How did Anthony’s Father, Edmund Bridgerton, Die?

Bridgerton‘ season 2 gives us a rare glimpse into the history of the titular family with some much-appreciated background into the family’s notably missing member, the late Viscount Edmund Bridgerton. As the father of the Bridgerton siblings and Lady Violet’s husband, Edmund holds a special place in the family’s heart.

Flashbacks show us how his death deals a severe blow to the Bridgertons, particularly Violet and the eldest son, Anthony, who is forced to take on the Viscount’s title at a young age. The story behind Edmund Bridgerton’s death is intriguing and seemingly ties into a broader theme on the show. Here’s what you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

How did Anthony’s Father, Edmund Bridgerton, Die?

Through a few well-placed flashbacks in season 2, we find that the Viscount Edmund Bridgerton died when Anthony was merely eighteen, leaving the eldest son with the heavy burden of carrying the family name and, as head of the household, managing a variety of responsibilities. That kind of weight on Anthony’s shoulders becomes apparent very quickly as, soon after his father’s death, he is summoned by the doctor while his mother, Violet, is in the throes of labor. Barely a man, Anthony is asked by the doctor to choose whether to save his mother or the child, a question which shatters him even as his mother screams in protest in the background.

The scene is a vivid insight into Anthony’s past and explains how traumatic his father’s death was. In the present, when Kate jokes and accidentally hits a ball on his father’s memorial at Aubrey Hall, the eldest Bridgerton sibling’s mood instantly darkens, leaving the former slightly surprised. However, there is a deeper memory here that is jolted awake in Anthony. Moments earlier, he tries to prevent a bee from stinging Kate, a gesture the latter mistakes as flirtatious. She also cannot understand why Anthony reacts so intensely over a potential bee sting.

If only Kate knew that it was from a bee sting that Anthony’s father, Edmund Bridgerton, died! Yes, the late Viscount seemingly had an allergy to stings and suddenly passed away at Aubrey hall after being stung even as doctors stood helplessly by. Thus, Anthony still holds a fear of bees, even more so of those he loves being stung by them. It is quite the interesting — if little known — detail that essentially molds the entire central family of the show.

The bee is also seen near the beginning and end of the show’s seasons, making it a bit of a running theme. Though it seems to signify new life and the beginning of new relationships on the show, by connecting the Bridgerton patriarch’s death to it, the bee also becomes a symbol of closure and sorrow. So the next time you see the bee on ‘Bridgerton,’ let it serve as a reminder of the traumatic past that the eponymous family comes from and the brighter times that the future seems to hold for them.

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