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It’s Polin’s “Bridgerton” Season — So Why is Everyone Talking About Francesca?

Watch out! This post contains spoilers.

It's Polin's "Bridgerton" Season — So Why is Everyone Talking About Francesca?

“Bridgerton” has finally made a return to our screens, with Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton taking to the spotlight in Part One of Season Three. While you’ll have to wait until June 13 for part two, we’re already feeling hot under the collar as Penelope and Colin’s — aka Polin — romance begins to heat up. However, as we’re being teased by the long-awaited friends-to-lovers storyline of Polin, we’re also being treated to a new romantic storyline, from none other than Francesca Bridgerton. The chatter online and massive searches on google for “What happens to Francesca Bridgerton?” and “Who does Francesca Bridgerton marry?” show that this season isn’t as straightforwardly one story as the other series may have been.

You might not remember Francesca, as she was too young to be involved in the raunchiness of her siblings’ love lives in past seasons, and was practically a background character in the show. But everyone’s talking about Francesca now as she makes her debut in the Ton. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as Netflix announced in May 2023 that they’d be recasting Francesca, who was previously played by Ruby Stokes in seasons one and two. You’ll see actress Hannah Dodd join the cast as the sixth-oldest Bridgerton sibling, and her story is just as complex.

Dodd told PS UK’s entertainment editor Aaliyah Harry that Francesca is different from her siblings. “She’s on that journey of working out exactly what it is she wants — is she going to follow her family’s wishes? I think there’s an element of people-pleasing going on,” she said. “She has a lot of insecurities but there is this kind of quiet confidence about her. It’s not confidence necessarily but she doesn’t need outward validation — she doesn’t chase that in the same way that maybe some of her siblings have needed to.”


It's Polin's "Bridgerton" Season — So Why is Everyone Talking About Francesca?

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If you’re ready for spoilers and want to know more about Francesca’s story, as told in “When He Was Wicked”, a book in the Bridgerton series written by Julia Quinn, then keep reading.

What Happens to Francesca Bridgerton and Who Does She Marry?

Francesca’s story happens in the background of her siblings’ earlier books before her own. She debuts in society and gets snapped up fairly quickly by John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin, but John’s cousin Michael secretly loves her. Despite his feelings, they remain close friends.

Tragically, John dies two years into their marriage, and Francesca, newly widowed and miscarrying, is left devastated as the earldom goes to Michael. Four years on, Francesca’s friendship with Michael is strained. Spending most of her time with her family, she starts thinking about remarrying, though she’s unsure about finding true love again. Michael returns from a trip to India, dealing with grief, the pressures of the earldom, and a bout of illness. He’s still in love with Francesca but believes she’s out of reach.

As they reconnect, Francesca starts noticing Michael in a new way, which brings guilt and confusion. His rakish reputation bothers her, not knowing it’s partly due to his feelings for her. Their attraction grows (leading to some of the steamiest scenes the series has seen) but they struggle with their loyalty to John’s memory. Eventually, they find their way to a happy marriage.

Needless to say, we’re excited to see how Francesca’s passionate love story is adapted for the series and whether producers stay loyal to the book order of the “Bridgerton” series, or (as with Season 3) mix things up and bring her story forwards.


It's Polin's "Bridgerton" Season — So Why is Everyone Talking About Francesca?

The Success of “The Idea Of You” Proves People Want to See Love on Screen Lauren Gordon is the editorial coordinator at PS UK, where she creates lifestyle and identity content. Lauren has a degree in journalism from University of the Arts London and previously worked as a showbiz and TV reporter at The Mirror US. Lauren specialises in pop culture, hair and beauty, focusing on trends, sharing in-depth tutorials, and highlighting hidden gems in the beauty industry.