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Bridgerton S3: How the twist in Francesca’s romance is a love letter to Pride Month

Bridgerton's third season celebrates love in all its forms, hinting at more inclusive narratives to come.

Bridgerton S3: How the twist in Francesca’s romance is a love letter to Pride Month

Bridgerton Season 3

Last Updated: 09.13 PM, Jun 19, 2024


The latest season of Bridgerton is finally here! Pouring its royal exquisite in abundance as always, the third instalment largely loomed over the budding love story of Penelope Featherington, eventually leading her to become a Bridgerton bride after falling in love with Colin. But what is so special in yet another Regency Era love story you may ask. Well, it is that small gift that the makers tucked towards the end, to celebrate Pride Month this June.

While the third season of Bridgerton concocted something thicker, and Nicola Coughlan reigned the supremacy as Penelope, who is secretly hiding under her gossip-columnist penname Lady Whistledown, there was another love story unraveling too, by the side. The sixth child of the Bridgerton household, Francesca, made her debut in front of Queen Charlotte and in a way that may seem as a spoiler-filled context ahead, the makers brought a queer angle to her romance towards the end of the season.


Bridgerton - Francesca's love story takes a queer turn

In line with June being celebrated as Pride Month, comes a coincidental turn in Bridgerton season three. For those who have been following the show, it is quite evident how each season revolves around a love story, that mostly falls upon the forbidden territory. After Daphne Bridgerton and Simon’s foes-turned-friend-turned-lovers romance, and Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma fell in love while the former was engaged to the latter’s sister Edwina, comes the third season which delicately manages two whirlwinds of romances in the most contrasting way.

Of course, it centred around Penelope and Colin, with the former trying to hide her identity at the same time while unabashedly flaunting body positivity (hoot hoot). But what comes as a huge surprise is Francesca's subtle and calmer love story with John Stirling. After the latter began courting her, we don’t really see passionate or steamy romance brew between the two, unlike the other Bridgerton siblings. Instead, Francesca and John prefer to be soaked in silence and few words to fall in love. As they eventually get married and Francesca plans to move to Scotland, (read ahead for spoilers), the books reveal how a tragedy befalls her, leading her to get remarried to her husband’s cousin Michael with whom she had grown close over time.

Now, the Bridgerton makers decided to swap the gender of Michael and we got to see a glimpse of Michaela Stirling towards the end of the latest season. Fumbling to even utter her name is Francesca when her eyes first set on Michaela, her husband’s cousin. Or is it the start of a love story that the Regency Era is going to witness for the first time?

Bridgerton’s more inclusive world

For those who have been following Bridgerton, there is no surprise that the series is set in an alternate world where racism does not exist. It is so much that the ton is ruled by Charlotte, a royal of mixed race. While we have been seeing diversity in terms of Lady Danbury, Lord Simon, and even with the case of Kate who brings Indian ancestry with her, the show has now approached diversity to celebrate the queer community as well.

Even as the prequel series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story showed the tender romance between Brimsley and Reynolds, the two assistants at the royal palace, which largely did not see a happy ending provided we see an older Brimsley still single, Michaela and Francesca’s story might seem to the ray of rainbow light. With Francesca’s coy demeanor and Michaela’s outward personality, they are sure to greenlit episodes of romance that not only talk about gay love story, but also how the women would face the ton that is riddled with patriarchy.

The third season also explores more of Benedict, the second eldest child of the Bridgerton family, getting introduced to polyamory and bisexuality. Even as a veteran of London’s underworld party scene and some debauchery, Benedict who becomes close to Lady Tilley Arnold and her friend Paul, understands more of himself and the freedom that comes with being non-committal and fluid with love. Alas, love after all is love.

As we may have to wait longer for the fourth season to drop and see more inclusive love stories come to the forefront, like just say how Francesca's romance has not only been a calm and quiet one so far, but also a love letter written to a world from the present to a world that we wished it was.