'Bridgerton' season 3 release date, trailers and more

 (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton
(Image credit: Netflix)

Dear readers, "Bridgerton" season 3 part 1 is here and streaming on Netflix now. 

It's been two whole years since Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma had everyone swooning with their love story in "Bridgerton" season 2. Thankfully, Lady Whistledown is back to chronicle all of the tittle-tattle of the high-class London Ton, though this time the focus is on Anthony’s younger bro Colin (Luke Newton) and his friends-to-lovers relationship with Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), the youngest Featherington daughter who is secretly Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews). 

That’s a change from previous installments of the show, which is adapted from Julia Quinn's popular novels and closely follows the storylines of the book series. Each season spotlights a given member of the eponymous Bridgerton family as they navigate the marriage market: the first season focused on the rollercoaster relationship between eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), while the second followed the illicit romance between Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and his intended's sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). 

The third of Quinn’s books puts the second son, Benedict, in the spotlight, but "Bridgerton" season 3 will skip what’s on the page and go right to Colin and Penelope’s relationship. We're ready for all of the steaminess that's ahead, here's everything you need to know about "Bridgerton" season 3. 

'Bridgerton' season 3 release date

For the first time, "Bridgerton" season 3 is split into two parts à la other top Netflix shows like "Stranger Things," "You," "Ozark" and "The Witcher." The first four episodes dropped on Thursday, May 16, with the final four installments arriving a little less than one month later on Thursday, June 13. That makes for eight episodes total this season, the same as its first and second seasons, though all eight eps dropped in one fell swoop for the show's previous editions. 

In April 2021, Netflix announced its renewal of season 3 and season 4. At the time, Netflix VP of Global TV Bela Bajaria said, “Bridgerton swept us off our feet. The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the material and delivered a beautiful, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They have some exciting plans for the future, and 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."

'Bridgerton' season 3 trailers and clips

There have been several sneak-peek clips released in the months leading up to the "Bridgerton" season 3 release date. The latest one showcases the tension between Penelope and Colin: "Certainly Miss Featherington has grown fatigued by the misleading actions of Colin Bridgerton," Netflix captioned the minute-long video, which was fittingly posted on YouTube on February 14. "It would seem that this wallflower is done being trampled.

'Bridgerton' season 3 cast

The cast of Bridgerton


Given that “Bridgerton” season 3 will focus on the coupling of Colin and Penelope — affectionately known by fans as “Polin” — actors Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton will return as this season’s leads, Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton.

They will be joined by other key players from previous “Bridgerton” seasons, including Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton (Penelope's former best friend and one of the few characters who knows the Lady Whistledown secret) and Jonathan Bailey as Viscount Anthony Bridgerton. 

Yes, that also means that Anthony’s wife and Viscountess Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) will also be appearing in the new episodes, exploring their married life and duties as heads of the Bridgerton family, much to the delight of “Kanthony” fans. 

However, one Bridgerton simply won't be joining the rest of the family onscreen: Phoebe Dynevor won't be reprising her role as the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne. "Sadly [I'm] not in season 3, potentially in the future," the actress told ScreenRant. "But season 3, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer." "Bridgerton" fans also shouldn't hold their breath at the hope of seeing Daphne's hunky husband, Simon Bassett, played by (Regé-Jean Page) — shortly after the first season, the actor revealed to Variety that he wouldn't be returning for season 2. And unless a TV miracle happens, we'll be expecting the same for season 3. 

Other returning cast members include Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), Ruth Gemmell (Violet Bridgerton), Lorraine Ashbourne (Mrs. Varley), Harriet Cains (Philipa Featherington), Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington), Jessica Madsen (Cressida Cowper), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth Bridgerton), Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich), Will Tilston (Gregory Bridgerton), Polly Walker (Portia Featherington), and Julie Andrews (Lady Whistledown).

Along with those familiar faces, the romantic drama will introduce several new characters for season 3. Per Netflix, Daniel Francis will play Marcus Anderson, "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 takes on the role of Lord Debling, "a genial lord with unusual interests" who will have "no shortage of interest from young ladies this season," and James Phoon will portray Harry Dankworth, who "lacks in wit and intelligence" but "more than makes up for with serious good looks."

The series has also recast Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton, the sixth Bridgerton sibling. She takes over from Ruby Stokes, who left the show to lead the Netflix series "Lockwood and Co." 

In the casting announcement, Netflix said, "Francesca Bridgerton is a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family. Despite her reserved nature, she goes along to get along when it comes to society affairs, fortified with a dry wit and pragmatism that confound the fickle ton yet seem to draw attention when she least desires it."

'Bridgerton' season 3 spoilers and book story

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton in Bridgerton


Spoiler warning: The following contains detailed information about Julia Quinn's novels "An Offer From a Gentleman" and "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton."

While "Bridgerton" the series hasn't entirely followed Quinn's novels to the letter, seasons 1 and 2 did closely track the plot of her first two "Bridgerton" books, "The Duke and I" and "The Viscount Who Loved Me." Some storylines were shifted from later books, like the revelation of Lady Whistledown's identity. 

However, season 3 will diverge from the books. It will not take story cues from book 3, "An Offer From a Gentleman," which has a Cinderella-like romance between Benedict Bridgerton and a new character named Sophie Beckett. 

Instead, it will draw from the fourth book, "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton," which focuses on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. Star Nicola Coughlan revealed the news during a special Netflix event.

"Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time and I can confirm to you all that season 3 is Colin and Penelope’s love story,” Coughlan said. “I have kept that secret since two weeks into season 2. This is the first time I am saying it here.”

Shondaland confirmed Coughlan's announcement, with a statement reading, "It is only fair that in this author’s third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair’s social season should find its focus on a third son… as well as a third daughter. With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author."

The end of season 2 left things looking very uncertain between Colin and Penelope as the latter hears her longtime crush mock the idea of courting her. She rushes to her room in tears, where she proceeds to pick up her pen again as Lady Whistledown. Hell hath no fury like a writer scorned!

However, the pair do end up together in the books, so "Polin" fans should be able to breathe easy this season. In "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton," Colin begins to see Penelope in a new light. But her big secret threatens to get in the way of their happily ever after.

Other storylines we may see include Eloise pursuing her political interests and the romantic sparks with printer's assistant Theo, Edwina Sharma's continuing search for her match and Lady Featherington's latest schemes to marry off her daughters.

Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all things "Bridgerton" season 3, but in the meantime, you can rewatch the drama's first two seasons on Netflix. 

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Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.