Everything you need to know about the third season of Bridgerton

luke newton, nicola coughlan, bridgerton, season 3
Bridgerton season 3 – Everything you need to know Netflix

Bridgerton season three has been confirmed for a May 16, 2024 and June 13, 2024 release (yes, it's arriving in two parts), after much anticipation. And if that wasn't exciting enough for you, we've just had a new sneak peek at the central Penelope and Colin storyline too.

This followed some pastel-hued first-look photos, which confirmed some fan-favourite character returns and gave us a glimpse at a more broody-looking Colin Bridgerton (now a leading man).

Fans will be expecting wedding bells once again in season three, as the new instalment of the beloved Shonda Rhimes period drama is going to be all about Penelope and Colin's love story. But, more on that later, let's not get too ahead of ourselves just yet.

We're going to do our very best Lady Whistledown impression, dear reader, to bring you the hottest gossip from The Ton – including details about season three's cast, storyline and when to expect it to drop on Netflix.

Here's everything you need to know about Bridgerton season three.

bridgerton season 3
Liam Daniel - Netflix

Is Bridgerton season 3 releasing soon?

Netflix finally confirmed some dates for our diaries.

Clear your social calendars, because new episodes of Bridgerton will be arriving soon. The third instalment will be split into two batches: Part One is coming on May 16, and Part Two will arrive the following month on June 13.

Lady Danbury star Adjoa Andoh had previously revealed a 2024 release window during an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, explaining that season three had "been in the can for a while". She also teased that "each season, the show gets slightly more fabulous. It gets more complex".

Andoh wasn't the only cast member to be sharing excitement for Bridgerton's return.

Jonathan Bailey (who took centre stage in season two, as Lord Anthony Bridgerton) said in November 2023 during a radio interview that the promotional campaign for Bridgerton season three "could happen any moment" – indicating that the series may have been ready for us for quite some time.

bridgerton season 3
Liam Daniel - Netflix

Who's in the Bridgerton season 3 cast?

Nicola Coughlan will of course be back as Penelope Featherington, despite being a super busy bee these days (did you spot her in the Barbie movie? And did you know she appeared in Doctor Who?)

The show wouldn't be the same without her – she's Lady Whistledown, for goodness sake!

Aside from her gossip sheets, Penelope is also set to be one half of the central love story in season three alongside Luke Newton, who plays Colin Bridgerton.

The rest of the Bridgerton family (clue's in the name!) should also be returning, including mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and the rest of her children Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Gregory (Will Tilston) and Hyacinth (Florence Hunt).

As for Francesca Bridgerton, Ruby Stokes has been replaced by Anatomy of a Scandal star Hannah Dodd after Ruby decided to leave the show to focus on another Netflix project, Lockwood & Co (which has sadly since been cancelled).

golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte, bridgerton, season 2

Ruling over everything will be Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), naturally, and her longtime friend and confidante Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) will undoubtedly be by her side. The pair were of course the central protagonists for the Bridgerton spinoff Queen Charlotte, which released on the streaming platform last year.

We are also expecting some new faces in Bridgerton season three, with cast announcements including:

• Daniel Francis (Stay Close), who will play Marcus Anderson. Marcus is described as "a charismatic presence who lights up any room he enters, attracting the notice of certain matriarchs in the ton, and the ire of others".

• Sam Phillips (The Crown) will play Lord Debling, "a genial lord with unusual interests. But with wealth and a noble title to back up his eccentricities, he'll have no shortage of interest from young ladies this season".

James Phoon (Wreck) is taking on the role of Harry Dankworth, "someone who may lack in wit and intelligence, but makes up for it with serious good looks".

rege jean page as simon basset, phoebe dynevor as daphne bridgerton, bridgerton

Will Daphne and the Duke be in Bridgerton season 3?

Regé-Jean Page's Simon Basset (aka the Duke of Hastings) got more tongues wagging than Lady Whistledown herself when it was revealed that he was to be exiting the show that had catapulted him to fame – and his absence was really felt in season two.

As it turned out, he'd only joined the Netflix drama in a short-term capacity, meaning that he was able to move on to other projects (from The Gray Man to Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves).

The Duke's intense romance with season one's diamond Daphne was the central story of the show's debut. But while Phoebe Dynevor, who starred alongside him, returned for the second season, it's been confirmed that she too will be missing from the upcoming episodes.

"Sadly not in season three," Dynevor told ScreenRant of her character's involvement. "Potentially in the future. But season three, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer."

bridgerton season 3 photo showing simone ashley as kate and jonathan bailey as anthony in a passionate embrace
Liam Daniel - Netflix

Are Lord Anthony and Kate Sharma in Bridgerton season 3?

This news is much more positive. Anthony and Kate's bubbling chemistry was a huge draw in season two, and new stills from Bridgerton season three confirm that they will indeed be back this year – and just as smitten as ever.

Jonathan Bailey had already spoken about his character's return (phew!), while Simone Ashley also revealed that she had left Sex Education to accommodate it.

"We're going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started," the actress told Deadline back in March 2022.

"In season two, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end.

"I think everything is just starting. I'd like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in season three and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it."

luke newton, nicola coughlan, bridgerton, season 3

What is the Bridgerton season 3 plot?

We know from the official synopsis that fan-favourite Penelope has decided that it's time to take a husband. However it sounds like it's not going to go particularly well... What's more, Colin will be returning to The Ton from his travels with a supposed "new look and a serious sense of swagger".

Nicola Coughlan confirmed in May 2022 that Bridgerton season three would not follow the book collection's timeline.

The third novel, An Offer From a Gentleman, focuses on the second Bridgerton brother, Benedict. But the Netflix series is skipping ahead to the fourth book, Romancing Mr Bridgerton, for its third instalment.

"Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time, and I can confirm to you all that season three is Colin and Penelope's love story," Coughlan told Netflix's FYSee panel (where it showcases its awards contenders) at the time (via Deadline).

"I have kept that secret since two weeks into season two. This is the first time I am saying it here."

This story centres on Colin Bridgerton's friendship-to-more relationship with Penelope Featherington.

Throughout the first two seasons, viewers have been privy to Penelope's unrequited love of Colin, who was almost conned into marriage by Penelope's cousin in season one. In season two, he returns from travelling the world with no intent of finding a wife any time soon.

luke newton, bridgerton, season 3

Despite being a long-held confidante, Colin sees her as "just Penelope". He even dismissed her to his friends as a potential wife at the end of the season, where a heartbroken Penelope overheard the male-bravado comment at the Featheringtons' ball.

"That very last comment is what I've got the most stick about from fans since we've finished," Newton admitted of the "savage" scene in an interview with Tudum.

To add fuel to the fire, Penelope's vicious Lady Whistledown alter ego was discovered by her best friend Eloise, who has disowned her for leaving her and her family as little more than tabloid fodder for the Ton.

This setup in the season two finale seemingly shapes some major drama for Pen, who now looks ready to use her quill as a knife, no matter who she takes down.

bridgerton season 2 eloise and penelope netflix

Speaking with Tudum about the decision to skip ahead, Coughlan explained that following Colin and Penelope's story a season earlier just makes sense.

"I feel like if you see Penelope fawning over this boy for another season, you'll be like, 'Get it together! Come on, move on and get over it'," she said. "Jess has talked to Luke and I through the season, and I think people are going to be really obsessed. I think book fans are going to be happy."

Also, Coughlan has said (via The Six O'Clock Show): "This season is really funny, really romantic, they've incorporated a lot of romcom elements. And it's again not one to watch with the whole family, but you can take from that what you will!"

As a result, Anthony and Kate are expected to take a back seat in season three. But in an interview with Elle, Ashley teased that viewers will see a different side to her character Kate in upcoming episodes.

simone ashley, charithra chandran, bridgerton season 2

"I think you're going to see a much more softer side coming this season," she shared. "We'll likely be able to see that 'softness' in Kate's wardrobe, and in her marriage to Anthony Bridgerton. She's going to be quite content with her husband."

One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be faithful to the books, no matter how awkward it gets for the cast.

"Luke and I read the books at the beginning of season 1, and it was funny to us," Nicola Coughlan said (via EW). "We were like, 'Imagine if we have to kiss and do this'. And then season three comes and we were like, 'Oh god', and then it's like, it's my friend. I have to kiss my friend.

"And you can't pretend to kiss someone, you have to really kiss them. It's a spicy one. It's a lot of the stuff from the books that the fans expect has made it into the show."

simone ashley as kate sharma, jonathan bailey as anthony bridgerton in bridgerton season 2
Liam Daniel/Netflix

What happened in season two of Bridgerton?

In case you need a little recap before Bridgerton season three arrives, let's revisit where we last left some of our favourite characters.

We've already reflected on the season's lovebirds Kate and Anthony, but what happened in the very final moments of season two?

The delightfully sarcastic and ahead-of-her-time Eloise Bridgerton enjoyed something of a fling with a printer named Theo (Calam Lynch), which unfortunately resulted in some rumours that she could have been the mysterious Lady Whistledown.

BFF Penelope used her pen to deflect, but inadvertently ended up damaging Eloise's reputation in another way, forcing her to end her flirtationship with Theo for his, and her own, protection.

Her affiliation with so-called 'radicals' also knocked the Bridgerton family's standing, once again, and it remains to be seen how long-lasting the effects of this will be.

claudia jessie, calam lynch, bridgerton

After doing the math, Eloise realised that her closest confidante was in fact the gossip columnist, and after a war of words between Penelope and Eloise, the pair's friendship appeared over.

We'd expect this friendship drama to carry forward into season three, although teaser images (via EW) have revealed Eloise and Pen talking again. Despite the tense looks on their faces, we'd like to think that they can find their way through the row...

Showrunner Jess Brownell has said she is "rooting for them."

"Bridgerton is about love in its many forms, and that includes friendship. The breakup between two friends can be just as earth shattering as a romantic relationship," she told EW.

"For Pen, it is extremely difficult. But it's also a chance for the two of them to grow and learn about themselves without that safety net of always having their best friend around."

penelope and colin bridgerton season 2 netflix

Penelope was dealt another blow in season two's closing moments, when she overheard long-term crush Colin dismissing her as a potential wife. How is this going to inform their relationship in the Polin-focused season three?

"We're going to make him work for it," Brownell said of Colin. "But these two have a longstanding friendship and every friendship has its hurdles. This is a particularly awkward one, but Penn portrays herself as this meek wallflower.

"But of course she has a mega powerful alter ego. She's got a lot of inner strength. She has it in her to push back with Colin and for them to figure things out together as friends and maybe more."

Is there a Bridgerton season 3 trailer?

Not a trailer per se, but Netflix did share a first-look teaser clip from Bridgerton season three, giving fans a first look at Colin and Penelope's romance (which you can watch above).

The brief clip sees Colin and Penelope gazing at each other in a drawing room, with Penelope confessing: "Your eyes are the most remarkable shade of blue, and yet somehow they shine even brighter when you are kind."

After Penelope's admission, the two awkwardly drop eye contact, with Penelope adding: "I might say something like that... if you were a suitor."

"Well, that was... rather direct," Colin responds, before their exchange is cut short by the sound of voices chatting in the background.

When an official trailer does drop, rest assured you can find it here first.

Bridgerton streams on Netflix.

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