Nothing seems to happen in Bridgerton‘s high society without being included in the street sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, whose diligent reporting of the local scandals casts aspersions on even the most well-connected of the ton. Not even Queen Charlotte herself was safe when a Lady Whistledown’s letters infiltrated court, swept through Grosvenor Square, and exploded into the drawing rooms of the Bridgertons, the Featheringtons, and any other family of distinction.
Everyone feared having their names mentioned in her report, but nobody wanted to be excluded from it either, because as the Lady Whistledown society papers so memorably proclaimed, “All is fair in love and war,” and there seemed to be no such thing as bad press for aristocrats looking to elevate their standing at the expense of their rivals. Fortunately, some scandals proved to be more ruinous than others, for “who knows when and where one’s fortunes may change.”
Updated on April 18, 2022 by Kayleena Pierce-Bohen: Sultry period drama Bridgerton has returned for its second season, which means that along with the gorgeous costumes and social backstabbing, there are more sumptuous scandals to be reported in the Lady Whistledown society papers. While some fans might be missing the steamier scenes of season 1, season 2 still packs quite a provocative punch by continuing the mystery of “Who is Lady Whistledown?”, introducing a new prominent family to the ton, and placing Anthony Bridgerton in hot water.
15 Daphne Catching Simon’s Eye
When viewers first met Simon Basset, he was referred to as one of the season’s most eligible bachelors but also a “rake,” a man who preyed on women’s affections but did not intend to enter into respectable unions. It was therefore a very big affair when Daphne Bridgerton caught his eye at the Vauxhall celebration.
Lady Whistledown referred to their association as “the most remarkable coup of the season,” and praised Ms. Bridgerton for capturing the attention of the newly minted Duke of Hastings. Though she couldn’t determine how exactly the young woman had managed to ensnare his affections, if anyone was going to “reveal the circumstances of the match,” it was going to be her.
14 The Queen Making A Mistake In Labeling Daphne “Incomparable”
The very first edition of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers proclaimed Daphne to be the “diamond of the first water,” a glowing commendation that came on the heels of Queen Charlotte bestowing her own title of “the Incomparable.” However, as Lady Whistledown was quick to point out, “the brighter a lady shines, the faster she may burn.”
Sure enough, no sooner had the Queen deemed Daphne “flawless” than she failed to capture the attention of a single suitor, causing Lady Whistledown to turn on Daphne, and wonder if “our diamond requires a closer inspection.” Queen Charlotte didn’t take kindly to being wrong, especially in matters of matchmaking.
13 Anthony Scaring All Of Daphne’s Suitors Away
By choosing to neglect his familial responsibilities in favor of gallivanting with his opera singer mistress, Anthony Bridgerton soon realized that his behavior would eventually reflect poorly on his family’s name. By spending more time with Siena Rosso, he was failing at finding his sister Daphne a suitable husband.
Lady Whistledown indicated that all of Grosvenor Square was left to ponder “a rather scandalous question indeed,” namely whether or not “one former diamond’s recent fall from grace [would] turn out to be the most damning scandal of all?”. Anthony ended up rejecting all of Daphne’s prospects, resulting in Lady Whistledown crowning Marina Thompson as the “true Incomparable” of the season.
12 Simon Taking Too Long To Propose To Daphne
No sooner was Lady Whistledown condoning the match of Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton than she was casting doubt on their courtship, inspired by the fact that the Duke of Hastings was not acting fast enough to secure Daphne as a wife. Queen Charlotte’s nephew Prince Friedrich had arrived from Prussia and also had eyes for Daphne, causing Whistedown to proclaim that “marrying above one’s station is an art form indeed” and indicating Daphne should “upgrade” if the Duke was uninterested.
Lady Danbury knew that Simon needed to either propose to Daphne or let her find happiness in the arms of the prince, because to dally for too long would make Daphne look a fool and possibly jeopardize her ability to obtain a better prospect.
11 Portia’s Plan For Cousin Jack And Prudence To Wed
Given everything her family suffered at the hands of Lady Whistledown’s society papers in season 2, it wasn’t surprising to see Portia Featherington turn villainous again, undeterred by high-society gossip as long as she could scheme a prudent match between her daughter Prudence and Cousin Jack, completely unaware that Lady Whistledown lived under her very roof.
Penelope was in a predicament; she needed to report just enough in the Lady Whistledown society papers to make the Featherington scandal interesting to the ton, but not enough to make her family inescapably ostracized from its cohort, and both presented grave implications for herself (especially when Cousin Jack turned out to be penniless).
10 Lord Berbrooke’s Illegitimate Child
The oleaginous Lord Berbrooke was certain that Daphne Bridgerton would be his bride after he procured a special license in order to marry her, but he vastly underestimated Lady Bridgerton and the other ladies of the ton, whose gossip had the ability to ruin his reputation.
After several successful teas, the Viscountess was able to circulate the news that Lord Berbrooke had fathered a bastard, and was forced to pay large sums of money to his lover in the country to keep the affair out of the newspapers. Lady Whistledown pounced on the juicy tidbit and published everything about “the illegitimate child” he had “with his servant” in her society papers immediately.
9 Daphne And Simon’s Quick Wedding
Lady Whistledown might have been singing the praises of the prudent match between Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, but she didn’t altogether approve of their quick race to the altar. She didn’t know it was in the wake of a duel between the Duke of Hastings and Anthony Bridgerton, and therefore suspected it might have something to do with Daphne being part of “an indiscretion.”
The ton was left to speculate if something untoward and unbecoming had occurred between the Duke and “the diamond of the first water,” but only the approval of the Queen would be able to settle the matter and allow them to walk down the aisle unencumbered by scandal.
8 Kate And Anthony’s Relationship
The chemistry between Anthony Bridgerton and one of Bridgerton‘s most likable new characters, Kate Sharma, was palpable, too much so to ignore, and the pair found themselves creating romantic moments together without even trying, to the point where Anthony’s engagement to Kate’s younger sister Edwina was threatened by his internalized conflict.
Whether attending balls or hunting parties, they can’t seem to contain their mutual attraction, and their game of cat and mouse isn’t a wise preoccupation with Lady Whistledown present for more than one of these occasions. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t privy to her identity, and so cannot avoid becoming the talk of her society papers.
7 Edwina Leaving Her Own Wedding To Anthony
At the start of season 2, all seemed in agreement that the Viscount should marry Edwina Sharma, despite Lady Whistledown’s thoughts that “any suitor wishing to gain an audience with Miss Edwina Sharma must first tame the rather prickly spinster of a beast, otherwise known as her sister.”
Throughout their engagement, however, Anthony develops feelings for her older sister Kate, and when Edwina discovers the bond they share, departs her own wedding ceremony, which sends the ton into a frenzy. Lady Whistledown’s society papers capture the entire catastrophe, all but ensuring ruin for both the Bridgerton and Sharma families.
6 Daphne And Simon Not Producing A Child
No sooner had Daphne and Simon said “I do” than the ton expectantly waited for the news that they were broadening their family. As Lady Whistledown quipped, the pair knew what throwing their rehearsal dinner signified — “that their time [was] officially up.” With the exciting throes of courtship behind them, the newlyweds would be expected to be welcoming a child within the year, and anything short would cast doubt as to the health of their union.
As time marched on, Daphne’s fertility and the Duke’s virility were questioned, something which would steep both of their families in scandal if a child — preferably a male — did not rectify the situation.
5 The Featheringtons Losing Everything
No sooner had Lord Featherington regained a foothold of his financial security than he was found dead after a dodgy meeting with some unsavory gambling associates. The entire Featherington household was thrown into chaos, especially since their estate would then pass to a male heir and none of the daughters had secured proposals.
The news came on the heels of the scandal involving Marina Thompson and implied that Portia Featherington and her daughters would have a long, hard journey ahead of them to regain their position in society.
4 Nearly Being Unmasked
One of the greatest scandals at the center of season 1 involved Lady Whistledown herself, whose identity was almost discovered in the final episode. Despite being sought by every member of the ton, she explained to her readers that there was “no ending in sight for this author, who recently became aware of a scheme to unmask her.”
While she managed to evade her “one worthy opponent” thanks to the gallant actions of Eloise Bridgerton, Lady Whistledown admitted one day she might be prevailed upon to reveal her true identity, but that the decision would be left entirely up to her.
3 Lady Whistledown Destroying Eloise In Print
Eloise Bridgerton’s investigations into Lady Whistledown’s true identity led her to the very printing press used to create Lady Whistledown’s society papers. But before she can reveal her findings to Queen Charlotte, the queen suspects Eloise to be the author herself. Since Eloise has no way to prove otherwise, Lady Whistledown must come to her rescue, though it comes at a cost to her reputation.
Lady Whistledown writes a scathing account of Eloise attending various radical feminist rallies, bringing shame to the Bridgerton family but successfully making Queen Charlotte believe she can’t be the mysterious writer. This peculiar act of kindness puts a strain on Eloise’s relationship with Penelope, the only person who could have known the rallies she was attending.
2 Marina Thompson’s Condition
Lady Whistledown’s public declaration of Marina Thompson’s delicate condition not only rocked the ton but also decimated the Featheringtons’ reputation. The revelation also tarnished the good name of the Bridgertons through Colin’s brisk engagement to Ms. Thompson, a coupling irreparably broken by Lady Whistledown’s report.
There were but two possible outcomes for the young lovers: Marina had to enter into a levirate marriage with her late lover’s brother, and Colin had to leave England for a tour of Greece until the dust settled and the ton forgot all about his involvement.
1 Lady Whistledown’s Identity Unmasked
It’s no secret that Queen Charlotte was trying to uncover the identity of the person behind Lady Whistledown’s society papers, enlisting Eloise to unmask the author who dares cast aspersions on royalty and the ton. After Lady Whistledown exposed Eloise as a radical feminist, she stopped writing altogether… until she couldn’t help herself.
The biggest scandal of both seasons turned out to be that one best friend could so maliciously malign another, and contain the pugnacious commentary not just to herself but to her best friend’s family, and everyone they associated with. It remains to be seen whether or not Lady Whistledown’s society papers will continue in season 3, given what Eloise now knows of her character.
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