Are Penelope and Lady Whistledown going to be in Bridgerton season 4?

With her secret now revealed to the ton, will this author still have a role to play next season?
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Dearest gentle reader. After such a long wait, it's crazy to think that Bridgerton season 3 is all wrapped up, and Penelope Featherington (now Bridgerton!) has finally gotten her happily ever after with Colin. Plus, this author's secret is now exposed and the whole ton, including Queen Charlotte of course, knows her secret. Because of all this, does that mean that Penelope and Lady Whistledown's roles are over as we head into the already confirmed Bridgerton season 4?

Well, as with the leads that came before them, Penelope and Colin will be taking a "backseat" in the fourth season of the Netflix hit, meaning they won't be the focus of the story, according to showrunner Jess Brownwell. That's going to be whoever is the next couple ready to take center stage, which hasn't been announced yet. And this is the norm for the show. One new couple is the focus each season. However, that doesn't mean we're not getting more of this author and her pen. Here's what the showrunner told Variety:

"Lady Whistledown is the narrator of the show, and so I do think that there’s more story to tell there with her. Just as with Kate and Anthony this season, Colin and Penelope will take more of a backseat to next season’s leads. But because of Pen’s double identity, I think there’s a bit more meat to mine there. Her story isn’t concluded with a happily-ever-after. Her career provides new obstacles next season, so we will be seeing more of her."

Penelope writing Lady Whistledown issue in Bridgerton Episode 306
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

So yay! Penelope and Colin will be in Bridgerton season 4, and it sounds like Lady Whistledown isn't going anywhere either. Even though things have kind of been wrapped up in a neat-ish bow by the end of Bridgerton season 3, what Brownwell said is true. There is more story to tell because now the ton knows that Penelope is the author. And there's many elements that go into that.

While it seemed like most people were quick to accept this because their queen did, which felt a bit anticlimactic to me to be honest, that doesn't mean everyone will stay quiet or not have some certain words they want to say to Lady Whistledown. After all, many people's secrets were exposed and were words of gossip for the column. So we'll see how that goes!

I am excited to see how things continue to play out with Colin, and even the rest of her family, supporting her. It was really sweet to see the Bridgertons and Featheringtons in the final scene still as eager as ever to read the Lady Whistledown issue, and everyone ready to see what Penelope had to say. Plus signing it off as Penelope Bridgerton instead of Lady Whistledown just had me in tears!

Polly Walker as Lady Portia Featherington, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton in episode 308 of Bridgerton
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Will Julie Andrews continue to voice Lady Whistledown?

So while Penelope, her husband, and their baby will be in the fourth season, is Julie Andrews going to continue her narration or will we hear it through Penelope's voice going forward? Here's what Brownwell told The Wrap:

"It’s Julie Andrews — I’m obsessed with her. I would hate to lose her from the show. While she is, in many ways, the voice of Penelope when she was trying to hide herself, I also think she’s just become so iconic as the voice of Lady Whistledown. So we’re playing with different ideas in season 4, and people have to wait and see where we go with that."

Narratively speaking, it would make sense for Penelope actress Nicola Coughlan to take over the voice over full-time. We've heard a few times, including in the finale. Imagine going forward her opening up the episode with the iconic voice "Dearest gentle reader." But like the showrunner said. It would be a real shame to lose Andrews' voice and what that would mean for the series. It's just become such an integral part and anchors the story and the voiceover aspect. Thankfully the creative team feels the same and it looks like they're working on a way to make it work. Great news, indeed!

Bridgerton season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.

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