Following the staggering success of the inaugural series of Bridgerton (streamed by 82 million households within its first four weeks), Season 2 is rapidly approaching – and Netflix has just released a tantalizing teaser trailer for the upcoming installment.
Narrated by the mysterious – or now, not so mysterious, to the viewer at least – letter-writing gossipmonger, Lady Whistledown, the teaser is packed with drama and intrigue: from moments at the court of Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel); to glittering society balls; and bubbling between Season 2 stars Viscount Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and new cast member Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). It’s also a lavish visual feast, offering a glimpse at the opulent costumes and settings fans have come to expect from the show.
The teaser comes after the release of new Season 2 images earlier this year, featuring a host of familiar faces (including Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton – now the Duchess of Hastings, Bailey as Viscount Bridgerton, Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, and the ever-ostentatious Featherington family); as well as newcomers (like Ashley as Kate Sharma).
Netflix recently confirmed the release date of the long-awaited second season, making the announcement via a lighthearted video on its social media channels. Featuring a gang of Season 2 cast members, stars including Bailey, Ashley and Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), were shown reading aloud from a special message from Lady Whistledown, revealing that the beloved series will return on March 25.
The first batch of Season 2 photos was previously posted to the Bridgerton social media accounts in September last year, with a caption in the voice of Lady Whistledown, reading: ‘Ask for more, and you shall receive, dear readers. Do enjoy an early view of what is to come this social season…’
Prior to the photos, Netflix released some special footage from the second series. A social media post announced the debut of the ‘exclusive clip’, revealing: ‘Dear readers, this author is most pleased to bring you a first glimpse into the upcoming social season, and even more delighted to introduce you to Miss Kate Sharma.’
The video may be just a minute long, but that provides ample time to get a sense of Kate’s uncompromising, honest and witty character from her brief interaction with Anthony, as she chides him for regarding women ‘merely as chattels and breeding stock’; deems his opinion of himself ‘entirely too high’; and critiques his ‘horsemanship’; before finally bidding him a curt ‘good night’.
With the release date drawing ever nearer, excitement is reaching fever pitch. Read on for everything you need to know about Bridgerton Season 2.
There are a host of new cast additions, as well as some sad departures
Fans were left bereft when news broke that one of the show’s shining lights, Regé-Jean Page, will not be returning to play the Duke of Hastings in Season 2. Back in April last year, posts to the official Bridgerton social media accounts made the announcement in the guise of a letter from Lady Whistledown. It read: ‘While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid farewell to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.’
Page himself, who was honoured with an NAACP Image Award for his standout performance in the period drama, responded to the news with a touching Instagram post. Beside a picture of himself in costume on horseback, the actor wrote: ‘The ride of a life time. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family – not just on screen, but off screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans – it’s all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing ❤️❤️❤️💫’.
Page spoke further about his exit from the series to Variety magazine, relating that Shondaland producers had set out a contract for a ‘one-season arc’, explaining: ‘I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.’ Page went on: ‘One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes… They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby.’ He added, however, that he has ‘nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe.’
Yet fans will see many of their favorite characters reprising their roles, from Nicola Coughlan (who plays Penelope Featherington), to Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), who upped the excitement by posting a photograph of her alongside Lady Violet Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte, in poses that would make James Bond proud. The image is captioned ‘Gearing up for season 2…’ and has since amassed over 100K likes on Twitter.
As for new cast additions, the aforementioned Simone Ashley, best known for her role in fellow Netflix show Sex Education, will play the female lead in the upcoming season. Netflix officially confirmed the news in February 2021, Tweeting: ‘Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley, who will play Kate in Season 2 of Bridgerton. Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools – Anthony Bridgerton very much included.’ The Bridgerton account added: ‘Quite the juicy bit of gossip, dear readers… This author is certainly looking forward to many a column covering Miss Kate Sharma.’ Based on the character of Katharine Sheffield in Julia Quinn’s original Bridgerton novels, this on-screen counterpart is of Indian descent – in keeping with the show’s welcome, racially-diverse reimagining of Regency London.
Those who’ve watched 26-year-old Ashley on screen as Olivia Hanan, a member of the mean-girl clique in Sex Education, will know that romance, gossip and drama is familiar territory for the young actress. Now, however, she’ll be swapping miniskirts and mobile phones for corsets and embroidery, opposite Jonathan Bailey as the eldest Bridgerton brother, who’s set to become the focus of the action in the next series. She will also be joined by new cast members Charithra Chandran, Shelley Conn, Calam Lynch and Rupert Young.
What could happen next?
Way back in January last year, Netflix UK shared a humorous Instagram post featuring a letter from Lady Whistledown, which read: ‘The ton are abuzz with the latest gossip, and so it is my honour to impart to you: Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season. I do hope you have stored a bottle of ratafia for this most delightful occasion.
‘This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season. I will have my pen to report on any and all of his romantic activities.’
While a few plot lines were brought to a satisfying conclusion in Season 1 , there are still a number of loose ends to be tied up. And not forgetting Lady Whistledown’s (voiced by Julie Andrews) cryptic sign off at the end of the first series, with the tantalizing words: ‘Of course, there are other endings that will offer new beginnings.’