Bridgerton star says there’s ‘room’ for queer Eloise romance

Bridgerton’s Claudia Jessie has said there’s “definitely room” for Eloise to have a queer romance, following fan speculation that the character could be a lesbian

Smash-hit Netflix period drama Bridgerton returned for the first part of its third season on 16 May, and many fans are still hoping that Eloise is a sapphic. Aside from a brief fling with printer’s assistant Theo, she’s never shown much interest in men or marriage.

Within the Bridgerton novels, written by Julia Quinn, Eloise does marry a man, but the series doesn’t always stick rigidly to its source material, and Jessie thinks a queer romance would be possible.

“I’ve always loved that there’s this coding that people have with Eloise,” she told Business Insider.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope (L) and Claudia Jessie as Eloise (R) in Bridgerton (Netflix)

“There’s a strength in her that I think a queer storyline can connect. I’ve always been touched by that as a notion with Eloise. But yeah, there’s definitely room for all of that.”

Whether it will be queer romance in the second half of the third series, or in series four, Jessie does see love in the character’s future.

“I don’t think Bridgerton would ever ignore romance. It is such a huge part of the show,” continued Jessie, who has also appeared in Line of Duty and the terrorist-attack drama Bali 2002.

“The great thing about Eloise is that there’s so much room to play.”

Several cast and crew members, including Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan, showrunner Jess Brownell and actor James Phoon have spoken about their excitement over a potential LGBTQ+ storyline in a show that has so far lacked queer characters.

“This is a show about love in its many forms and it’s only right for us to foreground queer love and to tell queer stories,” Brownell said. “I want to see more queer joy on my screens and that was definitely a priority for me when I stepped into the showrunner role.”

Meanwhile, Coughlan, who plays youngest Featherington daughter Penelope, said there’s “so much space there for queer love stories and I think all love stories deserve to be celebrated”.

Phoon added: “Although it’s in this fictional Britain, and the representation we see isn’t exactly the way that Britain was in the 1800s, these people did exist in terms of different races, people of different gender identities, people of different sexualities.

“I’m very excited about this queer story that Jess is teasing.”

Part two of the third season of Bridgerton will be available on Netflix from 13 June. 

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