Bridgerton’s Francesca will begin a gay relationship in season four

Francesca Bridgerton in a still on Netflix's Bridgerton.

Francesca Bridgerton will begin a gay relationship in season four of the hit show, series showrunner Jess Brownell has revealed.

Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton season three, part two follow.

Bridgerton fans have watched as the younger member of the Regency family, played by Hannah Dodd, has taken romance a little slower. At one point, viewers were convinced that she was asexual because she seemed so apprehensive when it came to finding a partner.

But she finally found love with John Stirling in season three, despite confiding in Violet that she is still trying to discover herself. Now, Brownell has said Francesca will truly find herself in the next season – falling in love with John’s cousin, Michaela.

A still of Francesca Bridgerton and John Stirling in Bridgerton.
Francesca Bridgerton marries John Stirling in season three. (Netflix)

What happened with Francesca and Michaela at the end of season three?

At the end of season three, viewers saw Francesca introduced to new husband John’s cousin, Michaela Stirling.

Francesca immediately appeared flustered and on edge, stumbling over her words and struggling to maintain eye contact. Fans of the show instantly cottoned on to what was happening – right after Benedict Bridgerton had his queer sexual awakening, Francesca was getting hers.

You may like to watch

Fans of the Bridgerton book series will know that Francesca does find love after John tragically dies. But it seems Brownell has pulled off the ultimate gender swap.

Masali Baduza plays newcomer Michaela Stirling in Bridgerton.
Masali Baduza plays newcomer Michaela Stirling. (Netflix)

Who is Michaela Stirling in the books?

Those who’ve read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels know that in Francesca’s book, When He Was Wicked, she falls in love with a Michael – not Michaela – Stirling. After John’s death, the pair begin a relationship and eventually marry.

But Brownell has now revealed that in the TV adaptation, Michael is Michaela.

Is Francesca Bridgerton a lesbian?

Brownell said she pitched Francesca as a queer character from the very beginning.

She told Glamour that as a queer woman herself, she felt some of Francesca’s struggles in the book were related to the queer experience. 

Francesca in Bridgerton.
Francesca Bridgerton will be queer in season four. (Netflix)

“[Francesca’s] book talks a lot about how different she feels, and I think Julia Quinn’s intention is that Fran feels different because she’s introverted. But for many of us in the queer community, that sense of feeling different is a part of our stories.

“I felt there was fertile ground thematically to nod toward telling a queer story.

“There are also some elements of her story that allow us to make sure we can tell a pretty happy ending for Francesca and Michaela.

“There are certain elements of her story, historically, that allow us some wiggle room in terms of creating a happily-ever-after, which we very much want to have,” she told Deadline.

“When approaching a queer story, it’s very important to me that we are able to see a queer happily-ever-after and not let it be queer trauma.”

Bridgerton season three is streaming on Netflix now.

Please login or register to comment on this story.