Bridgerton season 3: first look pictures, plot, cast and all we know

Bridgerton season 3
The third season will follow the romance between Colin and Penelope (Image credit: Netflix)

It won't be long before Bridgerton season 3 hits our screens and we can't wait to return to a world of sweeping ballgowns and scurrilous court gossip! 

The latest instalment will focus on the romance between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), which was building steadily in last year's second season. 

With Netflix releasing a host of images of the pair from the new series, we can't wait to find out how their relationship develops - even if it's safe to assume it won't be all plain sailing! 

Last year's highly-anticipated Bridgerton season 2 was a big hit on Netflix and audiences were taken on an emotional rollercoaster as the love triangle between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and the Sharma sisters, Kate (Simone Ashley) and Edwina, played out. 

We also saw Penelope Featherington struggling to keep her secret identity as Lady Whistledown under wraps, as her best friend Eloise Bridgerton continued her quest to discover the truth. 

Amazingly, Bridgerton season 2 actually proved even more popular than the first and the third season will be hoping to even top that!

But who'll be the talk of the ton in season three and which new cast members will be joining the show? Here's everything we know so far...

Bridgerton season 3 release date

Netflix have not yet announced an official release date for Bridgerton season 3, but it  is likely to arrive later this year as filming wrapped in March 2023. 

There was just a fifteen-month gap between Bridgerton season 1 and the second season, so Bridgerton season 3 has a potential release date of autumn 2023. Once we have a definite date, we'll be sure to let you know.

Bridgerton season 3

We'll be seeing plenty more of the Featheringtons in the years to come. (Image credit: Netflix)

But if you can't wait for more regency drama, the first Bridgerton spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will be released on Netflix on Thursday, May 4. 

Bridgerton season 3 plot

For the first two seasons, showrunner Chris Van Dusen stuck to the order in which author Julia Quinn published the Bridgerton novels. This led us to believe that the third season would be based on the third book, An Offer From a Gentleman, which focuses on Benedict's love story. 

Bridgerton season 3

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton lead the cast in season four (Image credit: Netflix)

Yet in May 2022, we learned the third season would deviate from the regular book order when Nicola Coughlan — who plays Penelope Featherington — revealed on Instagram that Bridgerton season 3 would be focusing on Penelope and Colin Bridgerton's love story instead.

This isn't a huge surprise as the Penelope and Colin story was building throughout series two. 

This means we can instead look forward to seeing the story of book 4, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, playing out whenever our next helping of Bridgerton comes along.

In July 2022 Netflix released an official synopsis of Bridgerton season 3...

"From Shondaland and new showrunner, Jess Brownell, Bridgerton is back for its third season and finds Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) after hearing his disparaging words about her last season. She has, however, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. 

Bridgerton season 3

Is there more heartache coming up for Penelope?  (Image credit: Netflix)

"But he’s disheartened to realize that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. 

"Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret." 

Bridgerton season 3

Luke Newton plays Colin Bridgerton (Image credit: Netflix)

But Benedict fans need not worry, as Chris Van Dusen has confirmed we'll be hearing more about him in future seasons... 

"I love Benedict's story," he told ET. "I love his story and all these siblings, all these characters for different reasons. They all offer something new. I think it was really the appeal to me in a project like this, the fact that we could tell these close-ended love stories and shift focus season after season," he explained. "This season, obviously we are with Anthony Bridgerton. It will go on and on and be equally as pleasurable as the one before."

Bridgerton Claudia Jessie

Eloise Bridgerton discovered a jaw-dropping secret in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Bridgerton season 3 cast

Rege-Jean Page was the star of the first season, yet didn't appear in the second so Bridgerton fans are terrified Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, who played Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma, could suffer the same fate!

Luckily this won't be the case and it has since been confirmed by Simone that the pair would in fact be back for the next season. She shared the news exclusively with Deadlinestating: "We're going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started. We have the amazing Jess Brownell who is taking the lead as showrunner in season 3. In season 2, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end.

"I'd like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in season 3 and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it," she added.

Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran in 'Bridgerton' season 2

Charithra Chandran has hinted she won't be back as Edwina for season 3.  (Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

However, it looks like we've seen the last of Kate's sister Edwina, according to Charithra Chandran, who played her in season 2.

Charithra told us: "For Edwina, I'd say she's not a Bridgerton. And at the end of the day, the show is about the Bridgerton family. Edwina exists in the Bridger-verse, as we like to say, but I've been so happy to be, to have such a great part this season. And I'm just grateful for that."

She also confirmed the news to The Indian Express as she said: “No, I’m not on set for season 3. I’m doing another film. It hasn’t been announced yet. It’s really exciting!”

We're also going to be seeing a new Bridgerton sibling next time, as one of the Bridgerton siblings has been recast for season 3. Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal) has been signed up to replace Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton for the next series, as Ruby is joining Lockwood & Co opposite Morven Christie (The Bay).

Aside from Edwina and a new version of Francesca, though, it looks like our other favorites from the main cast are set to return. 

However, Phoebe Dynevor revealed that she wasn't sure if she would be appearing as her beloved character Daphne Bridgerton in the third series as she told Variety: "I’ve done what I wanted to do with that character and she had a great arc. If they ask me back in the future, who knows?"

TV tonight Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey play star-crossed lovers.

Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton will return for season 3. (Image credit: Netflix)

Bridgerton season 3 new cast members

There will be a few new faces appearing on the ton in Bridgerton season 3 and in July, Netflix confirmed who will be playing these new characters... 

Daniel Francis plays 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.

Daniel has starred alongside James Nesbitt and Richard Armitage in Netflix thriller Stay Close, Amazon Prime fantasy epic The Wheel of Time and the hit BBC black history anthology series Small Axe.

Daniel Francis Bridgerton season 3

Daniel Francis plays the charismatic Marcus Anderson (Image credit: Netflix)

Another new face is Sam Phillips, who will be playing Lord Debling, a genial lord with unusual interests. But with wealth and a noble title to back up his eccentricities, he'll have no shortage of interest from young ladies this season.

Sam Phillips has appeared in a host of British dramas, including Father Brown and Grantchester, yet is most famous for his role in Kay Mellor's lottery series The Syndicate. He also played an equerry in Netflix's royal saga The Crown

Sam Phillips Bridgerton season 3

Sam Phillips plays Lord Debling, a genial lord with unusual interests (Image credit: Netflix)

James Phoon plays Harry Dankworth. What Dankworth lacks in wit and intelligence, he more than makes up for with serious good looks.

A skilled theatre actor, James Phoon is a screen newcomer, although he is due to appear in BBC Three comedy horror series Wreck in the coming months. He also appeared in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the West End. 

James Phoon Bridgerton season 3

James Phoon plays good-looking newcomer, Harry Dankworth (Image credit: Netflix)

And according to Deadline, Hannah New, the star of Starz’ series Black Sails, will play Lady Tilley Arnold, a firebrand widow. Widowed at an early age, she enjoys the privileges and power that come with being at the helm of her former husband’s estate, living life on her own terms with financial independence and sexual freedom.

Bridgerton season 3 filming locations

Filming has been taking place in London and also Bath. The show is also tweeting out behind the scenes snaps from filming, including this one of Lady Danbury...

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Will there be a Bridgerton season 4? 

Yes! Netflix commissioned seasons 3 and 4 in April 2021, so we can expect plenty more drama in the years to come.

Bridgerton season 3 trailer

There's no trailer yet, but in July Netflix released a teaser video showing the cast having a bit of fun on set. Check it out! 

At Tudum 2022, we didn't get to see any new footage. However, during a Bridgerton featurette featuring Luke Newton and Claudia Jessies, Nicola Coughlan popped up to tease us with an extract from the beginning of the first episode of season 3!

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and whattowatch.com

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.