The Netflix Regency-era drama Bridgerton from Shondaland based on the series of books by Julia Quinn became the highest-rated debut series on that particular platform in 2020. Lavish sets, beautiful people, clandestine romance, and steamy sex — what more can fans ask for?
The hit Edwardian-era period drama Downton Abbey is another such beloved historical drama that delved into the lives of a certain Earl of Grantham, his family, and their staff on a plush Yorkshire estate. Both dramas have a few characters that can be considered counterparts of each other, although given that Bridgerton lacks any leading older male character being a female-led show, it is rather hard to find an exact counterpart for Lord Grantham himself.
10Rose Nolan-Anna Bates
Rose Nolan is Daphne Bridgerton’s maid and often finds herself lending her mistress a shoulder to cry on. It was also Rose who, being older than Daphne, ended up giving her some crucial marital advice that (after much drama) ended up saving her marriage to the Duke of Hastings.
Rose’s role as a friend and confidante is similar to Anna’s in Downton Abbey. Anna Bates was a good woman and staunchly loyal even when she had the most scandalous secrets to keep. Rose and Daphne’s friendship is the Bridgerton counterpart to Anna and Mary’s.
9Sienna Rosso-Rose Aldridge
Sienna isn’t exactly like Rose Aldridge but like Rose, she is fearless. She doesn’t care much for society and social diktats and often simply does as she pleases.
Although Sienna seems to be a bit more scheming than young Rose who was kinder and more gentle, both have the same zest for life, free spirit, and like to have a bit of fun.
8Cressida Cowper-Lady Mary
Unfortunately for Lady Mary, the only character somewhat close to her in the Netflix drama is the rather obnoxious Cressida Cowper.
The latter, like Mary, is cold, distant, and a tad vindictive in nature. She is also a bit of a snob and generally unlikeable, just like Mary was for so many years before life happened.
7Lady Featherington-Lady Rosamund
Portia Featherington is basically a busybody whose main purpose in life is to get her three daughters married off. She also interferes in things that are no business of hers and her behavior towards the lovely Maria has been quite atrocious as she forged a letter from the latter’s beloved to force her to marry any hideous old man that came her way.
Of course, the far more sophisticated Lady Rosamund Painswick doesn’t come close to being as overbearing as Lady Featherington. She is decent and would never stoop to the levels to which Portia is capable of sinking. However, like Portia, she too does sometimes try to get a say in matters that do not concern her. And although she was there for Edith during her pregnancy when no one else was, she tried to manipulate her into giving the baby away. Similarly, Portia too had been trying to guilt Maria into marrying simply for the sake of her pregnancy.
6Benedict Bridgerton- Tom Branson
Tom Branson was one of the most adored characters in Downton Abbey. The cute Irish man was a rebel by nature and suffered a terrible tragedy when his wife Sybil died in childbirth. In time, Tom became like a brother to the remaining sisters, especially Mary, a son to Lord Grantham, and one of the calm and collected characters on the show.
Daphne’s brother Benedict is somewhat similar to Tom in that he seems to be on his way to being the quiet rebel. His equation with Eloise also reminds one of Tom’s friendship with Mary.
5Lady Violet Bridgerton-Cora Crawley
The Lady Violet Bridgerton, with her brood of seven offsprings, has her counterpart in Cora Crawley.
Like the Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey, who has to hold the reigns of the household and act as peacemaker many a time, Lady Bridgerton too often has to act in the best interest of her children, when the so-called ‘men’ of the house had failed. She is even-tempered and calm and can devise plans to keep her family from being publicly discredited, just like Cora, In fact, like Cora who often teamed up with the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet is seen in cahoots with Lady Danbury at times, but of course, all for the love of her children.
4Penelope Featherington/Eloise Bridgerton-Edith Crawley
It is hard to pin down a character in the Shonda Rhimes drama that is a precise counterpart of the middle Crawley sister. Edith started out as the most annoying of the sisters but soon went on to become a much more layered, and in time, a very empowered character.
In Bridgerton, both Eloise and Penelope, who are best friends, seem to incorporate certain characteristics of Edith Crawley. For one, Eloise is forever locking horns with her older sister, and both she and Penelope seem to have a penchant for knowledge. Both take a keen interest in writing and reading just like Edith who was the editor and publisher of a magazine, and Penelope Featherington was even revealed to be the elusive Lady Whistledown in the season 1 finale.
3Daphne Bridgerton/Maria Thompson-Sybil Crawley
Even Sybil Crawley is reflected in two separate characters in Bridgerton. The heroine Daphne in this Regency romance is not remotely like the lead heroine, Mary, of the celebrated Edwardian drama. But she does have certain qualities about her that could make her a counterpart of the rebellious Sybil.
Daphne is soft-hearted but also a little firebrand, completely capable of making her own decisions without depending on her husband or her brother. The gorgeous Maria Thompson too is someone who stands up to authority and speaks her own mind, just like the youngest Crawley sister who was the fiercest of them all.
2Simon Basset-Henry Talbot
The delectable Simon Basset has something of Henry Talbot in him. Dashing and debonair, Henry came in and swooped Mary off her feet after she had started recovering from Matthew’s shocking death.
The young Duke of Hastings is all that and more. With a touch of arrogance, Simon Basset is more Mr. Darcy from the beloved Austen classic Pride & Prejudice than anyone else, but he does rather have the air and charisma of Henry that charmed even the rather difficult to please Mary Crawley.
1Lady Danbury-The Dowager Countess
Possibly the one character that is almost a direct counterpart of the great Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey is Lady Danbury.
The sassy Lady Danbury is heavily reminiscent of Dame Maggie Smith’s brilliant turn as Lady Violet Crawley. It has only been a single season yet, but one hopes to see much more of this mother figure to the Duke of Hastings, whose words drip with sass and who can make men tremble in their shoes with her sheer presence.