Cressida Cowper Wants to Marry Lord Debling, but Does Fate Have Other Plans? (SPOILERS)

Cressida may have ruined all her chances at marriage by falsely claiming *this* title.


Jun. 13 2024, Updated 12:20 p.m. ET

Cressida standing in the library in 'Bridgerton' Season 3, Part 1
Source: Netflix

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

If there’s anyone among the Bridgerton cast deserving of an ounce (even just a drop) of sympathy in Season 3, it’s none other than Cressida Cowper (played by Jessica Madsen). Wait, what? While it's undeniable that Cressida has firmly maintained her reputation as Mayfair’s “mean girl” and appears to relish in her role, viewers are afforded a glimpse into an aspect of her character that may explain the reason behind her demeanor.

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Although much of Cressida’s actions are inexcusable (stepping on Penelope’s new ensemble), Part 1 helps us understand her better. We learn that Cressida wasn't raised by the most affectionate parents. She faces the risk of being matched with any member of the elite social class if she doesn't secure a match on her own (imagine, a man like Lord Berbrooke). With time running out, Cressida must find a husband before her father is compelled to intervene. So, who does she marry in Bridgerton?

Who does Cressida Cowper marry in ‘Bridgerton’?

Cressida and her mother attending a ball in Season 3, Part 1
Source: Netflix

In Season 3, Part 1, Cressida catches the attention of Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) and appears to inch closer to securing a proposal from the naturalist and vegetarian who made it his intention to marry this season. Not only is Lord Debling easy on the eyes compared to the rest of the ton, but according to Cressida’s mom, he also has a rather vast estate. In all truth, he might just be the perfect prospect for the town bully.

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However, Penelope has also set her sights on Lord Debling, especially after accepting the idea that Colin just isn’t interested in her — at least not until the end of Part 1. Lord Debling, in turn, finds himself intrigued by Penelope. He admires her frankness and independence. However, her evident affection for Colin jeopardizes her chances with him.

Penelope and Lord Debling standing together in Season 3, Part 1
Source: Netflix
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With Penelope no longer a threat, Cressida continues her pursuit of marrying Lord Debling. In truth, they would make a fitting match. He attributes his lengthy trips to “the pursuit of natural beauty” and wanting to go to “a place where [his] family cannot possibly find [him],” a sentiment that Cressida clearly shares.

Unfortunately, Cressida does not marry Lord Debling, nor does she secure a match with any member of the ton is Season 3 of Bridgerton. After the shenanigans she pulled attempting to claim the identity as Lady Whistledown, she ruined her chances of an arranged marriage with Lord Greer, who Eloise can only describe as a man who looks as though he is "on death's doorstep." Not to mention, she nearly leaves her family's name tarnished, permanently.

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What happens to Cressida Cowper in Season 3 of 'Bridgerton'?

Cressida Cowper attempting to write a fake Lady Whistledown issue.
Source: Netlix

While Cressida nearly had the ton convinced she was Lady Whistledown, with her mother's help, of course, Penelope refuses to let her take credit for all her hard work. After all, being a talented writer isn't easy — it's a distinguished skill (trust me, I would know).

Penelope goes on to publish another issue of Whistledown, confirming Cressida isn't behind the pen. This prompts Cressida to resume her duties as the mean girl of Mayfair, leading her to unveil the true identity of the writer, with the help of a printer's apprentice. In an attempt to blackmail Penelope, Cressida asks that she pay £10,000 — double that of the queen's offer. And when Colin approaches her for mercy, she raises the stakes once again, this time demanding £20,000.

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Sadly, Cressida doesn't secure the fortune she needs so she can run away and live a life as a spinster as Penelope eventually comes forward, revealing herself as the Lady Whistledown. Instead, Cressida is whisked away by her aunt Joanna to live in the countryside.

Who does Cressida Cowper marry in Julia Quinn's novel? (*Book Spoilers and Potential Future Season Spoilers*)

Cressida Cowper in her home in Season 3 of 'Bridgerton'
Source: Netflix

In Julia Quinn’s book, Cressida actually marries a noble, Lord Twombley, whose fortune is far from impressive. This drives her to attempt to claim the title of Lady Whistledown, hoping to recoup the bounty offered for revealing her identity.

Perhaps we will get to see more of Cressida’s journey in Season 4 of Bridgerton, though fans will likely be waiting two years for that, Jess Brownell dished to The Hollywood Reporter.

You can now stream Seasons 1, 2, and 3 of Bridgerton on Netflix.

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