Inside Francesca Bridgerton’s Complicated Love Story

Get to know the diamond of this year’s season.
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Following in her sister Daphne’s perfectly poised footsteps, Francesca Bridgerton has captivated the world of the Ton throughout Bridgerton season three.

While Colin and Penelope’s new romance may take centre stage, the introduction of Francesca and her new love interest, Earl of Kilmartin John Stirling, has definitely laid the foundations for her dedicated series.

In a season filled with grand gestures and some seriously Wattpad-level yearning, the final episode of Bridgerton season three added an unexpected twist to Francesca’s new romance – leaving fans dying to discover the next chapter in her love story.

Fortunately for us, Bridgerton author Julia Quinn’s novel When He Was Wicked dives head-first into Francesca’s search for true love, giving us a rough idea of what to expect in her upcoming season.

Francesca Bridgerton sitting at a piano.
Hannah Dodd stars as Francesca Bridgerton. (Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Who played Francesca Bridgerton?

Francesca Bridgerton is currently played by Hannah Dodd.

While she may not have come to the forefront of the Netflix series until season three, the character of Francesca was previously portrayed by Ruby Stokes – appearing in the role for five episodes over the first two seasons of Bridgerton.

What happens to Francesca Bridgerton?

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Following Francesca’s introduction to the Ton in the early episodes of Bridgerton season three, Violet Bridgerton puts her match-making magic to work in the hopes of finding her newest debutante a worthy suitor.

Despite the status and wealth of many of her callers, Francesca does not feel that romantic spark until her first encounter with John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin. After getting to know one another, the pair’s unique courtship continues to blossom and eventually culminates in John popping the question.

After celebrating the early days of their married life, Francesca and John share that they will be relocating from Mayfair to John’s estate in the Scottish Highlands to escape the gossip and noise of the Ton.

In the season’s final episode, John introduces Francesca to his cousin Michela Stirling and spoiler alert – she’s about to become a significant part of Francesca’s love story.

Bridgerton characters John Stirling and Francesca Bridgerton sitting across from one another.
Francesca falls in love with John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin. (Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

While the introduction of Michela Stirling may have appeared insignificant to some, Francesca’s dedicated novel, When He Was Wicked, sees Francesca fall into a complex relationship with John’s cousin Michael – confirming Francesca’s season will explore Bridgerton’s first dedicated same-sex romance.

Interestingly for fans of Julia Quinn’s original novel, the timing of Francesca and John’s move to Scotland leaves many questions as to whether John’s role and presence in the series will be changed.

In the novel, John suddenly passes away two years into his marriage with Francesca, leaving Michael as the new Earl of Kilmartin. To cope with her grief, Francesca turns to Michael for support however, his feelings towards her have not subsided, and the pair share their first kiss. Feeling immensely guilty for her growing affection towards Michael, Francesca runs away to Scotland however, this does not deter Michael, who follows her and attempts to win her over.

While a dramatic declaration of love is certainly not off the cards, Bridgerton has also flipped the dynamics of Francesca and Michaela’s romance, with a flustered Francesca suddenly appearing head-over-heels for Michela in contrast to Michael’s quintessential ‘love at first sight’ moment in the book.

Francesca Bridgerton and Violet Bridgerton sitting together on a couch.
Francesca’s novel, When He Was Wicked, is the sixth book in the Bridgerton series. (Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Will Francesca Bridgerton be in Bridgerton season four?

Although we all can’t get enough of Francesca in the latest season of Bridgerton, it is unlikely that she will serve as the star sibling of season four.

After years of speculation, the final episode of season three seemingly confirmed that Benedict Bridgerton will be the star of Bridgerton season four after Benedict referred to a masquerade ball that features at the start of his dedicated novel, An Offer from a Gentleman.

Despite Benedict serving as the star of the next season, Francesca’s featured role throughout season three has definitely set her up to star as the leading lady as soon as Bridgerton season five.

If you can’t wait to discover Francesca’s story, you can pick up a copy of When He Was Wicked at BIG W.

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