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Why Bridgerton's Anthony and Kate only briefly appear in season 3

Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley starred in series two of the Netflix series

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 17, 2024
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Bridgerton returned to our screens with its hotly-anticipated third season this week, focusing on the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, played by Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan respectively. 

The third instalment came over two years after the release of series two, which saw the slow-burn relationship between eldest Briderton son Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and newcomer Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). Their love story was met with overwhelming praise by fans, who were keen to see more of the couple in the new episodes. But while viewers are loving watching Colin and Penelope's romance play out on-screen, they might have noticed that Anthony and Kate only made a brief appearance in part one. 

Simone Ashley reprises her role as Kate Sharma© Netflix
Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma and Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in series two

While we don't know exactly why the two lovebirds got less air time in part one, it could be something to do with Jonathan and Simone's work schedules. 

Jonathan has been hugely busy since starring in season two. Not only did he co-star with Matt Bomer in the TV mini-series Fellow Travelers, but he's also set to play Fiyero in the highly-anticipated musical film Wicked. Jonathan filmed both projects alongside Bridgerton in 2022 and 2023.

Fellow Travelers starring Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey © Kurt Iswarienko
Jonathan starred with Matt Bomer in Fellow Travelers

During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, Jonathan recalled his gruelling filming schedule. Sharing an anecdote about filming in Toronto for Fellow Travelers before flying straight to London to shoot Bridgerton, the actor said: "I finished that day, I went straight to the airport, slept for about four hours, got picked up from Heathrow, went straight to a Regency Ball, got my hair curled, and then I stayed there two days. 

"On the last day, I then went to the Oz Dust Ball, and I danced with Ari[ana Grande], and then I flew back, and I didn't have a day off. It was that for 32 days."

Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero in Wicked
Jonathan plays Fiyero in Wicked

Simone has also been busy with other projects, having appeared in The Little Mermaid in 2023, as well as starring in Prime Video's upcoming romance film Picture This

Furthermore, season three's focus is Colin and Penelope's love story, so it's hardly surprising that Anthony and Kate feature less – this was the same for season one star Phoebe Dynevor, who moved into a supporting role for the second instalment.

Simone Ashley exuded effortlessness in a pale peach sheer gown with a shredded hem peach sheer gown with a shredded hem © Getty
Simone Ashley appeared in the 2023 live-action film, The Little Mermaid

When we return to the Ton in season three, we find Penelope having given up on her long-held crush on Colin after hearing his disparaging remarks about her at the Featherington Ball in series two. 

WATCH: Are you enjoying season three?

 "She has, however, decided it's time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters," the synopsis continues. "But lacking in confidence, Penelope's attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly."

The series has been split into two parts, with the first four episodes making up part 1 arriving on Netflix on Thursday 16 May, and the second lot of four episodes set to land on Thursday 13 June.

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