Lady Violet’s sixth oldest child, Francesca — who remained off screen in Season 1 until the final episode — was intended to have a larger role in Season 2 of the Netflix smash, which drops Friday.
However, as EP and showrunner Chris Van Dusen explains, Ruby Stokes, the actress who plays Francesca, had to leave after shooting just three episodes due to a prior commitment to another Netflix series, the upcoming detective thriller Lockwood & Co.
“I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2,” Van Dusen tells TVLine. “After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps Season 3 will be the charm.”
Bridgerton has been renewed through Season 4, but if the chronology of Julia Quinn’s novels is any indication, Francesca will not take center stage until the sixth book titled, When He Was Wicked.
The literary version of Francesca is described as “contained.” There are glimmers of something more in Season 2, for instance, when she mildly chides her older sister Eloise for not jumping at the chance to hold their nephew August. In another scene, she mirthfully joins her siblings and mother to spy on a pre-debut Eloise. By the time the entire Bridgerton brood dances together in Episode 7, Francesca is noticeably absent and it is never explained why.
Are you disappointed that Francesca will be mostly MIA from the Ton yet again? Drop your thoughts in the comments.