Whilst these characters are not strictly Bridgertons, they made such an impression on me, they deserve a special mention.
Simon Arthur Henry Fitzranulph Basset, Duke of Hastings
Sins of the father sums up this character perfectly. Badly affected by his father’s abuse and rejection, Simon is a well known rake (but not a bounder or a cad, I’ll have you know). He owns the disapproval from others in his circle with style and panache, so it makes sense that his wardrobe in the series is very distinct. A friend of Anthony Bridgerton from their days in Eton, he returns to England after travelling abroad to claim his late father’s title. He knew his return will be much discussed amongst “the ton”, a term used to describe Britain’s high society during the regency. Derived from le bon ton, meaning good manners or good form, the word summarises commonly held views of proper behaviour and polite society. He then tried to get out of the first ball of the season, which was held by his ‘guardian’ Lady Danbury, as he knew he would not be free from the matchmaking efforts of ferocious mamas and from the attention of their offspring. Decidedly against matrimony and having any offspring of his own, he enters into a romantic ruse with Daphne Bridgerton, designed to fool Lady Whistledown. Simon is seemingly impressed by her wit, ability to take care of herself and her lack of interest in him. Daphne for her part mostly wants to fend off undesirable suitors like Lord Berbrooke and she also wants to be taken seriously by her inner circle; most certainly by Lady Whistledown. But of course, the inevitable happens. At the beginning of the fauxmance, Daphne is a complete innocent going into this and there is a power imbalance. However, there is an awakening and there is a shift. If the Duke were a luxury brand he would be an outlier brand who thought itself far removed from luxury business norms seemingly holding all the cards. In the end, once such brands find their place, they are able to align themselves with the demands of their clients and operating environment.