Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, recently took to Twitter to ask fans whether they’d seen the easter egg hiding in the opening scenes of the Netflix Original. And it didn’t take them long to spot it…
Warning: this article contains major spoilers for season one of Netflix’s Bridgerton.
One of the best bits of rewatching your favourite TV shows is spotting things you might have missed the first time around.
From the secret fashion detail hidden in The Handmaid’s Tale to the various easter eggs nestled throughout Black Mirror, there’s something strangely satisfying about hunting for all the little clues and inside references hidden amongst the drama of a show.
It all started when Nicola Coughlan – who plays Penelope Featherington in the show – took to Twitter to ask her fans whether anyone had spotted the “massive” easter egg hidden in the very first scene of episode one.
After several guesses, one person got it right – a fact Coughlan herself later confirmed by explaining the story behind it.
The easter egg in question is the feather Penelope holds in her hand the first time we see the Featherington family, when her sister Prudence is being forced into an unbelievably tight corset.
As fans who have finished the series will know, Penelope turns out to be the mysterious Lady Whistledown, the character whose scandalous papers drive the drama at the heart of the show, so this feather serves as a nod to Penelope’s writing talents.
“I’m very impressed with those that spotted it!” Coughlan wrote in response to the guesses. “I decided on a prop for the scene where you first see Penelope, that prop happened to be a giant feather that looked a lot like… a quill.”
However, the fun didn’t stop there, as Coughlan informed fans that there “are lots of little hints” waiting to be found throughout the series’ eight episodes.
“Let me know if you spot anymore and I can confirm/deny,” she added.
Of course, this led to hundreds of guesses and questions being thrown Coughlan’s way – two of which she was quick to confirm.
One fan pointed out a hidden detail in one of Lady Whistledown’s papers, writing: “Lady Whistledown talking about how it reached her ears about Marina and Colin as she’s literally sitting there on the floor listening to them”. This was seemingly confirmed by Coughlan, who replied with a GIF of Amy Schumer putting her hand to her ear as if listening in on a conversation.
Coughlan also responded to a fan’s suggestion that Penelope’s upset in one of the show’s final scenes was because she was watching Colin leave, not because of her father’s demise, writing: “Oh for sure 95% of that upset is about Colin, and a little for Lord F, but mostly Colin.”
Other easter eggs suggested by fans (although not yet confirmed by Coughlan), include Penelope’s nickname Pen, which could be seen as a reference to her writing talent, and Bridgerton’s promotional poster, which sees Penelope pouring tea – an expression commonly used to describe someone spreading gossip.
For now, we’ll be waiting to see if Coughlan confirms any more of these sneaky easter eggs – and rewatching the series ourselves to see if there’s any more we can spot.
Season one of Bridgerton is available to watch now on Netflix
As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.