The Duke is gone. Regé-Jean Page, who became a global heartthrob as the dashing Duke of Hastings in Season 1 of Bridgerton, will not be part of Season 2 of Shondaland’s hit Netflix series. In typical Bridgerton fashion, the news was revealed by no other than the show’s intrepid Lady Whistledown. (See her announcement below)
Page and Phoebe Dynevor were breakout stars as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton, the couple whose sweeping romance was at the center of Season 1 of the series.
For the People alum Page had only been contracted for one season, and the plan was always for him to only do Season 1, based on the first Bridgerton book, The Duke And I, sources said. His character will be referenced going forward though he won’t appear. As a Bridgerton, Dynevor’s Daphne will continue to be a part of the series, Lady Whistedown confirmed.
The second season of Bridgerton will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as chronicled in the second book of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Anthony’s love interest, Kate Sharma, will be played by Simone Ashley.
“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings,” Lady Whistedown wrote. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”
In addition to global popularity, which put Page in the mix to bethe next James Bond, Bridgerton brought the actor awards recognition for his portrayal of Simon. He won an NAACP Image Award last week and is nominated for an individual SAG Award in addition to sharing in the show’s ensemble nomination.
“I hope so,” Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen said when asked whether Page and Dynevor’s characters will be back as he announced the Season 2 renewal in January. “They are now of course the Duke and Duchess of Hastings but in my mind they will always be Bridgertons and I think they will always be part of the show.”
With its vibrant mix of Jane Austen-meets-Gossip Girl and its contemporary storytelling redefining the period drama and romance genres, Bridgerton has captivated audiences around the world to shatter Netflix’s viewership records. It became the streamer’s biggest series ever as 82 million households globally watched the first season (partially or in its entirety) in the first four weeks.
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