Francesca Bridgerton as played by Hannah Dodd in season three of Bridgerton
(Netflix)

So What Exactly Is in Store Romantically for Francesca Bridgerton?

Some insight into the newest Bridgerton debutante.

The upcoming third season of Bridgerton—so close now, there’s really not much left to go—will bring us back to the ton and its social season. There are no words to say just how excited I am. I am this close to bouncing off the walls.

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This season will focus on the budding romance between Penelope Featherington and one Colin Bridgerton. But Colin will not be the only one of the Bridgerton clan waltzing their way through London’s ballrooms and palaces, as well as Lady Whistledown’s infamous gossip sheet. While Eloise and Benedict still refuse to commit to anyone and Daphne and Anthony are happily married, a new sibling steps onto the scene—and that’s Francesca, sixthborn of the family.

Francesca, who was portrayed in the first two seasons of Bridgerton by Ruby Stokes but now played by actress Hannah Dodd, is making her society debut in season three, just like her sisters Daphne and Eloise did before her. And we all know that when a Bridgerton becomes an active part of the London ton, romance can never be too far off.

Spoilers ahead for possible future Bridgerton seasons as well as for Francesca’s novel, When He Was Wicked

Who does Francesca marry?

Content warning: miscarriage, infertility

Francesca’s story happens during the novel When He Was Wicked, even though parts of it also take place off-page between earlier books. And from there, we learn that one thing that sets Francesca apart is that she is the only one out of all her siblings to be married twice. She first marries Scotsman John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin, within two months of them knowing each other. The couple is very much in love, so much so that Francesca describes John as her soulmate—but sadly, he passes away barely two years after their wedding. Francesca, who is finally pregnant after struggling with infertility, grieves the loss deeply and the shock is so great that miscarries.

With John’s death, the Earldom passes onto his cousin Michael, whom John had always considered a brother. But, of course, there’s something about Michael that somewhat complicates the situation—it wouldn’t be a Bridgerton novel otherwise. The new Earl has always been in love with his cousin’s wife ever since he first laid eyes on her, a day and a half before her wedding to John.

But of course, Michael would never make a move on his cousin’s grieving widow and so he immediately leaves for India after John’s death, leaving Francesca to manage the Kilmartin estate as the Dowager Countess for four years. And then he returns, just when Francesca also makes her way back to London to find a new husband—and of course, romance ensues. The couple gets married in 1824 and their two children, John Stirling II and Janet Stirling II—named after John’s mother, with whom Francesca has a very close relationship—are born in 1829 and 1830 respectively.

(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.