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Bridgerton season 3 recasts Francesca – as another Netflix star wins the role

Bridgerton siblings in season 2
(Image credit: NETFLIX)

Bridgerton season 3 has its first bit of casting news as Netflix confirms one of the siblings has been replaced. Francesca Bridgerton, the second youngest daughter, will now be played by Hannah Dodd after original star Ruby Stokes confirmed her exit. 

Stokes’ exit comes after she landed the lead role in Netflix’s upcoming series Lockwood & Co. Scheduling difficulties had meant Stokes already couldn’t appear in much of Bridgerton season 2. She appeared in the opening episodes but didn’t appear later in the season focussing on Anthony Bridgerton's (Jonathan Bailey’s) romance with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). At the time, showrunner Chris Van Dusen explained to TV Line: "I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2. After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control."

The role will now be played by Anatomy of a Scandal star Dodd. She played Young Sophie in the Netflix drama earlier this year, and has also appeared in Eternals and Harlots. She’ll star next in Enola Holmes 2 later this year in an as-yet undisclosed role.

Francesca has been a bit of an absent character so far in the show but, like all of the Bridgerton siblings, she has her own romance story in Julia Quinn’s sixth book When He Was Wicked. While the show has only been renewed for seasons 3 and 4 so far, the showrunners have said they plan on covering all eight stories. And if they follow the pattern they’ve already begun, this will mean introducing elements of each sibling’s story in earlier seasons.

Per Deadline, Bridgerton season 3 is currently casting its new roles ahead of beginning production this summer. While you wait for more, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows available now.

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.