The Regency era has been dazzlingly brought to life by the popular Netflix series Bridgerton, with its lavish depiction of the competitive world of high society in Regency London. With the recent release of Season 2 we thought it was a great time to take a closer look at the Regency period, and how it influenced several of our pearl jewellery pieces.
When was the Regency era?
The Regency era lasted a mere nine years, from February 1811 to January 1820. In 1810 George III became seriously ill and was declared incapable of ruling because of mental incapacity. The Regency Act was passed the following year for his son George Prince Regent to rule instead. The regency lasted until George III’s death in 1820 when the Regent became King George IV and he was able to rule in his own right.
The Regency period is epitomised by the Regent himself – George IV was a very handsome young man and a personable figure, described as ‘the first gentleman of England’. The Regent in his youth represents the world of glamorous elegance, extravagant follies and romantic liaisons. It is this image of George IV as a young man that embodies the Regency, an image that was established long before he ever became Regent.
Saul David in his biography of George IV describes the Regency as a ‘devil-may-care period of low morals and high fashion.’
Romanticism was well-established by the time the Regency started. This period was rich in literature, both poetry and prose, it was the time of the romantic poets like Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge and Shelley and the Romantic novelist, Sir Walter Scott.
Jane Austen’s work is inextricably linked to the Regency; all six of Jane Austen’s completed novels were published during this period, making them archetypal Regency romances. They were not all written within these nine years of Regency, and although Jane died before the Regency ended, her books lived on.
Bridgerton’s setting is a version of Regency England with a multiracial, bright and sexy modern interpretation, where the marriage market is a cunning game, until love and lust appear to mess with everyone’s plans.
The Regency era lives on in the cultural imagination as a time of romance, especially for independent heroines finding love in unlikely places. With thanks to Jane Austen novels like Pride and Prejudice and Emma these adaptations are inspired and encompass period accuracy alongside a more modern feeling. Debuted in 2020 Bridgerton quickly became the most-watched show on Netflix at the time of its premiere.
Get the Bridgerton look
Feeling inspired by all things Bridgerton? Some of our beautiful pieces of jewellery can help you recreate this era with a modern twist. Our White Pearl Choker Necklace is a one-off piece with real style. It’s entirely handmade with 4 rows of interwoven small white pearls, edged with a single row of larger white pearls on a gold plated oblong filigree clasp with a central cubic zirconia.
A unique piece of Regency-inspired jewellery is our Floral Pearl and CZ Brooch/Pendant on a Silver Chain. This feminine style silver plated brooch/pendant inlaid with Cubic Zirconia and White Pearls is finished with a larger drop pearl on a 925 chain. The natural world was of strong interest to the Victorians and inspired a lot of the jewellery of this time.
We also have our stunning Filigree Brooch/Pendant inlaid with CZ with a central floral motif of white pearls. Or our beautiful Victorian style oval Cameo Brooch/Pendant with CZ inlaid in the edges. Both these brooches can also be worn as a pendant on a ribbon or a chain.
Pair with our White Pearl Drop Earrings on Silver or Gold Plated Hooks for a classic, timeless Bridgerton inspired look. These are such a simple, elegant staple for any jewellery collection.
Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was known for her pearl favourites throughout this period. Recreate this look with our elegant feminine White Stud and Drop Pearl Earrings. These wonderful earrings are so timeless, a style that has been worn by so many inspirational women throughout history, such as the elegant Grace Kelly and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Bridgerton has been a great inspiration for us all to embrace the Regency era in all its glamour and regality – we already can’t wait for Season 3! If you would like to explore more of our pearl jewellery collections inspired by history, take a look at our website.