‘Bridgerton’: Nicola Coughlan Reveals the Giant Clue She Planted in Episode 1 to Reveal Her Character’s Secret Identity

 Bridgerton season 1 was a huge success. After premiering on Christmas Day 2020, it became one of the most watched original series in the platform’s history. Much of Bridgerton‘s success was due to the riveting storylines of each of the main characters. Fans were shocked to learn the identity of Lady Whistledown, the infamous town gossip. But actress Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, left a little clue in episode 1 to let fans in on the secret.

Nicola Coughlan sits in a yellow dress as Penelope Featherington in 'Bridgerton'
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington | LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

What happened in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 1?

Though Bridgerton introduced several prominent families of the Ton, the season focused on the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons. The show opened as both families were getting ready to present their daughters to the court for their premiere onto the social scene. Daphne Bridgerton was then named the Diamond of the Season by the queen, while the Featherington girls, Philippa, Prudence, and Penelope didn’t make any sort of impression on the queen at all.

Unfortunately for Daphne, her good start was wiped away when her older brother Anthony scared away all of her suitors. To attract more men, she struck up a deal to be in a fake relationship with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. While the two were pretending to be in love, they, of course, ended up falling for one another.

Meanwhile, Lady Whistledown, the town’s newest gossip, had been airing out everyone’s dirty laundry while remaining totally anonymous.

Clues to Lady Whistledown’s identity

Throughout the show, several characters became obsessed with Lady Whistledown. Eloise Bridgerton was intent on finding the self-made woman who lives by her own rules so that she could find out how to be more like her. The queen, on the other hand, wanted to know Lady Whistledown’s identity so she could put a stop to the woman and all of the rumors that she was spreading. The queen did eventually get close to finding out Lady Whistledown’s identity by sending men to catch her when she went to print her infamous newsletter but Eloise managed to warn Lady Whistledown just in time.

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The ‘Bridgerton’ clue you missed

At the end of the season, it is revealed that Penelope is actually Lady Whistledown. Coughlan recently revealed a clue that she left fans in the beginning of the season as to her character’s true identity.

“OK I’m just curious,” she tweeted on Feb. 20. “Has anyone spotted the massive Easter Egg about Penelope in the very first scene of Bridgerton?”

When someone guessed the quill that she holds in the first scene, Coughlan responded, saying that when she filmed Penelope’s first scene she chose a prop, “a massive feather,” that looked a lot like a quill to give fans a hint.

What’s next for Penelope in season 2?

Season 1 ended with a lot of things up in the air for the Featheringtons. At the end of the season, the patriarch of the family, Archibald, was murdered and left the family peniless. But Penelope has her own money to live off of.

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“She is surely wealthy because of Whistledown,” Coughlan told TVLine. “But what is that going to mean? I don’t know who’s taking over the family estate and my dad, has he really been killed? Is Eloise going to figure out who Whistledown is? I know none of that stuff.”

What’s next for the ‘Bridgerton’ cast and clues for season 2

Season 2 of Bridgerton is set to focus on Anthony’s love life.

“Anthony is going to have a love interest and it’s going to be as sweeping and as beautiful as viewers have come to expect from the show,” creator Chris Van Dusen said on TODAY.

Anthony is set to fall in love with a woman named Kate, who will be played by Simone Ashley.