Why Bridgerton's Lady Whistledown Revealed Her Family's Own Secret Scandal


In the season 1 finale of Bridgerton, a major twist was revealed as Lady Whistledown's true identity was unveiled. Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, explains why her character made the shocking decision to expose her family's scandal.

Throughout the season, Lady Whistledown had been the narrator and the gossip columnist who reported on the scandalous events of Regency-era London. In the final episodes, it is revealed that Penelope, the cousin of Marina Thompson, is in fact Lady Whistledown herself.

The twist comes after Marina's pregnancy is exposed by Lady Whistledown, preventing her from marrying Colin Bridgerton.


Penelope's decision to reveal her family's secret was difficult, as her feelings for Colin clouded her judgment. Coughlan explains that it was in line with Shondaland's portrayal of complicated women who make questionable decisions.

While viewers may have seen Penelope as a moral center, Coughlan argues that flawed and complicated women are often less accepted in television shows. She compares Penelope's character to Walter White from Breaking Bad, and hopes that viewers can see past their anger and understand Penelope's motives.


At just 17 years old, Penelope is someone who has been ignored in her life, and being Lady Whistledown gives her a sense of power. However, she hasn't fully realized the extent of her influence in Season 1. Coughlan hopes to explore Penelope's journey and growth in future seasons.

Although Penelope's decision to expose her family's secrets is controversial, it ultimately helps reconcile her with Marina, who forgives her for trying to prevent her marriage to Colin. Penelope still has a lot of growing to do, but her decision has accelerated the scandal that the Featheringtons would have faced in potential future seasons.

Bridgerton season 1 is now available for streaming on Netflix.