‘Bridgerton’ Showrunner Says the Queen Calling Francesca a ‘Sparkler’ Is ‘Her Way of Playing the Game’

In “Bridgerton” Season 3, Queen Charlotte deems Francesca Bridgerton a “sparkler” — rather than the traditional “diamond” — as she plays the game on her terms, according to showrunner Jess Brownell.

“The Queen has actually not had the best luck in predicting matches the last couple of seasons,” Brownell told TheWrap. “She chose Daphne as her diamond, who did make a fantastic match, but not to the prince who the Queen wanted for her, and then in Season 2, obviously the Edwina-Anthony match fell apart.”

Given her not-so-stellar track record, Brownell explained how the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) entered this season with “trepidation” and hesitancy to name a diamond “right away, let alone at all.”

“By calling Francesca her sparkler, it’s her way of playing the game that she very much wants to play without admitting that she’s naming a diamond,” Brownell said. “I think she’s afraid to accidentally name the wrong person for three years in a row.”

The Queen calls Francesca “sparkling” after observing her playing the pianoforte in a moment of respite from an elaborate ball in Episode 2. She applauded the third eldest Bridgerton sister for delighting in her own endeavors and performing not for the Queen, but for herself.

New star Hannah Dodd, who replaced Ruby Stokes as Francesca for Season 3, noted how her character’s unique and subtle approach to her societal debut has helped to “reinvent” the idea of the diamond.

“In the context of this season with so many other debutantes absolutely going after the idea of being the diamond, she doesn’t stand out because she’s perfect, she stands out because she’s not going after that — she’s avoiding that attention,” Dodd told TheWrap. “It happens accidentally for her, which I think is a really beautiful thing. It’s not something that she’s having to try out. If anything, she’s trying the opposite.”

After taking a special interest in Francesca, the Queen introduces her to Lord Samadani, whom she asked to travel from Vienna to London solely to meet Francesca in Episode 3. Despite the Queen’s special matchup, Francesca can’t help but feel a spark with John Stirling (Victor Alli), who offers her the reprieve she needs from the dizzying events.

“We just wanted it to feel really different from the other suitors kind of coming up to her and how much chaos she feels in those spaces,” Dodd said. “Everything goes still when she’s around him.”

“Bridgerton” Season 3, Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Part 2 premieres June 13.

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