Who is Michaela Stirling? The story of Francesca Bridgerton

After giving us an incredible second season, Bridgerton is finally back on our Netflix screens for season three, part 2. This season apart from giving us the much-awaited Polin couple also introduced us to the beginning of a romance for Francesca Bridgerton with her husband John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin but there is an unexpected turn in both the books and the series that could be the beginning of a queer love story.

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The twist of Francesca’s love story in the series

The series begins with Francesca, now played by Hannah Dodd, making her debut in society. Unlike her older sisters Eloise and Daphne, Francesca is excited to enter the marriage market although not out of a desire for romance, but to quickly conclude all the chaos of looking for a husband and return to her passion for music.

The twist of Francesca's love story in the seriesThe twist of Francesca's love story in the series
Netflix photo

Initially, Francesca entertains several suitors without forming any meaningful connections. However, everything changes when she meets John, with whom she shares her love of music and her characteristic introversion. Among some of Francesca and John Stirling’s cutest moments so far are the several moments of her being silent and obvious when she gives Francesca a piece of music arranged the way she wanted it.

Francesca and John Stirling’s relationship becomes even stronger in the second part of Bridgerton’s third season. John continues to court Francesca and the two get to know each other better. Finally, the couple announced their engagement so they could get married and go quietly to John’s estate in Scotland.

Although this may seem like a happy ending for Francesca, those who have already read or know the story of her book may think otherwise and even more so with the confirmed arrival of Michael, sorry, Michaela Stirling.

Who Michael Stirling in Bridgerton?

In the final episode of the third season, “Into The Light,” John Stirling introduces Francesca and Eloise to his cousin, Michaela Stirling (played by Masali Baduza), at the Dankworth-Finch ball. When Francesca meets Michaela, there is an instant spark of chemistry that leaves her speechless. Michaela tells Francesca: “I’m warning you. Every detail John has said about me is a lie. The truth is much worse.”

This unexpected twist sets the stage for a possible relationship between Francesca and Michaela in future seasons of Bridgertonmarking the first time a romance queer takes center stage in the Netflix series.

Francesca’s story in the books of Bridgerton

For those familiar with the book series Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, each season of the show is based on the story of one of the eight Bridgerton siblings. The first season followed Daphne, the second focused on Anthony and the third now explores Colin and Penelope’s romance, although originally the books were released in age and alphabetical order.

Francesca's story in the Bridgerton booksFrancesca's story in the Bridgerton books
Netflix Photo

Francesca’s story is detailed in the book When He Was Wicked. In the novel, Francesa marries John, the Earl of Kilmartin, and although her marriage is full of love, it is not the central focus of her story. Tragically, John dies two years after getting married from a sudden brain aneurysm.

After her husband’s death, Francesca meets Michael Stirling, John’s cousin and new Earl of Kilmartin. That in the case of the series of Bridgerton will take a queer turn and will be Michaela Stirling. For all this, Michael had been in love with Francesca since her wedding to John, but he keeps it a secret for obvious reasons.

After John’s death, Michael who has inherited the title of Earl of Kilmartin leaves for India, leaving Francesca to manage the estate. Four years later, they both returned to London with the intention of finding new partners, preparing the plot for their eventual romance.

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