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The Biggest Historical Mistakes Found In ‘Bridgerton’

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton is filled with all the best things a television show can offer – romance, drama, stunning costumes, and it’s a period piece. Set in the Regency Era (circa 1813), the show follows an imagined version of high society in 19th-century London. Like many period pieces, Bridgerton doesn’t escape making mistakes when it comes to historical accuracy. Here, we point out all the mistakes made in Season 1 of Bridgerton, from yellow lines on the road to fashion choices.

1. A white wedding dress

Bridgerton wedding dress

Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, getting married in season one of Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

For her marriage to Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (played by Regé-Jean Page), Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor) donned a stunning white wedding gown. However, brides wearing white on their wedding day didn’t become the norm until after 1840 when Queen Victoria wore a white, silk gown for her wedding to Prince Albert.

Prior to 1840, high-society brides tended to wear rich colors and accessorized with fur, jewels, and gold embroidery to show off their wealth and status.

2. Seedless grapes

Although this detail might seem minuscule, history buffs know that seedless grapes didn’t exist in 1813. Some fans noticed a fruit bowl that included seedless grapes in the first season of Bridgerton.  One of the first types of seedless grapes emerged in the mid-1870s in California, promoted by William Thompson. Unfortunately, the Bridgerton family would not have been privy to the luxury of seedless grapes in 1813.

3. People didn’t smoke during the Regency Era

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton

Actor Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

A number of different characters on Bridgerton, including Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey), Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie), and Benedict Bridgerton (played by Luke Thompson) are all shown several times smoking cigarettes. However, cigarettes were not very popular in 1813. The upper-class, in particular, would avoid cigarettes because the smell lingered on their clothes and hair.

Instead, the upper classes of society would often take a “pinch of snuff.” In fact, Queen Charlotte is seen snorting this in a few episodes throughout the first season. Snuff was finely-ground smokeless tobacco that would be inhaled through the nose. By the 1700s, snuff was considered a luxury product and a mark of refinement.

4. Corsets

Featherington family in Bridgerton

Featherington family in the first season of Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

In one of the first scenes showing the Featherington family, we see one of the daughters being forced into a corset to get her waist to fit the “size of an orange and a half.” Corsets were worn during the nineteenth century in England, but the type shown in Bridgerton were not popular until the 1830s, during the Victorian Era.

During the Regency Era, women would often wear short stays rather than corsets to help support the breasts rather than make the waist smaller. The empire waistline was popular during the Regency Era, meaning there was not really a need for a pinched waist.

5. Yellow parking line

In certain scenes of Bridgerton, a yellow line can be clearly seen on the pavement. These yellow lines are traffic lines, and were first introduced in the 1950s. These traffic lines definitely would not have been on roads during the Regency Era.

6. Simon’s stubble

Rege Jean Page as Simon

Actor Regé-Jean Page portraying Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, in the first season of Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Simon Basset won viewers over not just because he grew as a character, but because he was extremely handsome. His unshaven look was suggested by Regé-Jean Page, the actor who played Simon. However, in reality, wealthy men and dukes would never have facial stubble, rather they would be clean-shaven.

7. Doorbells

Phoebe Dynevor in Bridgerton

Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Another modern appliance that fans have spotted in certain scenes is a modern doorbell. The first electric doorbell was invented in 1831 by American scientist Joseph Henry, but doorbells only became widespread in the first decade of the 1900s.

8. Simon would have wanted children

Simon and Daphne in Bridgerton

Simon and Daphne in the first season of Bridgerton. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

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A major plotline in the first Bridgerton season is that Simon didn’t want children- the reason being he didn’t want to pass his speech impediment on to them, and vowed to never have kids after the rocky relationship he had with his own father. However, in reality, a duke would have wanted a child to inherit his land and protect the family line.