Who Is Lady Whistledown? Her Identity Revealed & More You Need To Know

Lady Whistledown's identity remained a mystery until the 'Bridgerton' season 1 finale. Here's everything you need to know about the woman behind the gossip column, what season 2 holds for her, and more.

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Nicola Coughlan
View gallery
Image Credit: Netflix

Lady Whistledown is the eyes and years behind everything that goes down on Bridgerton. Throughout the first season of the hit Netflix series, everyone was trying to figure out the exact identity of Lady Whistledown. While her identity is now known to the audience, no one on Bridgerton knows quite yet. Will that change with season 2?

Bridgerton season 2 debuts on March 25. The second season revolves around Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma’s love story. Lady Whistledown is going to have a lot of fun with this steamy pair. Before season 2 premieres, get caught up to speed on all things Lady Whistledown, a.k.a. Bridgerton’s very own Gossip Girl.

Nicola Coughlan
Nicola Coughlan and Claudia Jessie as Penelope and Eloise. (Netflix)

Who Is Lady Whistledown?

That’s the question fans and the characters in Bridgerton asked throughout the first season of the Netflix series. Her identity is revealed in the final moments of the season 1 finale. Lady Whistledown is none other than Penelope Featherington!

Penelope is likely someone you least expected, but if you’re a reader of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels, then you already knew Penelope is Lady Whistledown herself. The reveal is made after Eloise figures out that Lady Whistledown is not Madame Delacroix. Eloise had been spending most of her time trying to figure out Lady Whistledown’s identity and had theorized it was the dressmaker since she’s privy to everyone’s gossip. Queen Charlotte had also been urging Eloise to solve the mystery.

Eloise even devises a plan to unmask Lady Whistledown by going to the printing press shop Lady Whistledown uses to publish her newsletter. Eloise is unsuccessful in her attempt to catch Lady Whistledown. Later, when she discovers that Madame Delacroix is not the gossip columnist after all, Eloise is shaken to her core. Eloise should be well aware that Lady Whistledown will go to great lengths to shield her identity.

Nicola Couglan
Penelope Featherington is Lady Whistledown. (Netflix)

“And yet there is no ending in sight for this author, who recently became aware of a scheme to unmask her. My one worthy opponent indeed. Perhaps I will come forward one day… although you must know, dear reader, that decision will be entirely up to me. Yours truly, Lady Whistledown,” Julie Andrews narrates as Penelope takes down her hood in a carriage and reveals herself as Lady Whistledown with a sly smile on her face.

Who Is The Voice Of Lady Whistledown?

While the woman behind Lady Whistledown is Penelope, played by Nicola Coughlan, she is not the voice of the character. The voice of Lady Whistledown is the legendary Julie Andrews. The 86-year-old is Bridgerton’s narrator and the one reading all the juicy gossip that Penelope writes about. However, Julie never appears on the show in person.

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is the voice behind Lady Whistledown. (LAURENT LAURENT VU/SIPA/Shutterstock)

She was at the top of our list for Lady Whistledown,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen told OprahMag.com. “We offered her the part, sent her the scripts, not thinking anything would really come of it. But surprisingly she read the scripts and fell in love with them.”

During the first season, Julie recorded her Lady Whistledown voiceovers from a studio in New York. “We did all of our sessions virtually with her,” Chris added “I was in Los Angeles, and we were able to do it over Zoom. She was so fun to work with. Everything that you think Julie Andrews is, she is.”

In an interview with Parade, the iconic actress called the character “a tartar, and a bit of a naughty woman.” She added, “I occasionally guide it, twist it, point it in some direction or another. I can make or break anybody, it seems, if I wish.”

Lady Whistledown In Season 2

Penelope being Lady Whistledown is definitely a game-changer. Eloise is not going to be giving up her fight to figure out Lady Whistledown’s identity, and it will get tougher for Penelope to keep this secret from her closest friend. Discovering Lady Whistledown’s identity becomes an “obsession” for Eloise, according to Claudia Jessie, which complicates Penelope’s life.

Claudia Jessie
Claudia Jessie and Luke Newton as Eloise and Colin. (Netflix)

“It makes things difficult for Penelope because she has got a job to do, and she needs to be in every dark corner hearing everything happen,” Nicola told EW. “She’s got her best friend there, which is great, but Eloise is attached to her hip, so how does she get away with that? It tests her relationships with everyone in her life.”

To help keep her identity a secret, Penelope creates a new alter ego named Bridget, an Irish maid who conducts Lady Whistledown’s business in public. This alter ego allowed Nicola to flex her natural Irish accent on the show. Keeping Lady Whistledown hidden will have Penelope being a different version of herself to the people in her life.

“Penelope is very different with everyone,” Nicola continued. “With her family, you see her being this bratty teenager and rolling her eyes. With Eloise, she’s excited and they’re joking. With Whistledown, she’s this badass, and with Colin, she’s this romantic. But she’s all of those things.”