- "Bridgerton," produced by Shondaland and created by Chris Van Dusen, is filled with foreshadowing, hidden clues, and real-life references.
- Insider rewatched all eight episodes to lay out the subtle details you might have missed during your first time watching the series, set in Regency London.
- Warning: Major spoilers for season one of Netflix's "Bridgerton," which premiered on December 25, ahead.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Adapted from Julia Quinn's bestselling novels, "Bridgerton," a new Netflix original series, follows the titular family as they navigate the 1813 social season in Regency London.
Between too-tight corsets, chaotic courting rituals, and a certain anonymous gossip columnist, there's a lot to take in throughout the show's first season.
It's only natural to be too awestruck by Queen Charlotte's enormous wigs (or Cressida Cowper's evil eye) to catch the subtle hints creator Chris Van Dusen wove into the Shondaland-produced series.
So, Insider rewatched all eight episodes to pick up on the small details that slid past us the first time around.
From the reimagined portraits hanging in Buckingham Palace to the cut on Daphne Bridgerton's back, keep reading to see 21 details you might have missed on season one of "Bridgerton."
The recurring bee is a nod to Julia Quinn's novels.
Before entering the Bridgerton house for the first time in episode one, viewers see a bee on the family's door knocker. The fuzzy insect also shows up on the windowsill when Daphne gives birth in the season finale.
So why pay attention to a tiny bug when there are balls and tea parties to hold your attention? Well, it's a major clue about the Bridgertons' past.
On the show, Edmund Bridgerton's death is mentioned yet never fully explained. Fans of Quinn's novels, however, know that the patriarch died from a bee sting, leaving his eldest son, Anthony Bridgerton, the family's estate (along with an intense fear of bees).
Quinn's second novel, "The Viscount Who Loved Me," tackles the traumatic effects that Edmund's death had on Anthony. The bee at the end of the finale could signal that the second season of "Bridgerton" will follow the books' order, shifting the focus from Daphne to Anthony.
Chris Van Dusen, the show's creator, also confirmed that the bee is a "very important symbol" and "thematic element" on the show.
Buckingham really did undergo renovations in the early 19th century.
You may notice that King George III and Queen Charlotte's home is undergoing construction on season one of "Bridgerton."
Van Dusen explained that the real-life royals were transitioning the residence from Buckingham House to Buckingham Palace in the early 19th century, so he wanted to give a historically accurate representation.
The Bridgertons' residence was inspired by Althorp, Princess Diana's former home.
The Bridgertons are one of the most posh families in Regency London, so it's fitting that their home is equally as elegant.
While live tweeting the first episode of the series, Van Dusen revealed that Althorp, the Spencers' estate in Northamptonshire, inspired the interior of the Bridgertons' home.
The Spencers have owned Althorp since 1508 and Princess Diana lived there before marrying Prince Charles. After she died in 1997, she was buried at Althorp.
Classical covers of modern-day pop songs by artists like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish play throughout the show.
There are harps and string quartets aplenty on season one of "Bridgerton." However, the instruments, a staple in a Regency England period piece, churn out covers of pop hits from 200 years in the future.
For example, Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" fills the air at the first ball of the season, and Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" plays in the background of Simon Basset and Daphne's rain-soaked love scene.
Kris Bowers, who composed the series' original tracks and covers, teamed up with Vitamin String Quartet and Duomo to create orchestral renditions of songs like Maroon 5's "Girls Like You," Shawn Mendes' "In My Blood," Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy," and Celeste's "Strange."
Anthony's desire to duel Lord Nigel Berbrooke foreshadows his actions with Simon.
Dueling may have been illegal, but the eldest Bridgerton proposed the high-stakes faceoffs with alarming frequency during season one.
After Nigel obtains a special license for his wedding to Daphne in episode two (and threatens to tarnish the Bridgerton family's reputation should they stand in the way), Anthony declares his intentions to duel.
"When gentlemen are left with no other choice, Mother," he tells Violet. "When a young woman, let alone one's sister, is rumored to be dishonored, the consequences shall be deadly."
Even though Anthony doesn't end up following through, the comment foreshadows his challenge to Simon in episode four.
Daphne has a cut from her corset.
Unless they're preparing for bed, the high society ladies of "Bridgerton" are typically well-coiffed and done up — and in Regency England, that entails wearing a corset.
Though none of the characters directly complain about the structured, restrictive undergarments used to shape their bodies, there are subtle hints about the daily discomfort women faced to comply with society's beauty standards.
Prudence Featherington, for example, bends over as her maids squeezed her corset tighter in episode one. Her own mother expresses her disappointment that her waist is larger than an "orange and a half."
"Is she to breathe, mama?" Penelope Featherington asks Portia, who only pulls the strings harder.
Daphne, the "diamond of the season," doesn't share a peep about her pain. But for a brief moment in the first episode, viewers can see bruises and cuts from her corset as she gets ready for a society event.
Each high society family has their own colors.
Astute viewers may realize that each family in "Bridgerton" has their own unique color scheme.
The Bridgertons are almost always in subdued blues and pinks, while the Featheringtons are in brighter colors like orange, green, and yellow. This pattern was no mistake, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick told Vogue ahead of the show's premiere.
"They're the prominent family of the social season so we wanted their color palette to be powdery — these pale blues, silvers, and greens that feel like whispers of color," she said of the Bridgertons.
Mirojnick continued: "The Featheringtons are new money and Portia needs to marry her daughters off. She sets the tone for them as a family and their color palette is overly citrus because she wants those girls to be seen."
In Quinn's book "The Duke and I," the Hastings' family colors are gold and red, the latter of which Simon frequently wears on season one.
The portraits hanging in Buckingham Palace look like the actors that play King George III and Queen Charlotte.
"Bridgerton" immerses viewers into a more inclusive, diverse world, and Van Dusen made sure no stone was left unturned while building it.
As Violet and her handmaid walk through Buckingham Palace, they pass by portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte.
Instead of portraying the real-life royals, the showrunners created paintings that look like the actors — James Fleet and Golda Rosheuvel.
The Queen calls Brimsley a "terrible gossip" long before he spoils her plot to uncover Lady Whistledown.
Charlotte invites Violet to the palace for tea and gossip in episode two, but she limits their talking points until her secretary Brimsley leaves the room.
"That one is a terrible gossip," she mutters to Violet. "If we were to speak freely in his presence before long the whole of England would know our business."
Violet looks startled and confused, but the remark passes with little consequence. That is, until viewers realize exactly what the Queen was referring to in episode eight.
As Eloise inquires about the Queen's plans to unmask Whistledown, Brimsley spills the beans and tells the young woman exactly how the Queen plans to catch her.
When Violet invites Lady Berbrooke for tea, there's a chess board in the background.
When the Bridgerton matriarch invites Lady Berbrooke over for tea, she's playing a game of sorts.
If she can occupy Berbrooke long enough for her servants to extract disparaging information about her son Nigel, Violet can prevent his marriage to Daphne.
Like a chess player, Violet maneuvers to get what she wants by following the rules prescribed to her, so it makes sense that there's a board in the background of the scene.
Shortly after the Queen says she predicted Mozart's success, Daphne has one of the composer's operas on her mantle.
Queen Charlotte tells Violet that she met the composer when he was less than 10 years old in episode two.
"I declared then and there that he should become one of the finest composers in Europe," she says.
The royal adds, "I'm rarely wrong about such matters. Do you know why? Because when I choose to extend to someone my favor, I expect them to make good on it."
Violet soon realizes that she's sending a message about Daphne, who the Queen named as the season's Incomparable in the episode prior.
Because the Queen hedged bets on the young woman's bright future, much like she did with Mozart, she doesn't want to be proven wrong and watch her marry Nigel.
Later in that episode, Daphne prepares for a ball in her room. On the mantle, there's a paper with the title of Mozart's opera "La Clemenza di Tito" on it, tying the two scenes together.
The bird feather accessories and cages at parties may be a metaphor for women's place in society.
Many of the young women in ton wear feathers in their hair on "Bridgerton," but there's one particular scene that seems like commentary on gender in 19th century society.
In episode three, Daphne has a delicate feather protruding from her hair at one of the balls. As she spins around the room with potential suitors, viewers can see bird cages in the background.
While the cages might be thoughtless party decor, the bird feathers and cages could also be a metaphor for women confined by society's rules.
Eloise feeds into this theory in episode five while shopping with Penelope Featherington.
"I've never understood the fashion for feathers in the hair," Eloise says. "Why would a woman want to draw more notice to the fact that she's like a bird squawking for a man's attention in some bizarre ritual?"
According to Van Dusen, the cast and crew referred to the aforementioned event as "The Bird Ball" due to the "gentlemen strutting around like peacocks for attention."
Madame Delacroix's French accent comes and goes depending on who she's around.
The town's most in-demand modiste, Madame Genevieve Delacroix, hails from France — or so she'd like the ton to believe.
She speaks with a deep French accent when in the presence of high society ladies. But if you pay close attention, she switches to a British accent when she's in close quarters with characters like Siena Rosso and Benedict Bridgerton.
In episode six, Marina Thompson, whose mother was French, slyly calls out the dressmakers for her "unique" accent, signaling that she knows Genevieve is an imposter.
At the end of season one, Benedict tells Eloise that Genevieve left London to "make a short trip back to France." Based on her phony French accent, there's more to the story.
Daphne is frequently surrounded by white roses.
From the flower Simon plucks for Daphne on their promenade to the bush behind their scandalous make out in Lady Trowbridge's garden, white roses regularly pop up in scenes featuring Daphne.
White roses symbolize purity and innocence, both traits expected of a young debutante in Regency England.
Gunter's Tea Shop was a real place in Regency England.
Gunter's Tea Shop, the ultimate place to see and be seen on "Bridgerton," existed outside of Van Dusen's cotton candy-colored universe. The store actually had the same name when it stood in Berkeley Square in the 19th century.
Siena wears Genevieve's leftover fabrics to one of her shows.
After Siena believes her relationship with Anthony has ended, she seeks comfort in Genevieve in episode three.
The opera singer eyes a light pink gown, which Genevieve tells her is intended for Cressida Cowper. The dressmaker then offers to make Siena a performance dress from the leftover fabric.
"I should think it an odd choice of color for me. I am no innocent debutante," Siena tells her.
Later in that episode, Siena sings in front of a large audience wearing the same shade of pink as Cressida's dress.
Prudence sings a real nursery rhyme during her off-key performance for the Bridgertons.
When the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons gather for a meal to celebrate Colin Bridgerton and Marina's hasty engagement in episode six, Prudence treats the room to a screeching performance of a song titled, "Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be?"
The tune is actually a real nursery rhyme, per the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes by Iona and Peter Opie.
The Queen appears to have a statue of the Greek goddess Athena in her garden.
Daphne flees the chaos at the Queen's luncheon, worked up by the tension between herself and Simon. She finds herself standing in front of what appears to be a statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of war.
The young duchess doesn't take note of the statue, but there seems to be parallels between their stories.
Per Greek mythology, Athena took a vow to remain chaste and never have children (like Simon, apart from the remaining chaste part). A god named Hephaestus tried to seduce her, but she rejected him. By the time she pushed him off, he'd already spilled his seed on her thigh.
Similarly, Daphne tries to trap Simon into giving her a child in episode six, despite his desires never to sire an heir. The marital rape scene has sparked controversy since the series' premiere.
Van Dusen, nor the show's writers, have identified nor confirmed the meaning behind the statue, however.
Benedict has a bee embroidered on his shirt collar.
In episode seven, Benedict has a small black bee on his shirt collar. The symbol ties back to Quinn's books, since his father, Edmund, died from a bee sting.
Will Mondrich is based on a real boxer named Bill Richmond.
Will is Simon's boxing coach, his closest friend in London, and his second in duel on "Bridgerton."
Despite his success, the professional fighter begins to grow weary of his career and seeks a more financially-stable future for his family.
Van Dusen confirmed that the character, who didn't appear in Quinn's books, is based on a real-life boxer named Bill Richmond.
Richmond was born into slavery in Staten Island in 1763. He built a successful boxing career, which was an outlet that helped him escape servitude and abuse.
There are numerous similarities between the show's two birth scenes.
Upon first look, the birth scenes seem like they couldn't be more different. However, there are certain parallels between the two onscreen moments.
"Bridgerton" viewers enter the duchesses' quarters the same way both times, following a nurse as she barges in to deliver cloth. The visual similarities don't stop there.
Both duchesses also give birth in the same room in the same house, as seen by the identical blue wallpaper behind them. They also laid their heads on the same frilly ivory pillow.
While there are details connecting the two scenes, the contrast between them proves how different Daphne and Simon are from the former Duke and Duchess of Hastings.
For example, the former Duke waits outside the room, while Simon holds Daphne's hand throughout her delivery. Simon also never asks about the baby's gender, while his father demands to know immediately.
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