Summary List Placement
Netflix’s “Bridgerton” is a visual feast. While a historical drama set in Regency London, the series takes creative liberties in portraying the lives of its characters.
“As much as possible we keep true to history, but quite often, you know, history’s a bit boring,” production designer Will Hughes-Jones said in a virtual press conference. “We’re about doing something vibrant, which is accessible to our audience.”
Adapted from Julia Quinn‘s best-selling novels, “Bridgerton” follows the lives of two families, the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons, as they navigate high society’s social season and consists of colorful, lavish sets chock full of hidden meanings.
From repeating patterns to insect motifs hinting at everything from social status to future events, here are 10 visual easter eggs and details you may have missed.
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The Bridgertons’ home consists of polished blues and whites, symbolizing their refined way of life and status as an old-money family.
Throughout the series, there is “synergy between the sets and the costumes,” production designer Will Hughes-Jones told journalist Valentina Valentini Q&A published by Shondaland.
The reason for this is that costume designers came to the show and created a lookbook before Hughes-Jones arrived, he told Valentini. “When we were out researching locations, we took the color swatches and fabrics with us,” he said.
“The Bridgertons are at the top of the social strata. They follow the rules, and they are very polished,” costume designer Ellen Mirojnick explained in a Q&A with The Cut. “Subsequently, they had a very pristine feel.”
Hughes-Jones designed the Bridgerton home using a “subtle and classical” palette, he told Valentini.
The predominant hue reflected throughout their home is Wedgwood Blue, Hughes-Jones revealed to Town & Country. “The Bridgerton house for me is like being inside a piece of Wedgwood ceramic,” he said.
Wedgwood surged in popularity among nobility after Queen Charlotte commissioned a tea set in 1765, according to the Wedgwood Museum.
The Featherington household is decorated with louder colors like bright greens and yellows plus ornate furniture, signifying their “nouveau rich” status.
Unlike the Bridgertons, the Featheringtons are newcomers to the upper-class.’
Dictated by Portia Featherington who wants her “girls to be seen,” the family’s color palette is “overly citrus,” Mirojnick told Vogue.
“The Bridgerton home has an effortless beauty, while the Featherington home seems always to be working extra hard to compete with that,” Hughes-Jones told Valentini.
In designing the Featherington home, Hughes-Jones asked himself who would have been the Featherington’s buyer in Regency London, he told Valentini. Hughes-Jones settled on interior designer Thomas Hope and decided to emulate his “stunning black and gold furniture.”
The Featheringtons’ grand staircase features 600 butterflies, a motif that also appears in the family’s fashion, from headpieces and necklaces to Penelope’s attention-grabbing all-yellow ballgown.
Like how butterflies transform from caterpillars into elegant winged creatures, the nouveau-rich Featherington women are looking to transform their image and be seen in the eyes of high society.
“My daughter and the art director’s daughter wired 600 metal butterflies on the handrails going up the stairway,” Hughes-Jones told Architectural Digest of the Featherington estate set.
The bumblebee represents the Bridgertons, appearing in the form of actual bees as well as outfit embellishments throughout the season. The flowers on the family’s grand staircase could be a further nod to the pollinator motif.
The bumblebee is a “very important symbol & thematic element” for the show,” Van Dusen wrote in a tweet. “Yes it’s cute but it’s also backstory, history, HEIRARCHY. Queens & drones,” he said.
A bumblebee nest is “ruled by a queen who is helped by smaller female (worker) bumblebees,” according to the Bumblee Conversation Trust. While the worker bees collect nectar and pollen to feed the colony, the sole purpose of the male (drone) is to mate. The drone bees leave the nest in search of new queen bees.
Though not yet revealed by the Netflix series, Lord Bridgerton, wife of Violet and father to the Bridgerton children, died from a allergic reaction to a bee sting in Quinn’s novels, per Insider’s Willen.
At the beginning of the season, a bumblee lands on the door knocker of the Bridgerton’s home, and in the final scene, one lands on the windowsill of Daphne’s birthing chamber. The motif also appears in family outfits, as an embroidery on Benedict Bridgerton’s shirt collar and decorative pins worn by Eloise.
The Bridgerton household is a nod to Princess Diana’s childhood home, director Chris Van Dusen revealed on Twitter.
Princess Diana lived at Althorp, her family’s estate in Northamptonshire, before marrying Prince Charles, Insider’s Claudia Willen reported. The estate is also the princess’ final resting place.
Dusen was inspired by the elegance and opulence of Diana’s childhood home, particularly its grand staircase.
The interior of Bridgerton House was inspired by my visit to Althorp when I was developing the show. Elegance. Opulence. And that #staircase.😍 #Bridgerton #LiveTweet
“The Bridgertons are one of the most posh families in Regency London, so it’s fitting that their home is equally as elegant,” Willen wrote.
Like the grand staircase at Althorp, the Bridgerton’s staircase features a central set of carpeted stairs that splits right and left at the second level.
A chessboard is visible during Daphne and Violet’s afternoon tea with Lady Berbrooke, foreshadowing Violet’s ulterior motives, Insider’s Claudia Willen noticed.
When Nigel Berbrooke proposes to Daphne, her mother Violet invites his mother, Lady Berbrooke, over for tea.
At Violet’s request, the Bridgertons’ kitchen staff use the time to uncover incriminating details about Nigel Berbrooke’s past in order to save her daughter from having to marry him.
After learning that Nigel fathered a child with a maid, Daphne asks “Who will believe a group of women over a man’s word?”
“Perhaps no one,” Violet says, “but they will if Lady Whistledown does. So we shall do what women do, we shall talk.”
The chessboard hints at Violet’s cunning. “Like a chess player, Violet maneuvers to get what she wants by following the rules prescribed to her,” Insider’s Willen wrote.
Birdcages and stuffed peacocks that serve as decor during a ball hint at the role of men and women in society, per Insider’s Willen.
In episode three, women donning feathered headpieces dance around a room filled with birdcages and stuffed peacocks.
“We referred to this ball on set as The Bird Ball — gentlemen strutting around like peacocks for attention,” Van Dusen tweeted.
The feathered headpieces and cages could be “a metaphor for women’s place in society,” Insider’s Willen wrote, with the feathers representing the women and cages representing society’s rules.
A comment that Eloise Bridgerton makes to Pen Featherington in episode five while shopping supports this theory.
“I’ve never understood the fashion for feathers in the hair,” Eloise tells Pen. “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?”
A checkerboard floor ties two scenes together: Daphne and Simon’s wedding ceremony and the final ball of the season when they decide to work on their marriage instead of end it.
In episode five, Daphne and Simon are seen standing on and a black-and-white checkerboard floor during their wedding ceremony.
In the season’s final episode, Daphne and Simon host a ball in their courtyard that also features a black-and-white checkered dance floor.
The repeated floor pattern seemingly foreshadows their decision to uphold their vows to each other and continue to work on their marriage instead of going their separate ways, as the pair had discussed previously.
The portrait of Simon and Daphne survives a rainstorm, appearing for a brief second in the hallway outside Daphne’s birthing chamber and suggesting that they will be able to weather storms in their marriage.
In the season’s final episode, Daphne and Simon’s staff display oil painting of the two of them in their courtyard. When it starts to rain, guests rush to shelter, but the painting is left behind.
Fans of the show took to Reddit to discuss their qualms with this.
“Are they really going to let that painting get ruined? Did this bother anyone else?” Reddit user iloveyoumostardently wrote.
Redditor queenpower pointed out the painting did not in fact get ruined. “In the last scene when they show Daphne giving birth and the maid running into the birthing chamber, the painting is hanging on the wall outside her door,” they wrote.
The reappearance of the painting, together with the subsequent scene of Daphne giving birth, suggest that the couple upheld their promise to work through marital woes.
Daphne gives birth to her and Simon’s child in the same room that Simon was born in. While the wallpaper and bedding are the same, a three-arm candelabra suggests that their child may have a different upbringing than Simon did: one with a mother and father present.
In episode two, Simon’s mother gives birth to him with no one but staff attending to her. Arriving on the scene, her friend Lady Danbury tells Simon’s father, Lord Hastings, that she is going into the birthing chamber, to which he responds that it is “no place for a lady.”
After giving birth, Simon’s mother passes away with Lady Danbury finally by her side.
While Daphne gives birth to her son in the same room, as Insider’s Willen observed, her birthing experience is the polar opposite. With her mother Violet holding one hand, and Simon holding the other, Daphne is surrounded by love and support.
Positioned between Daphne, Simon, and their newborn is a three-arm candelabra, highlighting the fact that they are now and will continue to be a family of three.