Who Does Francesca Bridgerton Marry In The Bridgerton Show And Books?

Francesca Bridgerton season three

While most Bridgerton fanatics can’t stop talking / thinking / sweating about Polin now that Bridgerton season three part one has dropped on Netflix, another big question is on the Ton’s lips: who does Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) marry? Warning, dear readers: spoilers doth abound.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s briefly recap Francesca’s storyline in the first four episodes so far.

What happens with Francesca in Bridgerton Season 3?

The sixth Bridgerton child made her society debut with a splash in the first four episodes of Bridgerton season three part one, with the picky Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) eventually naming her this social season’s diamond.

But this highest honour wasn’t earned by Francesca’s flashy personality or mad flirting skills. Quite the contrary, really. Unlike her gregarious eldest sister Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and her outspoken feminist sis Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Francesca is shown as being reserved and less comfortable being surrounded by people at the fancy balls she gets dragged out to.

Francesca Bridgerton season three
Francesca is most comfy behind a pianoforte. Credit: Netflix

Unlike Eloise who openly detests being wheeled out at parties and can’t think of anything worse than marrying some rich dude, it’s not that Francesca is against it all, per se.

It seems she’s aware how society works, but as an introvert she would rather hang at home and play the pianoforte than spend her time trying to score a rich husband. She’d quite like to just get it all over and done with, thanks very much.

“She’s not fighting it,” Dodd said in a Netflix interview. “She’s going to these balls. She is trying to find a husband. I think the difference is that she’s not excited about it. She’s not spent her entire life dreaming about what her wedding day will look like and what her husband’s going to be. She just knows it’s her time and this is part of life, and here we go.”

However, as the queen’s diamond (or number one prospect, to put it bluntly), Francesca Bridgerton is basically delivered THE most eligible man on a plate – Lord Samadani (David Mumeni), who seems pretty loaded and perfectly pleasant, if a little boring.

Francesca Bridgerton season three
Francesca isn’t overly taken with the rich and eligible Lord Samani (centre). Credit: Netflix

Francesca doesn’t seem opposed to the match, until she meets Lord John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin (Victor Alli). His personality is so similar to hers – a little reserved, with shades of awkwardness – that she instantly clicks with him.

“He’s quite private but he has a sense of self,” Alli told Tatler of his “introverted” character. “He’s quite charming, he has a self-depreciating sense of humour.”

It’s a bonus that he’s also rich and has a “title” (which is of extreme importance in this Regency-era series), but you get the sense that Francesca Bridgerton wouldn’t give a fuck even if John only had two shillings to rub together. She is intrigued by him and it’s the most at ease we see her.

Suddenly the one person who wanted a fuss-free debut season finds herself in a little bit of a love triangle. Spicy!

So who does Francesca Bridgerton marry in the Bridgerton books?

Those who have read the books are well across who Francesca Bridgerton ends up with. Rather than going with the Queen’s choice, Francesca ultimately follows her heart and marries John Stirling. Aww.

“John doesn’t try and change Francesca. There’s a really beautiful thing about being comfortable with someone,” Dodd explained to Netflix.

“Love, especially in TV and film, is described as lots of butterflies. Actually, it can grow. It can be a companionship and safety. [Their relationship] is just not the same as what we’ve seen with the siblings before.”

However, those who have read the Bridgerton books are also all too aware that it doesn’t end well. Sob! Spoiler within a spoiler incoming…

Francesca Bridgerton season three
Our delightfully introverted mom and dad. Credit: Netflix

After Francesca Bridgerton marries John Stirling in the sixth Julia Quinn-penned Bridgerton book When He Was Wicked, he dies suddenly in his sleep. It’s a shocking, heartbreaking turn of events, especially considering the books are fairly light-hearted up until that point.

Francesca is understandably devastated, and turned to John’s cousin Michael for comfort. This suits Michael, as he’s been secretly in love with her for ages.

It takes awhile, and Francesca is wracked with both grief and guilt, but ultimately Francesca Bridgerton marries Michael Stirling after becoming a widow at a young age. They go on to have a couple of kids, and she names her son John after her first love.

Of course, as viewers we will have to wait a while for this storyline to unfold, so we have a couple years to mentally prepare for this storyline (and to stock up on tissues).