How 'Bridgerton' Explains Regé-Jean Page's Absence in Season 2

Regé-Jean Page's departure from the Netflix hit after its debut season came as a shock to fans, but he has since said his role was "a one-season arc"

After following the steamy love story between Daphne Bridgerton and Duke Simon Basset in Bridgerton season 1, the series shifted focus to Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma's love story for the show's sophomore run.

Prior to the premiere on Friday, it was announced that the actor who portrayed Simon — Regé-Jean Page — would not return for season 2. The popular Regency drama wasted no time acknowledging his absence in the new season.

In the first episode's opener, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) returns from her residence at Clyvedon Castle without her husband. Audiences soon learn that Daphne, who recently welcomed a child with Simon, is paying a visit to her family in order to help her sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie) prepare for her debut on the social scene.

"You do realize I left my husband and child at home for this," said Daphne as the family waited for Eloise to come out of her room dressed to meet Queen Charlotte.

In the third episode, Daphne returns to the Bridgerton estate once more. This time around, she brings her son, Augie, for the family's annual croquet match.


"As if I would allow dear Augie to miss out on watching his mother win this little family tradition," she said. "Second year in a row, if I might add."

Her brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) chimed in, "Charming words from a duchess."

"A duchess who is still a Bridgerton," she added as her family proceeded to show affection to her baby boy.

Later in the episode, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) — Simon's mentor and close family friend — joined the Bridgertons for their croquet match. Speaking to Bridgerton family matriarch, Violet (Ruth Gemmell), she said: "Motherhood seems to suit the duchess very well. ... Our matchmaking efforts last season were quite wise indeed, Lady Bridgerton."

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At one point, it is mentioned that Daphne's spouse was away on business.

Page previously announced his departure from the series last April, calling his time on the show "the ride of a lifetime."

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"It's been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke," he wrote on Instagram. "Joining this family — not just on screen, but off screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans - it's all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing ❤️❤️❤️💫."

Page later addressed the reasoning for his exit while speaking to Variety, saying his role was always intended to be "a one-season arc."

"It's going to have a beginning, middle, end — give us a year," he told the publication, recalling his conversation with Shondaland producers. "[I thought] 'That's interesting,' because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on."

Despite leaving the series, Page hinted at the possibility of a cameo down the road.

"You know I couldn't tell you!" he told British GQ last September. "Isn't there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren't suspecting?"

Season 2 of Bridgerton is now streaming on Netflix.

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