Regé-Jean Page Leaving ‘Bridgerton’: What It Means for Season 2, Plus Fans React

Rege-Jean Page Bridgerton Simon Basset Duke of Hastings
Liam Daniel/Netflix

Dearest readers, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews and revealed to be Nicola Coughlan’s Penelope), everyone’s favorite or least-favorite gossip columnist, has some news for you. And it’s a doozy!

Regé-Jean Page, who made a name for himself and his character as the Duke of Hastings, will not be returning for Bridgerton Season 2, Netflix announced on April 2 in a statement worded like one of Lady Whistledown’s scandal sheets.

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“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s [Jonathan Bailey] quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings,” it reads. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”

But if you’re wondering what this means for Phoebe Dynevor’s future on the show — she plays Daphne Bridgerton, who married the Duke in Season 1 — the announcement also reveals she’ll be back.

“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,” the message concludes.

Page also shared the news on Twitter, adding, “Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family – on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans – the love is real and will just keep growing.”

As has already been revealed (also in a Lady Whistledown statement), Season 2 pivots to Daphne’s brother Anthony, just as the second book in Julia Quinn’s series, The Viscount Who Loved Me, does. But it’s still odd that Page won’t be in the second season at all. And fans had the same reaction on social media after the news broke, especially when it comes to scenes they wanted to see on-screen from the book.

This announcement comes just after more casting news dropped for Season 2. In addition to Simone Ashley coming in as Kate Sharma, Anthony’s new love interest, the Netflix drama is adding another member of her family, her sister Edwina, played by Charithra Chandran, Deadline reports. Edwina “first catches the Viscount’s attention.” And Rupert Young has been cast as “Jack, the newest member of the Ton with a connection to one of its most notable families and a Bridgerton mystery.” Might he be in some ways filling the gap left by Page’s exit?

Whatever happens, dearest readers, you can be sure that Lady Whistledown will be on hand to report on all the scandalous deeds.

Bridgerton, Season 2, TBA, Netflix