Bridgerton‘s trailers have already introduced us to the voice of the show’s lemony, sly narrator Lady Whistledown, and we’re pretty sure you recognize the voice of this Regency-era Gossip Girl. After all, she’s one of the most iconic voices of a generation! Yep, that’s Dame Julie Andrews voicing the unseen but all-knowing narrator of Shonda Rhimes’s latest drama, a Regency-era romance following the romantic ups and downs of the wealthy Bridgertons and the other families of high society.
While Shonda Rhimes plus Julie Andrews may not seem like the most instinctive of collaborations, it’s actually not the first time they’ve worked on a project together! Rhimes wrote the screenplay for 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, in which Andrews, of course, reprised her role as Queen Clarisse of Genovia.
That movie, incidentally, also marked another major “voice” moment for Andrews. After a botched throat surgery in 1997, Andrews, whose career had been built on musicals that showed off her beautiful voice and unusually wide vocal range, was left mostly unable to sing. In The Princess Diaries 2, however, Andrews sang in public for the first time since then, duetting in the film with Raven-Symoné on “Your Crowning Glory,” an original song specifically written to sit in her now-smaller vocal range.
The Netflix series is far from the first time Andrews has done voice acting and voiceover work. She voiced Queen Lillian, Princess Fiona’s mother, in three Shrek movies beginning with Shrek 2 in 2004. She also served as the fairytale narrator in the Disney comedy Enchanted (which includes a musical homage to Mary Poppins at one point). Since then, she’s continued voice acting, including roles as Marlena Gru in the Despicable Me franchise and as the leviathan Karathen in Aquaman. We truly can’t imagine a better voice for Lady Whistledown than Andrews’s perfectly crisp tones, and her presence is just one of many reasons we can’t wait for Bridgerton to debut its first season on Netflix on Dec. 25!