The Bridgerton family in Bridgerton season 2, including Anthony Bridgerton, Francesca Bridgerton, Daphne Bridgerton, Benedict Bridgerton, Violet Bridgerton, Hyacinth Briderton, and Gregory Bridgerton, all leaning in to listen at a door.

Lady Whistledown Is ‘Bridgerton’s Best Kept Secret … For Now

Bridgerton season 3 is on its way, and the trailer is narrated by one of the show’s most iconic characters: Lady Whistledown. But who is Lady Whistledown, exactly? What’s her deal?

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Warning: this article contains major spoilers for Bridgerton seasons 1 and 2.

In Bridgerton season 1, Lady Whistledown’s identity is a mystery. Portrayed by Julie Andrews in voice overs throughout the season, Lady Whistledown publishes a newsletter containing all the gossip in the Ton. She has an almost preternatural ability to suss out the secrets and scandals of the London social season, and her words can make or break a family’s reputation.

In the season 1 finale, though, we learn Lady Whistledown’s true identity. At first, Eloise Bridgerton thinks that the modiste, Genevieve, is Whistledown, but then she realizes that that can’t be the case, since someone continues to write the scandal sheet after Genevieve leaves for France. Eloise finds out the Queen is planning to capture Whistledown, so she goes to Whistledown’s printer to warn her. We see a carriage pull up to the printer, and then tear away after Eloise’s warning.

At the end of season 1, no one knows Whistledown’s identity. However, in a reveal to the audience, the occupant of the carriage pulls back her cloak to reveal that she’s actually Penelope Featherington.

But wait! Who is Penelope, again?

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington at home in Bridgerton Season 3
(Netflix)

Oh, my dear reader. Penelope is one of Bridgerton’s coolest characters! Played by Nicola Coughlan, Penelope is the youngest daughter of the Featherington family. A shy wallflower, Penelope endures abuse from her sisters and her mother, and finds solace in her friendship with Eloise. Penelope is also in love with Colin Bridgerton, but he’s oblivious.

At the end of season 2, only two people know Penelope’s secret: Eloise and Genevieve. However, with the plot of season 3 focusing on Penelope and Colin, Colin may find out her secret very soon.

If you’ve read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels, then you already know how the story is likely to go. However, if you’re waiting for the Netflix version of the story, your wait is almost over. Bridgerton season 3 arrives on May 16.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>