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Hold on to your tiaras and satin gloves, because Bridgerton is (almost!) back. The Regency-era romance was a runaway hit when season 1 came out, largely due to its extravagant fashion and truly steamy scenes. While you won’t see the Duke of Hastings this time around, Anthony Bridgerton is coming in hot as the new focal character and is bringing all the drama you’ve been missing.
Before you start your binge-watch, we want you to ask yourself this: How much do you really know about the show? From how many original outfits were created in season 1 (hint: it’s over 4,000!) to who almost played the Duke of Hastings before Regé-Jean Page was cast, these surprising Bridgerton facts are so juicy, they’d even impress Queen Charlotte — and we all know that’s no easy feat.
Julie Andrews is the narrator.
Yep, that’s why Lady Whistledown’s voice sounds so familiar! Julie Andrews recorded all of her parts over Zoom in a New York studio. “We sent her the scripts, she ended up reading the scripts and loving the scripts. And she said yes,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen told StarLifestyle.
Shonda Rhimes is the executive producer.
You know, the creative genius behind Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal? Bridgerton is the producer’s very first project with Netflix, but not her last: She signed $150 million deal with the streaming service in 2017. Her second project was Inventing Anna.
It’s based on a popular book series of the same name.
Julia Quinn wrote eight books in the Bridgerton series, giving the show plenty of content to work with. The novelist also serves as a consultant for producers. “I really felt like it was in such good hands that I didn’t need to micromanage in any way,” she told Town & Country.
Queen Charlotte wasn’t in the novels at all.
The character was created for the show and the author of Bridgerton thinks it was a great call. “Queen Charlotte is the biggest new character and she’s fantastic in every way. I go back and forth between: ‘Wow, I wish I’d put her in the books.’ And: ‘I’m glad I didn’t put her in the books because I wouldn’t have done her as great as they do her here,'” Julia Quinn told Town & Country.
Daphne’s hair was inspired by Audrey Hepburn.
Old Hollywood fans would recognize those curled bangs anywhere. “When I did Daphne’s first fittings she had these amazing eyebrows and the looks that we started doing reminded me of Audrey Hepburn,” hair and makeup artist Marc Pilcher told Insider. “When I Googled the images of Audrey I just looked at the pictures and thought ‘My god that’s Daphne to a T.'”
Lady Featherington’s hair was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor.
“I know Ellen [Mirojnick], the costume designer, had been to the Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A so she had all these 1950s necklines and 1950s prints,” Marc Pilcher told Insider. “So I made Lady Featherington into a red-headed Elizabeth Taylor.”
Queen Charlotte’s hair was inspired by Beyoncé.
Queen C took some style tips from Queen B. “When I researched Queen Charlotte and found out that she was of African descent, it gave me so much more scope to create her beautiful looks,” Marc Pilcher told Vogue. As the hair stylist later told Essence: “I was picking through some images and then I saw Beyoncé Knowles in Austin Powers Goldmember and that’s when I thought, ‘That’s what I want.’ I wanted the biggest afro someone had ever seen.”
But making her most memorable wig wasn’t easy.
That beautiful look involved a ton of work, and took the hair department three to four weeks to complete. To get that volume, four to five wigs were sewn together.
A team of over 200 people worked on the elaborate looks for five months. Between hats, shawls and overcoats, a total of 7,500 pieces were created for 5,000 outfits. Daphne Bridgerton had 104 different looks alone!
Shonda Rhimes and Regé-Jean Page have worked together before.
He previously starred in Shonda Rhimes’s 2018 legal drama For the People. We’re definitely watching that ASAP.
Regé-Jean Page left after season 1 due to “creative differences.”
Though the actor left on good terms, he wasn’t thrilled with the direction Shonda Rhimes and her team had his character heading in. His role in season 2 “would have kept him a player but not the focal point of the show,” a source told Page Six. He later told Variety he enjoyed his “one-season arc” that allowed him to “contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.“
Jonathan Bailey first auditioned to play the Duke of Hastings.
It was during a conversation with show creators and producers, that Jonathan landed the role of Anthony Bridgerton instead. “It wasn’t until I was talking to the production company and Chris Van Dusen, the showrunner, and at the end of the meeting we’d spoken about family, and men in society, and women in society, and our own personal experiences,” he told Oprah Daily. “And they said, ‘Have you thought about Anthony? We’re gonna send you some scripts to read because we think you might be an Anthony.'”
Golda Rosheuvel originally auditioned for Lady Danbury.
“I first auditioned for Lady Danbury. But it went to the marvelous, marvelous Adjoa Andoh, who is a dear friend. Then they came back and said, ‘Would you attend a self-taping for Queen Charlotte?'” the actress revealed.
The Bridgerton’s home was inspired by Princess Diana’s Althorp Estate.
A.k.a. the famous estate where Princess Diana spent her teen years. “The interior of Bridgerton House was inspired by my visit to Althorp when I was developing the show. Elegance. Opulence. And that #staircase,” show creator Chris Van Dusen said on Twitter.
One English estate was used for four different settings.
If the Wilton House looks familiar, that’s because it was used for the exterior shots of the Duke’s home. Then the inside was turned into Queen Charlotte’s bedroom, “presentation chamber,” parlour and garden, Lady Danbury’s library, and Clyvedon Castle’s dining room. Fun fact: Part of The Crown was filmed here, too!
Many of the exterior shots are CGI.
That enchanting ivy and flowing wisteria? All fake. It was edited in to add to the home’s dramatic flair. Other CGI shots include exteriors of the opera house and the London streets.
You might recognize some of the music.
The show’s soundtrack often features classical remakes of popular hits, like Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” and Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next.” As Bridgerton‘s composer, Kris Bowers, put it, orchestral versions of modern songs make the 19th century characters more relatable
The tea shop was a real place in the 19th century.
Gunter’s Tea Shop was one of London’s most popular hotspots during the time, located in Berkley Square.
The character of Will Mondrich is based on a real boxer.
Specially, 19th century boxer Bill Richmond, who’s often dubbed as “Britain’s first Black sports star.” Richmond was so beloved and well-respected, he served as an usher at King George IV’s coronation in 1821.
Showrunners kept Colin Firth in mind for the romance scenes.
Remember that scene with Simon and Daphne in the rain? That moment — along with all the other steamy ones in the show — was inspired by 1995’s Pride and Prejudice. “Obviously Colin Firth coming out of that lake with the white shirt is seared in my mind,” Chris Van Dusen told the Los Angeles Times. “But I wanted to see a period piece that went further than that.”
The cast worked with an intimacy coordinator to film the steamy scenes.
Those moments are treated like stunts, and were choreographed by intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot, who was hired to keep the actors feeling comfortable. “When you’re treating the intimacy scenes in the same way that you are treating the stunt rehearsals, as you are treating the dance rehearsals, it takes the awkwardness and the fear out of them because it’s just another scene at that point,” she told The Sunday Times.
Some actors found those scenes more fun than others.
Jonathan Bailey and Sabrina Bartlett couldn’t stop laughing when it came time for their characters, Anthony and Siena, to get together under a boxing ring. “We were rehearsing for that in a hotel and we kept getting notifications from production asking, ‘Are you ready yet?’ and we were dissolving into laughter so often. It was a bit of a slow day!” Lizzy Talbot shared with Insider.
There are Easter eggs just for fans of the books.
The entire show is filled with little hidden message meant for readers of the books — from the Bridgerton family being really good at croquet to images of bumblebees (like the one hiding on this door knocker!). Sorry, you’ll have to read the books to learn more!
Producers worked with historians on casting decisions.
Though the novels don’t mention anything about race, producers felt it was important to accurately represent their characters. “I think that working with historians, it became very clear that 19th century Regency London was a lot more diverse and a lot more colorful than people thought it to be,” Chris Van Dusen told Collider. In fact, many believe Queen Charlotte was the first biracial member of the British royal family.
The Featheringtons have a nickname on set.
Behind the scenes, cast and crew call the Featherington family “the Regency Kardashians.” And yes, the actresses who play them do too. Why? “There’s the three daughters, and then the pushy mom,” Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington) told Entertainment Weekly. Makes sense.
Queen Charlotte really did love Pomeranians.
The Pomeranians aren’t just adorable little costars — they’re based on history. The real Queen Charlotte was known for her love of the toy breed, and owned several of them throughout her life.
The main characters are named alphabetically in birth order.
There’s Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.
A big scene was cut short by Queen Elizabeth.
The moment Simon, the Duke of Hastings, revealed his feelings for Daphne to Queen Charlotte — you know the one — is a fan favorite scene. But it almost didn’t happen, because Queen Elizabeth needed the space at London’s Lancaster House where it was shot to host an event, so cast and crew had to quickly wrap up.
Some scenes were filmed in authentic Regency houses.
Certain sets aren’t sets at all, like the Duke of Hasting’s bedroom. When possible, cast and crew filmed inside preserved 19th century homes, but the people who care for these spaces often demand to be in the room while filming happens, to make sure nothing is damaged or moved. “…they wouldn’t leave. The idea of a closed set is absolutely sacrosanct. But for these room monitors, their jobs were more sacrosanct to them. So they were in the scenes with us,” director Julie Anne Robinson told Deadline.
Lady Whistledown’s reveal is very different in the books.
No spoilers here, promise! But Lady Whistledown being unmasked in the first season was shocking not just for fans, but for the author of the books as well. “I’m watching the rough cuts and all of a sudden at the end, I was like, ‘What?!’ I had no idea. It was really funny, my reaction. I thought it was a secret, and I think I ended up emailing Caitlin [Scott, who works at Shondaland] in all caps: “I HAVE QUESTIONS,” Julia Quinn told Town & Country.
The plot almost looked very different — and we’re glad producers reconsidered.
Instead of placing the focus on romance, Bridgerton was almost made into an “epic war-drama.” Producers eventually chose to follow more closely along with the books.
Violet Bridgerton won’t find love for awhile.
At least if author Julia Quinn has anything to say about it. “I love her so much that I’m not sure I could create somebody good enough for her,” she told Oprah Daily. “I think she’s reached a point where she’s an independent woman and she’s happy.”
Set designers made special portraits just for the show.
While some of the pieces are real, others have been altered to fit the story. For example, in one scene, the head and collar of 1600s artist Juan de Pareja was digitally superimposed to make him an aristocrat. “The resulting composite image transforms an actual portrait of an enslaved artist into an imaginary one of a Black aristocrat, presumably meant to represent one of the Queen’s ancestors,” Getty’s Richard Rand wrote.
Eloise and Penelope are BFFs in real life.
Fans couldn’t help but fall in love with Eloise and Penelope’s sweet friendship on the show — and the actresses who play them, Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan, are just as close. “We had four wonderful directors on this show too and they were like, ‘We really love Peneloise.’ And we’d say, ‘We love them too!'” Nicola told Seventeen.
The cast has a group chat.
After filming wrapped for season 1, it became hard for the cast to stay in touch because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lockdown made it really hard. But there’s Zoom and a WhatsApp group that’s still pumping in our pockets,” Jonathan Bailey told Oprah Daily. “Me and Phoebe have grown incredibly close and the bros, the two Lukes [Luke Newton and Luke Thompson] are really close as well.”
Nicola Coughlan read fan pages to prepare for the role of Penelope.
Who better to get advice from than actual fans? “I spent a lot of time lurking on online book forums to see what fans thought,” the actress told The Guardian. “I realized that [Penelope] is this really beloved character, because she’s not this perfect girl that all the boys love. She’s a complete wallflower. So I thought, ‘OK, I really, really wanna do that justice.'”
The real Queen Charlotte was very social.
It’s no coincidence that Queen Charlotte is portrayed as always being in the know. “She was definitely very much a part of the social scene during Regency times, so having her with us was important from a historical perspective as well,” Chris Van Dusen told ET Online.
The show had some close calls with COVID-19.
Filming season 2 wasn’t easy, as production was shut down multiple times due to positive COVID-19 cases. According to The Sun, a situation occurred after the cast and crew’s tests were allegedly mixed up, delaying everything. “The tests were cross-contaminated, meaning they all had to be done again,” a source said.
You can dress like Daphne with these ‘Bridgerton’ shoes.
English shoe brand Malone Souliers partnered with the show on a special Bridgerton line, complete with all the intricate details and polished styles Regency fashion is known for.
Not everything is historically accurate.
If you happen to be a history buff and catch a line or two that’s wrong, don’t worry: “We honored the history, of course, but we’re not beholden to it. Even though we’re set in the 19th century, we wanted things to feel relatable. We wanted audiences to see themselves in these characters,” Christ Van Dusen told The Daily Express.
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