The History Behind Bridgerton

By Amanda-Rae Prescott

Netflix’s historical drama Bridgerton takes place in early 1800s London, but how closely does it follow Regency Era culture?

In keeping with the novel series the show is based on, Bridgerton blends real history with modern romantic fantasies.

For example, there’s some question as to how Simon and Lady Danbury acquired their wealth and vast estate.

Whether the family benefited from a pre-1807 slave industry or collected rent from salaried tenants is unclear but intriguing.

Bridgerton has also made much of the very real African ancestry of Queen Charlotte, who was the wife of King George III.

Could Prince Friedrich also be based on actual royalty, specifically Prince Frederich Wilhelm Ludwig of Prussia?

Bridgerton refers to Friedrich as the queen’s nephew, but the historical figure was actually the son of Charlotte’s niece, Princess Fredericka.

Queen Charlotte’s penchant for sniffing tobacco is also historically accurate, being preferable to odorous smoke in high society.

The beautiful light show on display during Simon and Daphne’s visit to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens may take some liberties.

However, the gardens were a quite real gathering place for the well to do or anyone interested in social climbing.

Social diversions such as playing whist are accurately depicted in Bridgerton, as many elites gambled away fortunes in the card game.

However, the fixing of fights shown in Bridgerton’s later episodes is likely a fictionalization designed to expose Lord Featherington.

While Bridgerton may have inspired viewers to research the Regency Era, most fans know not to expect perfect historical accuracy.