Were the Bridgertons a real family and how historically accurate is the Netflix drama?

28 January 2021, 17:05

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Is Bridgerton a true story? And how historically accurate is the Netflix drama? Find out all you need to know.

After what felt like a very long wait, the much-anticipated Netflix drama Bridgerton finally dropped on Christmas Day - and it's proved a huge hit with viewers around the world.

Read more: Bridgerton is officially the biggest Netflix show of all time

The show is set in the Regency-era, and follows the aristocratic Bridgerton family in the early 19th century London.

It tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton, (Phoebe Dynevor), a young debutante entering the marriage mart with dreams of finding her perfect husband.

After being named star debutante by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), Daphne at first seems to have excellent potential at finding a husband, but her efforts are obstructed by her brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and a salacious gossip columnist named Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews).

Many viewers will be left wondering just how much of Bridgerton is real. Here's your need-to-know.


Bridgerton tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset
Bridgerton tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset. Picture: Netflix

Were the Bridgertons a real family?

The Bridgerton family are entirely fictional and were not - as far as we know - a real family in the Regency era.

The series is based on a fictional set of novels written by Julia Quinn.

How much of Bridgerton is real?

While the series was of course inspired by a real period and some real historical figures in history, the series itself is fictional.

Speaking about the subject, its show creator Chris Van Busen told Heart.co.uk: "It is a reimagined world, we’re not a history lesson, it’s not a documentary. What we’re really doing with the show is marrying history and fantasy in what I think is a very exciting way. One approach that we took to that is our approach to race.

"I took this one possible fact which was that Queen Charlotte was England’s first Queen of mixed race, and I think that’s something that a lot of historians believe there’s evidence for."

Queen Charlotte is played by Golda Rosheuvel
Queen Charlotte is played by Golda Rosheuvel. Picture: Netflix

"And the idea really resonated with me, and it made me wonder - what could that have really looked like? What could have happened? Could she have elevated other people of colour in society and granted them titles and lands and dukedoms? And that’s really where our Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset [played by Regé-Jean Page] of the series, that’s the idea that he was born out of."

Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix
Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix. Picture: Netflix

And speaking about his desire to mix modernity with history, he added: "Everything on the show is really filtered through a unique modern lens and there’s a contemporary sensibility to everything - to the music, to the way we edit the show, to our casting of course.

"We have an amazing sprawling cast, it’s a diverse cast, not just in terms of ethnicities, but also ages and different backgrounds. You also feel it with the tone of the show, things move fast in this world, people talk fast, the banter is really sharp and witty, and it’s funny. There’s a lot of humour to things. And it’s also really sexy, which you don’t always get with your traditional period shows.

Read more: Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page unrecognisable in throwback pics with his band

"The look of the show is also very modern and feeling in terms of things being bright and vibrant and fresh. There’s a little bit of sparkle with everything, and I think that’s true with everything from our set design to our costumes, which are all rooted in the Regency time period, but the volume is turned up on everything.

"Then of course there are the themes that we explore on the show, which are modern relatable issues. Even though it’s set in the 19th century, I think you sometimes forget about that, because what we’re exploring I think the modern audiences will be able to relate to."


How can I watch Bridgerton on Netflix?

Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix.

Is there a trailer for Bridgerton?

You can watch the trailer below:

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