Fans Initially Thought Francesca Bridgerton Is Asexual, but Season 3 Sparks New Theories

In addition to speculating about her sexual orientation, some fans are suggesting that Francesca might be autistic.

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Jun. 13 2024, Updated 5:11 p.m. ET

Francesca Bridgerton and her siblings in the drawing room in Season 3.
Source: Netflix

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 3 of Bridgerton.

Season 3 of Bridgerton may center on the blossoming of the long-awaited romance between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), but it also spotlights the angelic Francesca Bridgerton, played by Hannah Dodd, as the latest debutante from the distinguished Bridgerton family.

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Unlike her sister Daphne, who entered the social scene with dreams of finding true love, Francesca approaches her debut with a more practical mindset.

She believes true love is rare and therefore, securing a match regardless of love is just a part of her duty.

Clearly, Francesca is more reserved when compared to her siblings and isn’t excited by the fact that there are a number of handsome members of the town in search of a wife. Such characteristics have led many fans to believe Francesca is asexual. Let’s explore this theory a little further.

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Francesca Bridgerton and her mother Violet in the sitting room.
Source: Netflix

Is Francesca Bridgerton asexual?

In short, we don’t exactly know. However, there are a few characteristics she has displayed that might drive viewers to make this assumption. But first, let’s be clear about what asexuality is. A person who is asexual exhibits minimal interest in sexual activity but that isn't to say they have no desire for romance or affection. They simply don’t care to have sex with the person they are attracted to.

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Francesca doesn’t get easily excited by the handsome men who approach her at the balls and admits that she doesn't need to “feel butterflies” when searching for her match. She also made it abundantly clear that she would much prefer to stand in silence with the Earl of Kilmartin, Lord John Stirling than spark a conversation.

While Francesca does seem to form a connection with him and becomes rather upset when he leaves her mid-conversation, this doesn’t necessarily make her asexual.

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Francesca is a young woman who has just come out to society. She has never engaged in conversation with men looking to inspect her skills and appearance. Instead, she has spent her time developing and perfecting her skills. She doesn’t know what sex is or how it's done. So, to assume she just isn't into the act this early on might be a premature assumption.

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However, the final episode of Season 3 offers a glimpse into why Francesca may be so reserved around men, including her new husband, John Stirling. It could be because she is gay as producers have hinted that they would further diversify the series by adding in a queer relationship.

We see Benedict Bridgerton explore his sexuality with Lady Tilly and her friend Paul Suarez. The show explores characters' sexuality again with Francesca when she meets John's cousin, Michaela Stirling. Left nearly speechless upon meeting her, there's a chance something might blossom between the two in future seasons. After all, in the books, Francesca marries a man named Michael after John's passing. Michaela may just be the plot twist the producers introduced to shake things up in the series.

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Some fans think Francesca Bridgerton may be autistic.

Francesca Bridgerton and her mother Violet walking through the market.
Source: Netflix

In addition to speculating about her sexual orientation, some fans are suggesting that Francesca might be autistic. Over on Twitter, @messsolitude wrote, “Thinking how John and Francesca are so autistic and ADHD coded,” pointing to a scene where Francesa shares her thoughts on a musical performance outside, leading John to abruptly excuse himself only to later present her with a revised music sheet.

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Others echoed this sentiment. “Ya this girl is so autistic,” wrote @bug_olay87 while @BirgitMarie3 said she didn’t think she has ADHD but was “def on the spectrum.” Another happily chimed in, “Thank you, I also thought she was autistic coded!! This was so nice to see.”

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Francesca's passion for playing the pianoforte occasionally distracts her, as seen before her debut to the queen and again when she briefly stepped away from the crowd at the ball (which ironically backfires as her playing prompts the queen to name her as the season's sparkler). She might simply prioritize her love for music above everything else.

Also, her reluctance to engage in social communication with the men at the ball, believing they are more interested in inspecting her than getting to know her, might suggest why some viewers think she could be autistic. This, coupled with her desire to find peace away from her loud and crowded home, fuels the speculation more.

While Season 3, Part 2 certainly delved further into Francesca’s character, allowing us to gain a better understanding of who she is, we're hoping to see more in Season 4!

Seasons 1, 2, and 3 of Bridgerton are now available for streaming on Netflix.

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