Bridgerton: The Real Meaning Of The Bee (It's Not About Lord Bridgerton)

Netflix’s Bridgerton has audiences buzzing over the meaning of the bee that has been a recurring theme of the show, but it has a deeper meaning than people might think. Though season 2 revealed the emotional connection of the bee and the Bridgerton family through Edmund Bridgerton’s death by bee sting, the bee has a much deeper significance rooted in the women of the show. Though based in a Regency Era of a patriarchal society, Bridgerton has also shown women in positions of power who rebel against societal norms and the bee is symbolic of that.

Bridgerton has been incredibly popular since season 1’s release in 2020 and season 2 was also a huge hit. The series follows the dramas of the family of Bridgerton siblings as they navigate life through high society. Though Regency England was most definitely a patriarchal society, the London ton is ruled by two women: Queen Charlotte and the gossipmonger Lady Whistledown. It's fitting, then, that Bridgerton has utilized the bee as a symbol of feminism throughout the show.

Related: Bridgerton Season 2: Can Someone Really Die From A Bee Sting?

This matriarchal reign of the ton is mirrored in the queen bee’s reign of the beehive in nature. Bees thrive in a matriarchal colony and Bridgerton finds subtle ways to reinforce this narrative through bee symbolism. Bees show up in the physical sense; season 1 saw the bee land on Daphne and the duke’s carriage and then in the season finale when their son is born. Bridgerton season 2 also showed the bee during the flashback to Edmund Bridgerton’s death and the intense scene between Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton in present day. Bridgerton also includes hidden bumblebees as Easter eggs, found in Eloise’s hairpin, Benedict’s shirt collar in season 1 and his waistcoat in season 2. The strategic placement of the bees is a consistent reminder that the women in the show hold the real power.

Society has created the concept of a "Queen Bee," characterized as a woman who earns a position of power in societal circles. Everyone bows to Bridgerton's literal queen, Queen Charlotte, but also to the anonymous Queen Bee of the ton, Lady Whistledown. Lady Whistledown holds great power through her revealing gossip pamphlet and as such, becomes a trusted source of information. This makes women of the ton wish to remain on her good side, unaffected by her harsh revelations. Yet another version of the Queen Bee is also depicted in Bridgerton through the "diamond" of the social season. Selected by Bridgerton's monarch Queen Charlotte, the diamond of the season is viewed as the most desirable eligible young woman, a position that grants her attention and her own kind of power. Crowned the best of the best, being named the diamond gives her the metaphorical Queen Bee title in the social circle of young men and women looking to marry.

Bridgerton has showcased women rebelling against stereotypes and the patriarchal society. Eloise Bridgerton protests against the expectations of a woman of her age. She wishes to broaden her knowledge and intellect but is withheld from doing so due to the expectation to marry. Kate Sharma in season 2 is depicted as a strong, confident, independent woman that refuses to be owned by a male. She challenges Anthony Bridgerton’s view of a woman and finally gains equality in their relationship. Penelope Featherington, secretly Lady Whistledown, rebels against society as she builds her own underground business through her gossip pamphlet. Though Bridgerton shows stereotypical women of the era, it also represents women of strength and independence and the bee is a symbol to remind the audience that, quietly, women hold the true power in society.

Next: How Many Seasons Of Bridgerton Will There Be?

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