Shonda Rhimes’ first series for Netflix, Bridgerton, has finally arrived, and it’s taking us back in time to the U.K’s Regency Era, where drama, scandal, and glamour all stand at the center.
Though most of Bridgerton focuses on one young woman’s question to find a husband, a major element of the story is Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), whose gossip pamphlet can make or destroy the people it mentions. But what is Lady Whistledown’s true identity?
[Spoiler alert: This article contains MAJOR spoilers from Netflix’s Bridgerton. Read at your own risk.]
What is Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ about?
Rhimes and showrunner Chris Van Dusen have reimagined Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton book series for the small-screen. Though the eight books in Quinn’s series chronicle the eight Bridgerton siblings’ love lives, Season 1 of the Netflix show focuses on the eldest daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynover).
Bridgerton opens in the summer of 1813. Now of age, Daphne is about to enter London’s marriage market. From a respectable family and groomed from an early age by her widowed mother, Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), Daphne sets out to make a match for love and status.
Unfortunately, when Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) inserts her nose into the market and takes a liking to Daphne, things begin to go awry. Things take another turn when Daphne finds her name scrawled in a gossip pamphlet, written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews).
‘Bridgerton’ has modern elements
Though it’s set in the 19th century in England and has all of the stunning architecture and costuming of the day, it also has some 21st-century elements sprinkled throughout. Like other shows from Shondaland including, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal, the cast of Bridgerton is extremely diverse.
A Black woman portrays Queen Charlotte, and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), Daphne’s older brother’s friend, is also portrayed by a Black man. Typically, the Regency Era in the U.K. centers only on white characters, but Bridgerton is very different.
In addition to the inclusiveness, fans will hear a string quartet covering Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next” and Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” in the series, which is another way Van Dusen decided to switch things up. “Our show is for a modern audience, featuring modern themes and characters, so we took liberties in our re-imagining,” Van Dusen told The Guardian.
Lady Whistledown’s identity revealed
In Bridgerton, Daphene’s younger sister Eloise ( Claudia Jessie), goes on a quest to discover the true identity of Lady Whistledown. After all, Lady Whistledown’s pamphlet is the obsession of the city, and she easily turns the tide for the Bridgerton and for family’s like the Featheringtons.
In the season finale of Bridgerton, though Whistledown has kept her identity secret from the high society, the Netflix audience gets a glimpse of her riding in her carriage. It turns out that Lady Whistleodwn, though voiced by Andrews, is actually Eloise’s best friend, Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). It will be interesting to see how that pans out in the next season.
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