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Bridgerton reveals major casting news for season three

Next stop, Sophie Beckett casting!

Bridgerton season three is well on the way as the first casting announcement is here – and it is a surprising one! An official statement from the streaming platform has confirmed that Francesca Bridgerton has been recast, and will now be played by Anatomy of a Scandal star, Hannah Dodd.

MORE: Every single one of the Bridgerton siblings' love stories

Hannah is perhaps best known for her roles in Harlots and Flowers in the Attic, and is also set to star opposite Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes 2. We can't wait to see her join the Bridgerton family!

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WATCH: Catch up ahead of season three

The role of Francesca was originated by Ruby Stokes, who has left the series due to landing a lead role in the Netflix series Lockwood & Co. In the first two series, Ruby only appeared briefly due to her commitments to other projects.

So who is Francesca Bridgerton? The official character description reads: "Francesca Bridgerton is a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family. Despite her reserved nature, she goes along to get along when it comes to society affairs, fortified with a dry wit and pragmatism that confound the fickle ton yet seem to draw attention when she least desires it."

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Hannah Dodd will be playing Francesca

The showrunner, Chris Van Dusen, previously opened up about being unable to arrange filming schedules to include Francesca in several episodes in season two, telling TV Line: "I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season two. After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control."

MORE: See what the incredible cast of Bridgerton look like out of costume

MORE: Simone Ashley reveals surprising adverse reaction on Bridgerton set

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Ruby is the lead in Lockwood & Co

Francesca is also set to have her own romance at some point in the series, as is told in the novel When He Was Wicked. The synopsis reads: "Meet Michael Stirling, one of London's most notorious rakes who falls desperately in love with Francesca... shortly before she was due to marry his cousin.

"However, following her husband's death, Francesca and Michael are left supporting one another through their grief as friends - but could it ever become more?"

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