Queen Charlotte reads the latest Lady Whistledown sheet in Bridgerton

Julie Andrews Could Return in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 4 in an Interesting Way

What is Bridgerton without her saying, "Dearest gentle reader"?

With Bridgerton season 3 devoted to Penelope Bridgerton (née Featherington) finally owning her Lady Whistledown identity, it’s only fair to wonder if it’s curtains for the Julie Andrews voiceover. But it turns out a certain lady might have something new up her sleeve.

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Dame Julie Andrews is the Kristen Bell of the Regency Era. Just as you cannot imagine Gossip Girl without Bell’s voice saying “Hey Upper East Siders” and ending with “XOXO Gossip Girl,” it’s impossible to think of Bridgerton without Dame Andrews’ soothing yet smarting voice saying, “Dearest Gentle Reader,” and “Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.”

Julie Andrews presenting an Oscar
(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

For three seasons, listening to the Sound Of Music actor’s voice has been music to our ears. With nearly two years between every new season’s arrival, her voice in the opening moments of the first episode is both a relief and a herald of excitement to come.

Alas, fans are worried that now that Penelope’s identity is out in the open, and she’ll be writing under her own name, not a nom de plume, the show wouldn’t need Julie Andrews to do the voiceovers anymore!

If you recall, in the final episode of season 3, “Into The Light,” the first Whistledown published after Penelope’s grand reveal at the Butterfly ball, with sanction from Queen Charlotte herself, starts with a voiceover from Julie Andrews. But in the last sentence, after she introduces herself formally and ends with “Yours truly, Penelope Bridgerton,” Nicola Coughlan as Penelope takes over.

So does that mean no more Julie Andrews in Bridgerton?

Well, not exactly. According to a couple of interviews with showrunner and executive producer Jess Brownwell, where she was asked this question, they might still find a way to keep Dame Julie Andrews on board after all.

Brownwell told Glamour, “… we’re playing around in season 4 with ways that we can explain why it’s still Julie Andrews. I think it’s just—it’s in Penelope’s head the way she officially reads it to herself as she writes.”

penelope bridgerton writing at her desk

When Penelope was hiding her identity, Andrews was the internal voice she’d hear when reading her writing. And you can understand why. It’s slightly older, perfect diction without any hesitation, firm and speaking with authority, and demanding to be heard… everything that a writer like Pen would favor. And sure, now, she’s out in the open. But you can rest assured that every writer can have imposter syndrome or even misgivings about what they must write.

Furthermore, now that everyone knows who Penelope is, will it be possible for her to impartially write about her own family, the Bridgertons? Could some fallout in the form of threats from other members of the ton make her want to take it all back? 

It’ll be interesting to see how they bring back Julie Andrews’ voice, perhaps as an inner critic for Penelope. Either way, showrunner Brownwell has told The Wrap that she’s “obsessed with Julie Andrews and would hate to lose her from the show.”

Okay. We’ll be right here … waiting … for two years …

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.