What is Bridgerton? That was likely the first question on your lips when you watched the gorgeous trailer for Shonda Rhimes‘ new Netflix regency romance series. But trust us, the streamer’s big holiday release will be the talk of the town so there’s no better time to get acquainted with the series and the delightfully hot inhabitants of the period romance.
Based on the series of books by Julia Quinn, beginning with the Duke and I, Bridgerton centers on an ensemble of characters in regency London. This community’s romantic entanglements are readily documented and reported on by a mysterious gossip columnist, causing chaos for all. There are a lot of folks embroiled in the higher echelons of London society, so here’s your guide to everyone who matters as well as a handy list of all your future Christmas Day crushes.
The voice of Lady Whistledown, played by Julie Andrews
She’s arguably the most important person in the ‘Ton and wields a scary amount of power over its inhabitants. Lady Whistledown’s gossip rag influences the queen, the Bridgertons, and everyone in between. Whistledown’s identity is a closely guarded secret and the series’ biggest mystery.
Simon Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page
Simon doesn’t want to be a Duke and he certainly has no plans to get married. But making a deal with the Bridgerton girl seems like an easy solution to both of their problems. After all, he has no interest in making an honest woman out of his best friend’s little sister… does he?
Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor
Daphne is at the center of Bridgerton’s core romantic entanglement, and it’s a doozy. A young debutante trying to find a husband during the social season, Daphne strikes a bargain with the handsome and sultry Duke of Hastings to fake-date their way through the season. What on Earth could go wrong?
Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel
She’s the Queen of England and likes nothing more than to play matchmaker. She is the most important woman in the country, so shouldn’t everyone be listening to her rather than that dreadful gossip Lady Whistledown?
Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey
Daphne’s older brother, Anthony, has to take charge of the family now his father is gone. But as much as he might think he knows what’s best for Daphne and her siblings, he’s got entanglements of his own that could play havoc with the plans that he has for the Bridgertons.
Eloise Bridgerton, played by Claudia Jessie
Daphne’s sister isn’t interested in the rules of society and would far rather be studying than dancing. But when Lady Whistledown appears on the scene, she realizes that women can write, wield power, and live their own lives. So she decides she must know who writes the column.
Penelope Featherington, played by Nicola Coughlan
Eloise’s best friend and one of the Featheringtons’ three daughters, Penelope is smart, witty, and thoughtful but also wants to find love in a society that doesn’t always think she deserves it. Her life’s turned upside down by the arrival of her cousin, Marina.
Marina Thompson, played by Ruby Barker
The Featheringtons’ chances of finding husbands seems low until their gorgeous cousin Marina arrives from the country. But why did she come to London? And can she trust the social-climbing Featheringtons with the fate of her future?
Lady Danbury, played by Adjoa Andoh
Lady Danbury is acerbic, witty, and utterly unconcerned with what others think of her. She and Simon make quite the rakish pair. This dowager is a powerhouse in the ‘Ton and is equally feared and respected by those who know her.
Lady Violet Bridgerton, played by Ruth Gemmell
The matriarch of the Bridgerton family is the kind of mother any of us would be lucky to have. She’s loving, kind, and for the times pretty openminded. But she’s still constrained by the society the family lives in and has big dreams of true love for her daughters and their marriages.
Will Mondrich, played by Martins Imhangbe
The only person in the ‘Ton who is truly real with Simon, Will is a successful up and coming boxer making a name for himself in the ‘Ton with his fight franchise. He also trains the Duke in fisticuffs, life, and love… although whether Simon really listens is up for debate.
Siena Rosso, played by Sabrina Bartlett
Beautiful, enchanting, and talented, Siena is an opera singer with a taste for the good life. She’s a venerated member of society, but her affair with a prominent Lord means that position might be in question. After all, you can’t have the gentry mixing with the ruling class.
Lady Portia Featherington, played by Polly Walker
The Featheringtons love bright clothes, shiny jewels, and opulence, which makes others in the ‘Ton feel a little uncomfortable. Portia is the matriarch of the family and will do anything to make sure that her daughters make a match… even if it means compromising her ethics.
Genevieve Delacroix, played by Kathryn Drysdale
Mayfair’s most in demand dressmaker, Genevieve has her ears to the ground and eyes open at all times. Making dresses for the most wealthy and prominent in the ‘Ton gives her an inside line to all of the powerful families making their way through the season.
Colin Bridgerton, played by Luke Newton
He’s young and wants nothing more than to travel the world, but Colin is also an eligible bachelor who could catch the eye of any of the ‘Ton’s debutantes. He’s the sweetest of the Bridgerton brothers and is close to his sisters and their tight-knit group of friends.
Francesca Bridgerton, played by Ruby Stokes
The most reserved and enigmatic of the Bridgerton sisters, Francesca only plays a small part in this series but has a love story all of her own in the books. Keep an eye on her and her exploits as you might just be watching the star of a future season of the show.
Benedict Bridgerton, played by Luke Thompson
Like his sister Eloise, Benedict is less than happy with the restrictive rules of the world they live in. But even though he’s aware of the responsibilities of being a Bridgerto, he dreams of a different way of life.
Lord Featherington, played by Ben Miller
The shady father of the Featheringtons seems like a nice enough fellow, but his lustful nature and disrespect for his wife make him one of the ‘Ton’s least favored and least savory men.
Cressida Cowper, played by Jessica Madsen
One of Daphne’s competitors in the debutante season, Cressida might seem like a nice girl on the surface. But she’s eager to find a suitable match, which can make any good girl go bad.
Prudence Featherington, played by Bessie Carter
Just like her mother, Prudence isn’t exactly bothered about being kind. It’s her third year trying to find a husband, which means she’s technically on the shelf. And her attitude doesn’t make it too hard to understand why she hasn’t found the man of her dreams… or any man.
Phillipa Featherington, played by Harriet Cains
She’s on the hunt for a man and that’s about it. Unbothered by making friends or enjoying the season, Phillipa is consumed solely by her search for a husband.
Hyacinth Bridgerton, played by Florence Hunt
Though she might just be a young sweet girl in this series, like all of the Bridgertons, Hyacinth has her own love story in the series. If the show is a success, we might see that explored in future shows (so don’t count out the sweet and young Bridgerton sibling).
Gregory Bridgerton, played by Will Tilston
He’s the Bridgertons’ annoying little brother and wants nothing more than to stress out his older sisters. But in the series, when he grows up, he’s a romantic who believes in true love and manages to find it… but we’ll likely be waiting a while to follow up on that thread.