‘Bridgerton’ Fans Are Finally Getting The Queer Storyline They Deserve

bridgerton season 4
Finally, A Queer 'Bridgerton' Storyline 2023 © Netflix

If you binged the first four episodes of the third season of Bridgerton as soon as they debuted on Netflix on May 16, fear not, for not only are the remainder of the episodes now available to watch as of today, but a fourth season of the much-loved Regency drama is already in the works.

In April 2021, Netflix confirmed that the series was renewed for both a third and fourth season, and while information regarding the plot of the fourth season is scarce, Julia Quinn, the author of the Bridgerton novels the series is based upon, recently confirmed that the fourth season is on its way although she is sworn to secrecy on the exact details.


This was further reiterated in May 2024, when Bridgerton's showrunner Jess Brownell confirmed to Refinery29 that they were 'in the middle of writing it [season four] right now.' The suspense!

colin luke newton and penelope coughlan in bridgerton season three
Courtesy of Netflix

From the cast to the plot and everything in-between, this is everything you need to know about Bridgerton season four.

What will the plot of Bridgerton season four be?

Season three is (confusingly) based on Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, the fourth of Quinns' books. It focusses on Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)’s secret crush on her best friend Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and her quest for a husband, which has left fans questioning which of Quinns' books the fourth season could draw inspiration from.

bridgerton season 3
2023 © Netflix

With the script for the fourth season still very much in its preliminary stages, following the third season, fans began theorising in June 2024 that Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson)’s story could be the focus of the fourth season. The societal debut of Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) in the third season has also whet the whistle for whether her life could be central to the fourth series.

Adding fuel to the fire that Benedict may well be one of the focusses of the fourth season, Brownell told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2024 that both she and Shonda Rhimes were 'growing weary of the dynamic where Colin has no idea that Pen has feelings for him. So, it felt like it was the right time to lean into what’s going on between them and spin it in a new direction.'

In anticipation of the fourth season focussing on Benedict, Bridgerton wig artist Grace Gorman also recently shared a photo of Lady Cowper on Instagram, and wrote in the caption that the character’s first name was Araminta, the same name of the stepmother of Benedict’s love interest, Sophie Beckett, in the books. Noting the post, fans of the series promptly flocked to X where they shared their anticipation of Benedict's love story finally entering the fray. 'OMG!!! I think we are going to see Sophie soon enough,' commented one user.

On June 3, Coughlan, however, seemed quick to shut down that theory. After she posted a photograph of her and Newton in hair and make-up, fans were quick to notice that a mirror in the background had a Post-It taped to it, which read 'Sophie.' It didn't take long before fans flocked to Reddit, to wonder if the note was 'another sign' for season four.

But while her character’s alter ego may enjoy stirring the pot, Coughlan was quick to shut down the implication that she’d accidentally spoiled the upcoming fourth season. 'lolll no that’s @sophie.burton.33’s makeup station!!' she replied to one user's comment, tagging a Bridgerton makeup artist called Sophie.

Fans have also surmised that, after Jessica Madsen, who plays Cressida Cowper, posted a string of pictures in honour of Pride month with caption admitting she's 'in love with a woman', a queer storyline may well be a part of the fourth season. Joanna Bobin, who plays Madsen's on-screen mother Lady Cowper, wrote: 'Go baby girl! Love you', while Hannah Dodd, who plays Francesca Bridgerton, added: 'Love youuuuuu' along with a yellow heart emoji.

The series' showrunner, Jess Brownell, who has taken over from Chris Van Dusen, has previously admitted that she's keen to incorporate more queer storylines in the show.

'I want to see more queer joy on my screens and that was definitely a priority for me when I stepped into the showrunner role,' she told Pride. 'How exactly that plays out over this season and the next couple seasons, I can’t say specifically, but I will say I’m excited for fans to see that.'

The incorporation of a queer storyline in the fourth season was almost certainly confirmed in the season three finale, when Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) was introduced to her husband's cousin Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza) and appeared to forget her own name. The moment was a nod to a conversation Francesca had had with her mother earlier in the season, who described the shock of love at first sight: 'When I first met your father, I could barely speak my own name. I was so taken by him. I stumbled over words most familiar.'

bridgerton season four francesca bridgerton
2023 © Netflix

For the uninitiated, in the books, the second-born Bridgerton daughter falls in love with her husband’s cousin Michael after she is widowed, but the introduction of Michaela confirmed that the character has been reimagined as a woman for the upcoming season.

In the sixth Bridgerton novel, When He Was Wicked, Michael Stirling is a 19th-century playboy and bachelor who becomes the new Earl of Kilmartin when John Stirling (Victor Alli), Francesca's husband, unexpectedly dies, due to a brain injury. John’s death occurs only two years into his marriage with Francesca, so the young widow turns to Michael for comfort, as the two had already formed a close friendship prior to John’s passing. What Francesca is unaware of in the books is that Michael has, in fact, held a flame for her since the first time they met.

'When I first read When He Was Wicked in the lead-up to season one, I really related to it as a queer woman,” Brownell told Entertainment Weekly in June 2024. 'There’s some themes in that book about Francesca feeling different. Julia Quinn just means it in terms of her being an introvert. But for a lot of us in the queer community, that sense of feeling different from a young age is a part of our stories. So, I felt like there was good thematic resonance telling a queer story with Francesca.'

She further added that in the fourth season of Bridgerton, we can expect for a love story of sorts between Francesca and Michaela to develop. 'I can’t say in what capacity, just in terms of not tipping my hand of where we’re going. But there is going to be a relationship between Michaela and Fran, as per the books,' she confirmed.

Who will star in Bridgerton season four?

Two stars are already confirmed to return for season four, according to Coughlan. Speaking toThe Wrap, the actor confirmed that both she and Newton will reprise their roles for the fourth season.

'They’ve told us we’re back for season four, which is super lovely … It’ll be exciting,' she said. '[We’ll] pop back and have some fun for sure.'

queen charlotte bridgerton prequel

No other cast members at the time of writing have been confirmed to return but it's safe to assume that Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Ruth Gemmell (Violet Bridgerton), Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton) and Hannah Dodd (Francesca Bridgerton), who joined the cast in season three, will all be back for Bridgerton's fourth outing.

When will Bridgerton season four be released?

If you've already binged the final part of the third season, we have bad news for you. Brownell told The Hollywood Reporter at the June 2024 premiere of the second part of season three that it will be two years before the beloved series' fourth season premieres.

'We are working to try and put the seasons out more quickly, but they do take eight months to film, then they have to be edited, then they have to be dubbed into every language,' Brownell told the outlet.

'And the writing takes a very long time as well, so we’re kind of on a two-year pace,' she added. 'We’re trying to speed up but somewhere in that range.'

But fans of the show should feel encouraged by the showrunner's assurance that the fourth season is some of her 'best work' yet.

'I’m really excited about what we’re writing. We’re towards the end with the writers' room season, with the scripts. And I feel like it’s some of my best work and my writers' room’s best work,' she said. 'We’ve just really gelled our collaboration, and we’re firing on all cylinders, so I can’t wait for fans to see what we have.'

Is there a trailer for Bridgerton season four?

We're still waiting on a trailer for Bridgerton's fourth season but will update this piece as soon as we receive more information.

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