Ruby Stokes’ Francesca Bridgerton is the only Bridgerton sibling who is mysteriously absent for the whole of Bridgerton’s first season.
All of the Bridgerton siblings appear in Bridgerton season 1 except Francesca, who is obviously absent – but why? The new Bridgerton series on Netflix is based on a series of Julia Quinn’s romantic books. Each book relates the narrative of a different Bridgerton sister – there are eight of them, and they’re all called alphabetically.
As a result, Francesca is the sixth Bridgerton child and the younger sister of Daphne, who, together with Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, is the main subject of Bridgerton’s first season.
Despite the fact that Daphne is the fourth Bridgerton kid, her narrative is told in The Duke and I, the first novel in the Bridgerton series. Unsurprisingly, the Netflix production changed a few aspects from The Duke and I, but given that it’s the first novel in the series, it seems like a good place to start.
Francesca would appear in season 6, which is based on the novel When He Was Wicked, if the show continued to follow the order of the books and gave each book its own season. Because she doesn’t feature much in season 1, that might be a long time before we get to know Francesca onscreen.
Francesca spent the majority of that year in Bath, according to the Bridgerton season 1 finale, “After the Rain.” Aunt Winnie (an unknown individual at this stage) writes Lady Bridgerton a note stating that Francesca will be returning home soon.
Francesca was likely spending time with extended family, potentially for educational purposes, similar to Marina Thompson, who was sent to live with the Featheringtons by her own family (though for entirely different reasons).
As a result, Francesca barely appears briefly in season 1, while the showrunners may have had other (more practical) reasons for keeping her out of the spotlight.
Some Bridgerton fans suspect that Francesca’s absence could be due to the prospect of a recasting in future seasons. Given that the Bridgerton children’s stories are told when they are adults in Julia Quinn’s novels, it’s logical to assume that several of the younger Bridgertons would be recast.
However, because Francesca’s actress, Ruby Stokes, isn’t much younger than Daphne Bridgerton’s actress, Phoebe Dynevor, it’s just as probable that there wasn’t enough time in season 1 to give her a storey without dragging the season down with too many subplots.
Francesca has been described as a more mysterious and enigmatic Bridgerton than her siblings, thus it’s only natural that Bridgerton would keep her persona a mystery.
Still, it’s surprising that Francesca was absent from numerous promotional photographs and didn’t appear in any of the first season’s episodes. More of Francesca’s narrative should be revealed in Bridgerton season 2 now that she’s back in London. Francesca’s tale will be told, and fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels may expect to see more of her in the future.