Queen Charlotte reads the latest Lady Whistledown sheet in Bridgerton

Lady Whistledown’s Voice-Over on ‘Bridgerton’ Wouldn’t Hit The Same Without This Iconic Actress’s Performance

Can anything be more iconic?

The third season of Bridgerton is upon us and I know I’m not the only one frantically crossing off the days in my calendar that separate us from our return to the ton of Regency London and all the gossip that follows. After all, what’s a good social season without some scalding hot tea?

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And of course, no one knows that better than Lady Whistledown, the one true queen of the London gossip. Her scandal sheet—which pretty much put the whole series in motion—is beloved by everyone in the ton, particularly because it calls out people by name rather than using clever nicknames or turns of phrase.

While we all learned at the end of the first season of Bridgerton that Penelope Featherington was the real Lady Whistledown—a secret that is bound to be a pretty relevant plot point in the show’s upcoming third season—the series voice-over has never been voiced by Nicola Coughlan, who plays the role onscreen. 

All the introductions and voice-overs of characters dramatically reading the latest scandal to rock the ton—as well as all the trailers and promotional materials aimed at us “gentle readers”—have always had a specific voice, one that is inarguably part of the Lady Whistledown charm.

So who is the voice behind Lady Whistledown?

I’m sure most Bridgerton viewers have easily recognized the voice narrating Lady Whistledown’s gossip sheet as none other than the legendary Julie Andrews herself.

Honestly, what an inspired casting choice. You can’t go wrong with the beloved actress behind Mary Poppins, Maria von Trapp, and Clarisse Renaldi, Queen of Genovia, She’s just that much of an icon.

Plus, the decision to give Lady Whistledown “her own” voice is incredibly clever. It gives this mysterious writer a sense of gravitas and an aura of secrecy since that voice doesn’t belong to any of the other characters—and in that sense, it helped keep Whistledown’s identity a secret up until the big reveal. But it also neatly distinguishes Whistledown from Penelope. Sure, they are the same character, but they’re also two very separate entities, and the voice helps mark that distinction between the writer and her creation.

Besides, there’s just something about how Andrews delivers her lines—as expected from someone who has won over sixty awards throughout her career including an Oscar, a BAFTA, two Primetime Emmys, and six Golden Globes. Serious, regal, and seemingly omniscient with an undertone of witty mockery and playfulness that is just the perfect Lady Whistledown vibe. I can’t wait to hear more.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.