season 3 was confirmed several years ago, but the release date could finally be on the horizon for the Bridgerton sibling's return to Netflix. Season 1 adapted Julia Quinn's novel , telling the tale of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset's romance. Despite being such a success with audiences, that was put on the back burner in season 2 — which doesn't feature Simon at all, although he is name-dropped occasionally — and adapts the second novel , focusing on Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma's enemies-to-lovers storyline.
Instead of adapting , , for season 3, the Netflix show is making a huge switch-up and changing the order. season 3 will cover the fourth novel, and even then is making several alterations (as it did for seasons 1 and 2). Production on season 3 is already underway, and a release date announcement feels closer every day, with the added bonus of spin-off setting up the third mainline series in a surprising way.
There has been surprisingly little news on season 3 outside the occasional tease from cast members since filming wrapped in March 2023. However, this is likely due to both the . While production is reportedly more-or-less complete on the next season, the strike conditions also prohibit the cast from promoting their work in all but a very limited capacity.
However, was expected to arrive in 2023 by many, so the lack of promotion for the show from Netflix by September is worrying. There's increasing concern that, due to the strikes and Netflix wanting to be able to promote it properly, the next season of could be delayed until 2024. However, a leaked report in August suggested the season 3 release date could be as soon as December 14, 2023
It should be noted though that this date was only rumored, and since it's only a few months away the lack of promotion from Netflix doesn't seem to correlate — especially given both the popularity of the show and how long it's been since the next season of was confirmed in 2021.
season 3 is officially happening on Netflix, with the show's renewal confirmed in 2021 (. What's more, the streamer confirmed a fourth season would also follow. Author Julia Quinn wrote , one focusing on each sibling, and the hope is that each book will be adapted into a different season for TV. It's likely that Netflix will continue with the show long into the future should interest remain high.
season 3's cast will include most of the Bridgerton family: Jonathan Bailey as Anthony; Ruth Gemmell as Violet; Claudia Jessie as Eloise; Luke Thompson as Benedict; Luke Newton as Colin; Will Tilston as Gregory; and Florence Hunt as Hyacinth. Nicola Coughlan will, of course, be back as Penelope Featherington as the focal character of the season. The season 3 cast is likely to feature many other returning faces, including:
. Dynevor did keep the door open to return in later seasons, but she will not be around in season 3. Some of second-season cast additions, including Rupert Young as Jack Featherington and Calam Young as Theo Sharpe, are perhaps less likely to return since their stories are seemingly wrapped up.
There is one major casting change for season 3. Ruby Stokes is no longer playing younger sister Francesca Bridgerton. Stokes landed a starring role on Netflix’s , which conflicted with her recurring status in . who recently appeared in , also for Netflix, as Sarah Chapman. actress Hannah New joins the series as Lady Tilley Arnold, a young widow. Daniel Francis, James Phoon, and Sam Phillips have also all joined the show for season 3.
Many expected the Netflix series to follow the order of the books, as the novels also begin with Daphne and Anthony’s stories. There’s been a change to the lineup, however. Instead of focusing on Benedict for season 3, the Netflix show will focus on Colin and Penelope. Colin and Penelope’s story makes up the fourth book in the series, — albeit with some differences in the plot for season 3.
Following the , Penelope decides that she needs to look for a husband that will allow her to get out of her mother’s house and still live her double life as Penelope and Lady Whistledown, but she doesn’t have the same level of confidence that other debutantes do. Colin, who misses Penelope’s company when she starts to ignore him at social events, offers to help her land a husband. According to Netflix’s official summary, Colin’s plan to help Penelope gain confidence might “.”
In addition to Colin and Penelope’s love story unfolding, Eloise will also share some of the spotlight in the season 3 story. After discovering that Penelope is Lady Whistledown, Eloise wants nothing to do with her former best friend. That leaves her forging new relationships while still being present for the parties of the season.
Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, teased that season 3 will be "" (via ). Coughlan explained ""
Beyond the established sibling storylines from season 2, spin-off throws in the seed of a substantial storyline for Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell). She plays an important role in , playing part of the triptych of "widows" (including Charlotte herself who awaits King George's death), each representing different types of grief. She loved her husband dearly, and still mourns him, but begins to realize in that she may be ready to enjoy herself once more — to "" again, as the show delightfully puts it.
While it feels unlikely that Violet will remarry in season 3, there is the possibility of courtship and perhaps some liberated sexual activity to throw further scandal under the belly of the ton. And the unexpected source of that scandal, Violet, would make for a wonderfully entertaining new dynamic.