Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton‘ brings alive an opulent and colorful world of English high society and follows the tumultuous wedding season each year. For all its precarious romances and dramatic scandals, the show also draws much of its charm and watch-worthiness from its exquisite vintage setting and fitting backdrops. The narrative, which follows the stringent and often bizarre customs followed by the high society of yore, is made all the more interesting by following a predominantly female perspective, making the proceedings of the chauvinistic society all the more ludicrous.
The result is a world that is as dramatic as it is strange, making the “scandalous” romances at its heart all the more intriguing. The narrative focuses on the affluent and well-loved Bridgerton family, who, compared to some of the other more eccentric characters, feels quite akin to a real family that might have existed at one point. We decided to try and pinpoint exactly when and where all that we see in ‘Bridgerton’ went down and how real the central family actually is. SPOILERS AHEAD.
When is Bridgerton Set?
The show’s vintage era is clearly depicted, and while some aspects might draw from other eras (for those enjoying the show’s soundtrack of instrumental pop songs), much of the aesthetic and pageantry belongs to Regency-era England. The Regency-era extended roughly from the late 1700s to the early 1800s, following the last days of King George III as ruler and the subsequent handover of power to his son, who ruled as Prince Regent. Fittingly, season 1 of ‘Bridgerton,’ which follows Daphne’s quest for a suitor, is set in the wedding season of 1813. Since each season of the show is set in subsequent wedding seasons, season 2 of ‘Bridgerton’ is likely set in 1814.
Where is Bridgerton Set?
Most of the show’s narrative is set in London’s high society, affectionately referred to as the “Ton.” Interestingly, the word Ton — which is derived from the French “le bon ton,” meaning “good tone” or “good manners” — was seemingly a phrase used in the Regency-era to describe high society. The frequent depictions of the royal palace, opulent residences, and even the grimier parts of the city (where a particular character carries out her clandestine publishing activities) are all set in London.
The Bridgerton residence, which is said to be in Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, London, is actually depicted by a house in southeast London. Interestingly, around the years the show is set, the Georgian mansion that stands in for the Briderton residence was actually occupied by King George III’s sister, Princess Augusta.
However, the narrative does occasionally venture out into the surrounding country. Most frequent of the non-London locations is the Bridgertons’ country manor, Aubrey Hall, where the family retires for certain celebrations or, in season 2, for an extended visit by the Sharma family. Aubrey Hall is actually depicted using a country estate in Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire, and while a real Aubrey Hall doesn’t seem to exist, a country mansion called Arbury Hall does and is located in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Did the Bridgerton Family Really Exist?
‘Bridgerton’ is based on a series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn and is, therefore, a work of fiction. Thus, the Bridgerton family never actually existed. However, as with many other characters on the show, the central family is a stylized and eccentric version of real people that undoubtedly existed during the era. There are a few loose allusions on the show to historical people and events, like an ailing King George or the Peninsular War where Miss Marina Thompson’s former lover is off fighting in season 1. However, apart from the few callbacks to major historical landmarks, the events and characters are fictional.
Of course, the fictional nature of the characters is also evident in some of the quirky details of the narrative, including the ever-present gossip provider Lady Whistledown. Coming back to the Bridgerton family, for those that didn’t notice, the siblings are all named alphabetically, starting with the eldest, Anthony, followed by Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca (who is away at Bath), Gregory, and finally, Hyacinth.