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Is Bridgerton already setting up its promised queer romance?

Whereas Bridgerton’s alternate historical past means the present is already far more racially numerous than different Regency-era romances, the present up to now has nonetheless been very heteronormative and deeply patriarchal, even with Queen Charlotte ruling. If girls can’t even inherit property and not using a man or an inheritor, they positively can’t kiss different girls (and similar goes for dudes).

However new showrunner Jess Brownell informed Refinery29 Australia that queer most important characters can be featured within the present’s future seasons.

“I think this is a show about the many ways in which people love,” mentioned Brownell. “So it only feels right to show all the ways in which people love, including queer love. So we are exploring queer love stories across the next couple of seasons,” she added.

Now, Brownell was tight-lipped about simply which characters would have queer romances. However there are some robust contenders — particularly in terms of the Bridgerton household.

It’s clearly Benedict…

Photograph: Liam Daniel/Netflix

The entire older brothers have had their share of intercourse and debauchery (thanks 1800s-era double requirements!), however Benedict remains to be the one one who has seen a dude get it on with one other dude. Within the first season, he went to a wild celebration hosted by artist Henry Granville, and finally realized about Granville’s clandestine relationship with one other man.

And Benedict (Luke Thompson) is probably the most artsy-fartsy of the Bridgerton siblings. Being avant-garde and in contact with one’s creative facet is a stereotype that filmmakers and TV writers alike have used to point {that a} male character is queer for decades.

Whereas all the brothers aren’t tremendous eager on discovering a match, he’s the one who’s arguably put the least effort in, and proven the least curiosity in, really courting a girl. Earlier than Anthony met Kate, he was smitten along with his opera singer mistress. And Colin even proposed to Marina Thompson again in season 1. However Benedict’s solely actually been within the sexual a part of relationships. It might be that he’s lacking a sure spark.

This season, he strikes up yet one more sexual relationship with a brand new feminine character. This time, although, Woman Tilley Arnold (Hannah New) is a widow, and described by Deadline as a ”dwelling life on her personal phrases with monetary independence and sexual freedom.” Within the first half of season 3, we actually see her maintain her personal with the boys of the Ton — however may that sexual freedom imply opening Benedict’s thoughts past heterosexuality?

… until it’s Eloise

Eloise and Cressida sitting in an opera box

Photograph: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Eloise (Claudia Jessie) has rejected societal conventions from the very first season. She doesn’t need to get married in any respect and would reasonably wax on in regards to the rights of ladies. She and Penelope as soon as bonded over this, again when Eloise was impressed by Woman Whistledown. After all, that received a wrench thrown into it, however Eloise continuously seeks feminine friendship in a method that we don’t actually see with the opposite feminine characters her age, who’re extra preoccupied with discovering a correct suitor.

Feminine characters who converse out towards marriage and conventional social norms typically finish up coded as queer in terms of most motion pictures and TV exhibits, notably ones with historic settings. Even when they’re not textually offered as queer, many fans spark to these characters and claim them.

Though she had a little bit of a flirtation with an enthralling newspaper boy in season 2, Eloise’s closest relationships exterior her household are with different girls. This season, we see her develop nearer with Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen), which brings a pleasant depth to Cressida’s Imply Woman antics. Each Eloise and Cressida open up to one another about desirous to reside their very own lives with out being married. And we see them in search of out one another’s firm at occasions, in a method that nearly performs out like a standard courtship.

When requested about doable queer-coding in Eloise and Cressida’s relationship, Madsen told Decider that she’d be stoked if that was the case.

“I absolutely love that,” she mentioned. “That would be the best! Yeah, I mean, that would be cool. I like to think it would make sense because, like, she hasn’t bagged a guy. So, like, why not a gal?”

Eloise and Benedict share a very particular relationship too, one which makes them very a lot at odds with their extra marriage-focused household. They’re typically seen collectively, making jests on the expense of the women and gents of the Ton. They’re each the second-eldest son/daughter, each have a ardour for one thing apart from being a wealthy individual. Whereas a number of the different Bridgerton siblings weren’t too eager on the concept of marriage within the first place (like Anthony and Francesca), Eloise and Benedict extra overtly reject the establishment of marriage.

… Or Brimsley’s lover returns

Reynolds, a tall blonde white man, stands next to Brimsley, a short brunette white man.

Photograph: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Now there is an present fully-fleshed out and fantastically poignant queer love story within the Bridgerton universe — however you’d have to observe the Queen Charlotte miniseries to expertise it. Because it seems, the Queen’s butler Brimsley is in a protracted relationship with the King’s butler Reynolds. We noticed the complete extent of that relationship within the prequel, however we haven’t seen Reynolds within the modern-day. He may be lifeless, but additionally we simply haven’t seen a whole lot of King George in any respect, so possibly Reynolds is just attending to his boss and we’ll see the homosexual butlers reunited!

… or it’s only a fully totally different character!

Lady Danbury lounging in a peacock-blue dress, hair down, not a care in the world

Photograph: Liam Daniel/Netflix

There may be, after all, the robust likelihood that the queer Bridgerton love story doesn’t belong to one of many most important siblings. In any case, this can be a present with a lot of characters and facet plots. Possibly it’s a closely featured facet character (sapphic arc for Woman Danbury, maybe?), or possibly it’s somebody launched solely in an upcoming season to have a background romance.

Hopefully this promised queer love story is given simply as a lot weight because the heterosexual ones. In any case, that is an alternate historical past, the place love conquers all and the showrunners aren’t precisely beholden to historic accuracy.

As Brownell says: “We have the privilege of living in this fantasy world which means we can push back against some of the reality of what happened in the 1800s.”

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