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At its heart, the Netflix show Bridgerton is about finding your person, no matter who that person is. The show is full of different kinds of love stories, and it openly celebrates the love between parents and children, siblings, and friends just as much as it celebrates romantic love.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington wearing a soft pink dress in 'Bridgerton
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in ‘Bridgerton’| Liam Daniel/Netflix

But Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s relationship is one of the most fun to watch. Both girls feel like outsiders in their own families, but they find strength and love in their friendship.

Penelope and Eloise’s relationship

In a society obsessed with love and marriage, the friendship between Eloise and Penelope is refreshingly easygoing and joyful. The two show a closeness between women—often overlooked in historical plays or pushed to the side when a good-looking man comes along. 

Even though they grew up in the same area, the two girls came from completely different homes. Bridgerton’s parents wed out of love, and as a result, their family is affectionate and candid with their emotions, even when they point and laugh at one another or dispute.

On the other hand, the Featheringtons are colder and more distant. Lady Featherington didn’t marry for love, and it’s clear the family is a bit less openly loving than the Bridgertons. Due to the family’s constant financial problems, Lady Featherington often sees her daughters as goods that can be traded on the marriage market.

Nicola Coughlan feels Penelope ‘panders’ to Eloise

Eloise detests the social trappings that would inevitably accompany her coming out, and she has no desire to marry well or have children. Penelope, on the other hand, wants all the things her pal dismisses, but she has little hope of achieving them because she is the youngest and is often overlooked.

Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope, thinks that her character believes in love more than she cares to show her friend Eloise. In a behind-the-scenes video with Shondaland, some of the Bridgerton cast members got to talk about their thoughts on love and marriage. Speaking about her character’s view on love, Coughlan said,

“I think Penelope is a true love romantic. I think she loves love. I think she doesn’t admit it as much to Eloise because Eloise would think it’s really lame and embarrassing. She is so besotted by Colin. She really truly sees him, and he, in a way, truly sees her. I don’t think they sort of have to pretend around one another. Not that I think she pretends with Eloise, but she definitely panders a little more to Eloise.”

Penelope and Colin’s relationship


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Even though Penelope has had a crush on Colin for years, he shows little interest in her throughout the first two seasons of Bridgerton. He, however, makes it quite evident that he cares deeply about her, giving her hope that he may one day view her as more than a friend.

And despite Colin showing no interest in Penelope, Coughlan believes that Penelope is more open with Colin about her views on love and marriage. Speaking about Penelope’s relationship with Colin, Coughlan said:

“It’s fun because you see in the series, their relationship has taken a step forward in that they’ve become pen pals when Colin’s been away. And because she’s a writer, that’s allowed her to express herself in a very genuine way to him. She doesn’t feel quite as exposed, so they’ve definitely grown closer.”

Bridgerton season 3 will be about Colin and Penelope’s love story. Coughlan admitted to The New York Times that she was terrified of having the season’s central love story revolve around her. The actor said, “I’m probably more comfortable being awkward and funny, so it’s going to be a massive challenge for me. Because it’s not my comfort zone.”

But before we can have a Polin romance, Penelope must determine whether Colin is worth her time. Meanwhile, Colin must come to terms with his true feelings for Penelope and learn to respect her.