Diamond of the First Water is the first episode of Bridgerton.
Daphne debuts on London's marriage market as a new gossip sheets sets high society atwitter and Simon, the eligible Duke of Hastings, returns to town.
Lady Whistledown introduces Grosvernor's Square, 1813, the start of a new social season. At the Featherington house, there are three daughters thrust into society by their tasteless mother. Lady Portia Featherington is forcing Prudence Featherington into a corset, saying she got herself into a tighter once when she was coming out.
Nearby in the Bridgerton household, there are eight children. Eloise is already complaining about being hot in her dress as she, Francesca, and Hyacinth come downstairs. She can't fathom tolerating it for the whole day. Their eldest sister, Daphne, is still not ready. The brothers argue over who will go up and rush her until Eloise steps forward and inelegantly shouts upstairs that Daphne must make haste.
People from both households exit and get into carriages. The opposing matriarchs merely nod at one another as they pass. Lady Violet Bridgerton is annoyed that her eldest son, Anthony Bridgerton, is not there. Benedict claims not to know where he is.
Meanwhile, Anthony has Siena Rosso pressed up against a tree. He checks his watch as he presses into her.
The carriages arrive and Daphne in particular is in awe as she looks around. She's surprised to see Anthony has arrived. The Bridgerton family enters together.
Today is the day all eligible misses will be presented to her majesty, the queen.
Queen Charlotte sits in her chair looking bored. The Featherington ladies are announced before they enter. They struggle to walk with how tight their corsets are tied, but make their way up to the front as the crowd watches. They bow to the queen, who dismissively waves them off. However, Prudence then faints as she goes to stand.
Daphne is announce and then enters with her mother. The queen stands as she bows at the front and has Daphne stand. She proclaims her flawless and kisses her forehead.
A paperboy delivers Lady Whistledown's Society Papers to everyone in town. Lady Whistledown asserts that no one knows her nor shall they ever. However, she knows all of them.
The Bridgerton girls discuss Daphne's presentation. Eloise wants to go visit with Penelope since her presentation didn't go quite as well. She's not as thrilled by it as the others, even when Daphne reminds her that the better she does, the better chance the rest of them have. Their mother brings in new dresses and all but Eloise flock to them. Eloise is busied instead with Lady Whistledown's paper. She reads some of the contents aloud and draws the others' attention away. Daphne and their mother are pleased to see that Daphne has been named the season's Incomparable, a diamond of the first water.
Lady Featherington gathered the society papers and says she believes Lady Whistledown to be Violet Bridgerton. Lady Cowper points out that the papers merely state the truth. Then she tells Lady Featherington to tell her about the cousin who is coming to stay with them. She has no close female relative to sponsor her debut, she's being sent to the Featheringtons for Lady Featherington. Penelope tries to get her mother to let her sit the social season out. Her sisters pick fun at her appearance, while she continues to ask to sit out for one more year, like Eloise has, so she can focus on her studies. Her mother says no. Lady Cowper thinks having four ladies out at once might invite competition, but Lady Featherington isn't convinced the cousin will bring much competition. Just then, the cousin is announced. When Marina Thompson enters, they're all taken back by her beauty.
Simon Basset rides into town. Lady Danbury greets him and gives condolences on his father, though she knows he hated his father. He's happy to see her and she invites him inside. She's hosting a ball this evening, but hasn't told anyone of his return, but once they know he's back, everyone will be interested in him. He says he's only returned to London to deal with his late father's affairs and has no interest in socializing. She refuses to accept that, so he agrees to make a brief appearance.
Siena practices her scales. She smiles when she sees Anthony watching her.
Siena pushes Anthony into the wall They make a mess of the room as they start kissing each other.
After they're done, Anthony checks his watch. It was his father's. Siena doesn't want him to leave and asks him to stay. He says he can't because he has to chaperone his sister at the Danbury Ball. She asks him about the balls, which he says she would hate. When he sees her disappointment, he tells her he'll always protect her, too.
Daphne gets out of the carriage, flanked by her mother and brother. The eligible ladies and gentlemen dance and flirt. Penelope watches Colin from a distance as he dances with another lady.
From above, Ladies Cowper and Featherington watch and gossip.
All eyes are on Daphne as she enters. Lord Ambrose approaches her, but Anthony quickly reminds him of his betting debts, left unsettled, and he bows and leaves. Daphne didn't realize he was in debt, which is why Anthony is there. Daphne draws eyes as she walks around, but Anthony dismisses all the men she likes. They meet up with her other brothers. Colin is preparing to start a tour, which begins in Greece. They spot Lady Danbury and try to scatter, but she's already spotted them. She asks about Daphne dancing and expressing condolences when she realizes what Anthony is doing. Marina catches Colin's eye, but neither he nor Benedict knows who she is.
Lady Featherington tries to put Marina down, but the others aren't fooled. They watch as Colin joins the dance with her. They know there will be a list of callers waiting to meet with Marina.
Lady Featherington is standing with Prudence and Philipa when she spots Simon and drags her daughters to him before he can spot Marina. They arrive just as a swam of other girls does.
Daphne sneaks away from her brother. At the drink table, Nigel Berbrooke approaches her and starts pursuing her quickly. She excuses herself to go back to her brother and quickly walks away. On her way back, she collides with Simon and asks his name. He doesn't believe she doesn't already know. He thinks she's made a ruse to meet him, while she looks nervously at Nigel, who is making his way over to her. Just then, Anthony comes up. He's happy to see Simon, whom he knows is now the Duke of Hastings. Anthony introduces them. He knows Simon from their days at Oxford.
Lady Bridgerton goes to get Daphne for a dance, but Anthony says it's time for them to retire. Anthony wants to leave the men wanting more and convinces Daphne to leave with him.
Daphne is already awake the next morning when her maid comes in. She's eager to receive her callers.
Daphne and her mother and sisters attend to their crafts as they wait. When someone comes in, they stand, but it's just Anthony, who was unable to sleep in all the excitement. He's there to receive callers with them.
The Featheringtons are similarly waiting. Their footman announces some callers, but they're there for Marina.
Daphne sees a suitor who is very nervous under Anthony's gaze.
Lady Whistledown announces that the true diamond is not Daphne at all, but Marina, as Marina receives many other potential suitors. She knows the queen will despise the news as she hates being wrong more than anything. The queen reads the Society Papers with a frown. She supposes Lady Featherington to be pleased to have the Incomparable under her own roof.
The Bridgerton ladies discuss Lady Whistledown's report. Daphne wants to attend some events without Anthony, but her mother said Anthony has already replied on their behalf. He's got their schedule set through June. Finally, a suitor arrives, but it's just Nigel Berbrooke. Eloise tries to stay as a buffer for her sister, but their mother sends her away. Nigel believes they were destined for one another.
Marina sees her many suitors. One recites a poem for her. After he's finished, Lady Featherington ushers them all out. Colin stops for a moment to talk to Penelope on his way out.
Anthony assures Daphne that she'll have other suitors, but she's worried she's damaged goods because of what Lady Whistledown said. Daphne knows what she says it's true and it's true because of Anthony, who has scared off all her other suitors. He has no idea what it is to be a woman, to be raised for one moment. It's her only value. She must find a husband or be worthless.
Whistledown reports on Simon's continued presence in London. His footman tells him of her reporting. He has reported no plans of ever marrying, which he has told many others.
Simon and Anthony drink and socialize a the club. Simon is insistent that his title will die with him. He rejects the title himself. He then turns it around on Anthony, asking where his wife is. Unless his plan is to be with his mistress forever. Anthony reminds Simon that unlike Simon, he has brothers.
Lady Whistledown reports that Colin Bridgerton will be the winner for Marina's affections. Marina and Colin laugh as they spend time together while Penelope plays with the dog given to Marina by a suitor. Lady Featherington is vexed by this, but knows her husband won't allow her to send Marina away.
Nigel comes to call on Daphne yet again. She crumples the paper in frustration.
Daphne avoids Nigel as she enters an event. She's invited by Lady Danbury to join her and the queen. The queen quickly leaves while Lady Danbury invites Daphne to spend the evening in her box with her.
Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton gossip about the king's poor health as they watch the show. Siena is performing. Lady Danbury notes that Lady Whistledown has written about her family as well, namely the duke. She raised him after his mother died. They each agree that Simon and Daphne are not like Lady Whistledown says. Danbury tries to set up a match between the two of them.
Marina bunches up her sheets and throws them in frustration.
As they dine, the Bridgertons discuss who Lady Whistledown might be. Simon is entertained by their discussion. Several smaller discussions pop up around the table and Simon notes that Daphne doesn't seem pleased to be seated by him. Anthony watches them from across the table as they talk about what they know about each other. They each agree that they're not interested in the other.
Anthony is not pleased at his mother's matchmaking. He says the duke has no intention of ever marrying. He thinks Daphne deserves better. Despite his assertion, Lady Bridgerton has invited them to the next social event. She also reveals that she knows about Anthony's affair with Siena. She tells Anthony he needs to decide if he's an older brother or the man of the house.
Anthony lies in bed with Siena. He suddenly tells her he can't see her anymore, that he must do what is necessary. She's upset, as he promised to care for her. She asks what she shall do now. He tells her to leave.
Lady Whistledown speaks of a scandal as the Bridgertons travel to another event at Vauxhall Gardens.
Colin greets Penelope at the event. He asks after Marina, whom Penelope says is ill. Her mother is home with her while her father is chaperoning them. Cressida Cowper then comes up to them and starts to flirt with Colin, inviting him for a dance. She also spills her drink on Penelope, which she claims is an accident. Colin turns down Cressida's request in favor of dancing with Penelope.
Simon and Daphne make eye contact from a distance before Simon leaves.
Mrs. Varley, the housekeeper, looks at Marina's sheets and realizes something.
Lady Featherington is going through her beauty routine when Mrs. Varley comes to her with the sheet in hand.
The crowd watches in awe as a series of lamps are lit at once. Anthony goes to Daphne and tells her there's nothing wrong with Nigel Berbrooke. She is to marry him. She objects and refuses to listen.
Lady Featherington takes the sheet to Marina and notes the absence of blood. She should be happy as she previously had no legitimate excuse to kick her out, but when Lord Featherington and her father hear about it. She would be happy except that her own daughters will be affected by this. Marina says Lady Featherington could never understand. Marina didn't want to come there in the first place, to be around people like her.
Daphne takes a moment alone to catch her breath. Nigel approaches her. She tells him she'll never marry him, despite what her brother has said. Nigel acts as if he's doing her a favor, as if he's her last hope. He approaches her and grabs her, but she punches him to get him off just as Simon arrives. Simon is impressed that she was able to knock Nigel out with her punch and checks on him. Daphne suddenly realizes where she is and that's she's alone with two men. Nigel wakes up and half-heartedly asks her to marry him. Simon notes that that may be the least romantic proposal of all. Simon is horrified that she might consider marrying Nigel, so she pretends she's considering it. There may be no alternative. She doesn't have the option to say she's never getting married. Simon's surprised she no longer has a line of suitors waiting for her. He knows what Lady Whistledown has written and hates it as much as she does. She tells him to leave one direction while she goes another. Instead, he proposes a solution for both of them.
The crowd watches fireworks go off in the sky. The crowd is surprised to see Daphne return walking next to Simon. They've decided to pretend to be entangled. With her on his arm, people will believe he's found his duchess. The mothers will finally leave him alone. And every suitor will be looking at Daphne. Lady Whistledown will see him as unavailable and her as desirable. At the party, they begin to dance, staring at each other as if they were in love so as to convince the others they are.
Lady Whistledown reports on the news, saying if anyone will be able to figure out how it happened, it'll be her.
- Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury
- Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs. Varley
- Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton
- Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson
- Sabrina Bartlett as Siena Rosso
- Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington
- Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington
- Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington
- Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton
- Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton
- Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton
- Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton
- Ben Miller as Lord Featherington
- Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton
- Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset
- Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte
- Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton
- Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton
- Polly Walker as Lady Portia Featherington
- Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown
- Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton
- Molly McGlynn as Maid Rose
- Joanna Bobin as Lady Cowper
- Jessica Madsen as Cressida Cowper
- Jamie Beamish as Nigel Berbrooke
- Simon Ludders as Humboldt
- Jason Barnett as Jeffries
- Hugh Sachs as Brimsley
- Simon Lennon as Lord Ambrose
- Joseph Macnab as Featherington Footman
- Nathan Vidal as Delivery Boy
- Vincent Davies as Master of Ceremonies
- Naomi Preston-Low as Handsome Young Lady
- Emma Beattie as Ambitious Mama
- Al Nedjari as Lord in Waiting
- Nikkita Chadha as Fashionable Young Lady
- Ram Gupta as Nervous Suitor
- Jonathan Jude as Handsome Young Man
- Joanne Henry as Judgy Mama
- Eleanor Nawal as Lively Young Lady
- Oli Higginson as Bridgerton Footman
|"Flawless My Dear"||Kris Bowers||
|"Simon and Lady Danbury"||Kris Bowers||
|"The Latest Whistledown"||Kris Bowers||
|"thank u, next"||Vitamin String Quartet||
|"Girls Like You"||Vitamin String Quartet||
|"Set Dance"||APM Celtic Players||
|"We Could Form An Attachment"||Kris Bowers||
Notes and Trivia
- The table read for this episode took place on July 22, 2019. Filming started on July 28, 2019.
- The title refers to Daphne Bridgerton, who is referred to as "Diamond of the first water" in the official description of her character.
Behind the Scenes
- Lady Whistledown: "For those not in attendance at the Vauxhall celebration, you missed the most remarkable coup of the season. It appears Miss Daphne Bridgerton has captured the interest of the newly returned Duke of Hastings. How the young miss secured her newfound suitor is yet to be determined. Yet, if anyone shall reveal the circumstances of this match, it is I. Yours truly…Lady Whistledown."
- Daphne Bridgerton: "Your Grace, I had no intention…"
- Simon Basset: "Of knocking the climp flat out?" And I must say I'm impressed."
- Simon Basset: “We could pretend to form an attachment. With you on my arm, the world will believe I have finally found my duchess. Every presumptuous mother will leave me alone and every suitor will be looking at you.”
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.