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Francesca Bridgerton’s Tragic Tale, Grieving the Loss of John and Coping with Miscarriage

Love is bound to happen to her! With a shocking entrance to season 3, who Francesca Bridgerton will marry might surprise those who haven’t read the books.

The new season focuses on her brother’s pursuit of Penelope Featherington, but it gives us viewers a taste of Francesca’s new love.


  • Francesca and John’s love leads to their happy marriage, and they move to Scotland.
  • The heartbreaking demise of John to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm after just two years of marriage.
  • Francesca’s emotional breakdown following John’s death, including a devastating miscarriage and potential fertility issues.

In the opening of season 3 of the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) makes her debut into society and finds a suitor.

Queen Charlotte doesn’t find a diamond of the season, but Francesca focuses on John Stirling (Victor Alli), a quiet man she’s fond of playing piano with.

Though he gives her a piece of sheet music, signaling a quiet act of service to her, it hints at a greater love story that could be explored in future seasons.

Francesca Bridgerton’s Distressing Love Story After Losing Her Husband John

Previous Bridgerton books mention how quickly Francesca and John Stirling recognized their feelings for each other.

When He Was Wicked specifies that Francesca entered into society just two weeks before her engagement to John Stirling, making their relationship a swift love match.

After some time, the couple gets happily married and moves to Scotland, away from the Ton (In “Bridgerton,” the Ton refers to high-society London during the Regency era, originating from the French phrase ‘le bon ton’).

Francesca’s deep affection for John is apparent in her letters to her sisters where she expresses how much she loves him, even to the extent of feeling she might have died without him.

This depth of feeling made John’s fate, not even two years into their marriage, particularly heartbreaking for Francesca.

John, in fact, died nearly two years later from a disease, a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

However, John’s cause of death is only revealed in the author’s note at the end of When He Was Wicked.

Francesca’s Heartbreak, Coping with Miscarriage & Fertility Struggles After John’s Death

John’s death deeply unsettles both Francesca and his cousin Michael.

Following John’s death, Francesca Bridgerton experienced a miscarriage, highlighting potential fertility issues, which again multiplies her tragedy.

Michael had harbored feelings for Francesca since the meeting but never confessed to her about them. He continued to see her as John’s wife, even four years after his passing.

Inheriting the title of the ninth Earl of Kilmartin, Michael flees to India to escape his grief for John and his feelings for Francesca, leaving her to manage the Kilmartin estate for four years.

Michael’s return to England coincides with Francesca’s decision to remarry in order to have a baby, leading to their eventual pairing due to their timing.

Francesca must come to terms with her loss to marry someone else and have a child, while Michael must do the same to find happiness after longing for Francesca for so long.

This makes their pairing one of Bridgerton’s most emotionally charged and angst-ridden stories.

Additional Information

  • Francesca is a crucial member of the Bridgerton family, a prominent aristocratic family in Regency-era London.
  • Her book storyline includes marrying Michael Stirling after John’s demise and dealing with his departure to India, leaving her in charge of their estate.
Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta
Meet Deepti Bhatta, a passionate writer and content editor who brings a fresh perspective to The Departure Film. With her keen interest in the entertainment industry, Deepti crafts articles that inform, inspire, and entertain readers, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. In her spare time, she enjoys binge-watching movies and series, as well as traveling to new destinations.


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