While many of the actors who’ve left “Bridgerton” have done so because their characters’ storylines have run their course, the same can’t be said for Ruby Stokes. In fact, Stokes was actually set to receive significantly more air time on the show as Francesca Bridgerton, but left of her own volition before that could happen. 

In January 2023, Stokes explained to What to Watch that while she loved her time on “Bridgerton,” she felt she couldn’t say no when an opportunity to be the lead of “Lockwood & Co” arose. “Leaving was always going to be a difficult choice, but something about Lucy [Carlyle] spoke to me. It was a chance to explore a very different character, and I’ve learned a great deal playing a young adult at the helm of a show,” she explained. 

Of course, it bears mentioning that Stokes’ time on “Bridgerton” was often characterized by, well, her absence. As the show’s executive producer, Chris Van Dusen told TV Line in 2022, pre-existing contracts with another Netflix show meant much of the development of her character in Season 2 had to be rewritten. That said, Stokes’ absence didn’t go unnoticed. Au contraire, she joked in an interview with Variety that she’d seen copious memes poking fun at Francesca essentially being in hiding. Stokes has since been replaced by Hannah Dodd. As such, this is one cast member who likely won’t be seen again in the ton, henceforth. 

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