‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 Introduces New Alter Ego for Penelope

Life is going to get even more complicated for Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) in Bridgerton Season 2. Penelope – aka London’s must-read anonymous gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown – finds herself juggling another alter ego when the Netflix series returns in March. 

Penelope has another secret identity in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

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Throughout its first season, Bridgerton kept viewers guessing about the author behind Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers. Who could be the person who seemed to know all of the ton’s juiciest secrets? None other than the youngest Featherington sister, as revealed in the last moments of the season 1 finale. 

Fans might know Penelope is Lady Whistledown, but those around her are still very much in the dark when Bridgeton Season 2 begins, including her best friend Eloise (Claudia Jessie). To keep her identity secret, she has to adopt a third alter ego, an Irish maid who Coughlan refers to as Bridget, the actor revealed to Entertainment Weekly. Penelope pretends to be the maid whenever she needs to do business on behalf of the fictional Lady Whistledown. 

Nicola Coughlan says things get more complicated for Penelope in season 2 

Penelope, wearing a yellow dress, and Eloise, wearing a light blue dress, facing each other in an episode of 'Bridgerton' Season 2.
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton in’Bridgerton’ Season 2 | Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

In Bridgerton Season 2, Penelope’s role as London’s hottest gossip columnist creates some complications in her friendship with Eloise, especially since the other woman is now out in society. Eloise wants to stick close to her friend whenever they’re out and about, which makes it hard for Penelope to discover the information that fills her column. 

“It makes things difficult for Penelope because she has got a job to do, and she needs to be in every dark corner hearing everything happen,” Coughlan said. “She’s got her best friend there, which is great, but Eloise is attached to her hip, so how does she get away with that? It tests her relationships with everyone in her life.”

Coughlan added that she thinks one reason her character created the Whistledown persona was to impress Eloise, who she thinks is “the funniest, smartest, best person in the world.” But how will Eloise react when she learns of her friend’s deception? Or when she discovers Penelope’s other secret – that she’s desperately in love with Eloise’s older brother Colin (Luke Newton)? 

Will there be a Penelope-Colin romance in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3?

Colin reading Lady Whistledown's Society Papers in 'Bridgerton' Season 1
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 1 | LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

Bridgerton Season 1 was all about the romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dyvenor) and the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). The second season focuses on Anthony Bridgerton’s (Jonathan Bailey) relationship with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). But when will Penelope get her chance at love? It likely won’t happen in season 2, as Colin is still recovering from his failed engagement to Marina (Ruby Barker). (He also remains completely unaware of Penelope’s role in exposing Marina’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy.)

“He’s not focusing so much on romance and that aspect of his life anymore,” Newton told Entertainment Weekly.  

Bridgerton has already been renewed for seasons 3 and 4. If the show continues to follow author Julia Quinn’s books, the third season will be based on An Offer From a Gentleman. That novel focuses on Benedict Bridgerton and a mysterious woman named Sophie Beckett. Season 4 would likely be based on Romancing Mister Bridgerton. That book focuses on Colin and Penelope’s romance. 

Bridgerton Season 2 premieres March 25 on Netflix. 

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