
"I think he'll definitely be referred to a lot, I think we'll see the baby," Dynevor said. "And we’ll just focus more on her relationship with the Bridgerton Family."
Why did Regé-Jean Page leave Bridgerton?
Bridgerton fans were a little taken aback to hear that Regé-Jean Page has left Bridgerton and will not be appearing in season two, because – while Simon is no longer the main character in any of the rest of the novels – he does remain an important part of the wider Bridgerton family, and he has a role to play in several upcoming storylines.
But that's not how Page sees it. He told Variety that season one of Bridgerton was pitched to him by Shondaland producers as a self-contained story for Simon Basset: "It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year."
The actor explained: “[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on... I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe. But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing."
The Hollywood Reporter writes that "sources close to the show" have said Page was offered an opportunity to return as a guest star in a handful of episodes in season two, for a rate of $50,000 an episode – but that he declined. There has been no official comment on this.
Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne in the series, told Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast: “I had a bit of a heads up so I knew but yeah, I guess it is a spanner."
She continued: “But again, the show centres around the Bridgertons and there are eight books. I think maybe the fans of the books were more aware of that happening than the fans of the show. I think fans of the books know that every episode is about a different sibling. And we’re very much passing the baton to the lovely Johnny, who plays Anthony. Obviously it’s sad to to see [Page] go but I’m looking forward to being reunited with my with my family.”
However, speaking to British GQ in September 2021, Page refused to confirm or deny his absence. "I couldn’t possibly tell you!” He added, “Isn’t there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren’t suspecting?”
Bridgerton season 2 plot
A cast discussion panel, teasing season two, was released as part of the Netflix fan event TUDUM, which you can watch here.
Lady Whistledown tells us: "This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season. I will have my pen ready to report on any and all of his romantic activities.
"However, gentle reader, before you set the comments section alight with requests for more sordid details, know that I am disinclined to report on the particulars at this time. Patience, after all, is a virtue."
There are multiple books in Julia Quinn's series of Bridgerton novels, and season one only really covers the first novel: The Duke and I. Now we'll be moving on to the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, which focuses on Anthony Bridgerton and a new heroine called Kate Sheffield (renamed Kate Sharma in the TV show).
The shift in focus towards Anthony and Kate is far from unexpected.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen previously told Collider: "The first season was primarily about Daphne and her love story with Simon. But, this being a family of eight children and there being eight books, I would love to be able to focus and really tell stories and love stories for all the Bridgerton siblings. For each character, for sure."
It also sounds like season two will be going back into the past. Rupert Evans has been cast as Edmund Bridgerton, who died before the events of season one; he is the late husband of Lady Violet, and father of Anthony, Daphne and co. Netflix tells us: "Edmund is a loving and devoted husband, whose true love match with Violet Bridgerton gave them eight perfect children. He's also an endlessly patient and kind father, who takes special pride in guiding his eldest son Anthony through life."
Perhaps the story begins earlier? Or perhaps there are lots of flashback scenes - or even a whole flashback episode?
In addition, season two will hopefully pick up where things left off with several plots and sub-plots. The Bridgerton season 1 finale certainly leaves plenty of unanswered questions, and hints at more to come – with the voiceover from "Lady Whistledown" (voiced by Julie Andrews) telling viewers at the end of the episode: "Of course, there are other endings that will offer new beginnings."
We should soon find out more about the heir to the Featherington estate, after the untimely death of Lord Featherington (Ben Miller). And fans will be wondering how this affects the fortunes of Penelope and her two sisters.
As for Penelope, will she ever make her feelings known to Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton)? And will Eloise (Claudia Jessie) enter the marriage market despite her reluctance? And will Benedict (Luke Thompson) continue to explore his sexuality and his passion for art?
And could we see more scenes between Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel)? That's what Andoh told Digital Spy she'd like to see in season two, explaining: "They're kind of naughty. Respectable, but naughty."
Nicola Coughlan has teased there’s more trouble set to come from the scandalous writer in the second season of Bridgerton.
Speaking recently on Claudia Winkleman’s BBC Radio 2 show, she said: "[After] that reveal at the end of series 1, you very much get to see behind the curtain in series 2."
She continued: "We see how she gets away with the things that she gets away with. And for me, it was so much fun because in series 1 she’s a shy, retiring wallflower, and then series 2 you go, 'Oh, she’s got all this new stuff going on,' and it was extremely fun to film."
However, it won’t all be fun and games for the gossip columnist in season 2, as Coughlan previously warned that there would be "repercussions" coming for Penelope.
"I think you know, she's certainly been lying to literally everyone in her life and I think you'll see the repercussions of that and I think you'll see she's not – I always say it's like a Britney Spears year, she's 'not a girl, not yet a woman'. She definitely matures from series 1. And I think she thinks she's much more a woman of the world than she actually is," she exclusively told RadioTimes.com back in October 2021.
Who is Bridgerton's new heroine Kate Sharma?
In the novel The Viscount Who Loved Me, Kate Sheffield is almost 21 and only just making her debut on the marriage market, alongside her younger half-sister Edwina (17 years old) – because the Sheffields, who come from out of town, can only afford to properly do the "season" once.
After the death of her mother when Kate was only three-years-old, Kate's father remarried. Thankfully, his new wife (Mary Sheffield) raised her stepdaughter with just as much love as if she were her own. But Kate and Edwina's father died, leaving Mary without a great deal of money – and with two daughters to find suitable husbands for.
As Julia Quinn writes, Kate had "known from the outset that she wasn't the sort who would capture the attention of the ton. She wasn't pretty enough to overcome her lack of dowry, and she'd never learned to simper and mince and walk delicately, and do all those things other girls seemed to know how to do in the cradle."
In the book, she is described as having "plain brown hair and eyes", and being on the tall side. Edwina, by contrast, is much more petite, with "buttery-coloured hair" and "startlingly pale blue eyes", and she's considered incredibly attractive. But the sisters, while very different in appearance and personality, are extremely close.
What happens in the second Bridgerton book?
In the second book, Lady Whistledown assures her readers that "London's most elusive bachelor" and "consummate rake" Anthony Bridgerton has no plans to marry – but she's wrong. And she changes her tune somewhat quickly.
As the blurb for Julia Quinn's second Bridgerton novel tells us, "Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry – he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield – the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams.
"Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands – and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister – but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…"
Bridgerton spin-off prequel news
Bridgerton fans don't just have season two to look forward to – there's also a brand new spin-off in the works!
Netflix announced on 14th May that the Bridgerton universe is expanding with a prequel series centred around Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and her origin story.
While we don't know much about the limited series, we know it will feature a young Violet Bridgerton, the Bridgerton family matriarch played by Ruth Gemmell in the original show, and a young Lady Danbury, the Duke's mentor and London society doyenne played by Adjoa Andoh.
With the currently untitled spin-off set to focus on Queen Charlotte's origin story, it's likely to cover the early stages of her marriage to King George III (James Fleet in Bridgerton) and how she came to rule Britain.
"Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton," Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria told Deadline.
"Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the Bridgerton universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love. And by planning and prepping all the upcoming seasons now, we also hope to keep up a pace that will keep even the most insatiable viewers totally fulfilled."
Golda Rousheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, spoke about the upcoming sequel at the BAFTAs, telling Tom Allen: "It will be interesting to delve in and see some backstory. I know questions are being asked about her."
While she couldn't give any more details about the project, she added that the show would spotlight some of the UK's historical estates: "I think we're got somer really amazing houses here and beautiful grounds and manor houses and palaces, and they are definitely being celebrated."
How many seasons of Bridgerton will there be?
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen has already suggested that there could be eight seasons of Bridgerton (just like there are eight novels in the series), each focused on a different Bridgerton sibling: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.
And now his wish seems to be coming through, as – in April 2021 – Netflix confirmed that Bridgerton has been renewed for seasons three and four. (Season two being already in production.)
While Van Dusen will continue at the helm of season two, he'll be handing over showrunning duties to Jess Brownell – who's worked on Shondaland productions Scandal and Inventing Anna – for seasons three and four, according to Deadline.
"As we continue to expand the world of Bridgerton, we now have the opportunity to devote even more of the Shondaland fold to the Bridgerton-verse," Shondaland CEO Rhimes told the publication.
"We’ve worked with Jess Brownell for over a decade and have long wanted to find the right project to place in her hands. When it came time to pass the baton, I knew this unique voice was vital to the future of the show."
Netflix's VP of Global TV said: "We think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come."
Hopefully, Netflix will commission seasons five, six, seven and eight further down the road.
The Bridgerton books in order
The books in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series are:
Book 1 – The Duke & I. Covered by season one of the Netflix drama.
Book 2 – The Viscount Who Loved Me. The tale of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, and his romance with a woman called Kate Sheffield (elder sister of the woman he's actually hoping to marry).
Book 3 – An Offer from a Gentleman. This book is about Benedict Bridgerton, and it's a bit of a Cinderella story with the bewitching Sophie Beckett, an earl's daughter relegated to the role of a servant by her stepmother.
Book 4 – Romancing Mister Bridgerton. The fourth book in the series is all about Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton.
Book 5 – To Sir Phillip, With Love. It's Eloise's turn to be the main character. At this point she's described as a "spinster" (rude!), and marriage is on the cards with a man called Sir Phillip Crane. But are they right for each other after all?
Book 6 – When He Was Wicked. We're getting to the younger Bridgerton siblings now, and book six covers the story of Michael Stirling and Francesca Bridgerton.
Book 7 – It's In His Kiss. This book covers Hyacinth Bridgerton, Gareth St Clair, and a mysterious diary written in Italian.
Book 8 – On the Way to the Wedding. Finally, it's the turn of second youngest child, Gregory Bridgerton, to find love.
And after that... there are a few Bridgerton spin-offs, too! Julia Quinn wrote a collection of eight "2nd Epilogues" and a novella about the family's matriarch Violet Bridgerton, published under the title The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After.
The author also wrote a couple more novellas featuring the character Lady Whistledown: '36 Valentines' and 'The First Kiss' were published in the anthology collections The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown and Lady Whistledown Strikes Back.