Regé-Jean Page Not Returning for Bridgerton Season 2: 'The Ride of a Lifetime'
On the show's Instagram and Twitter pages, a letter penned by Lady Whistledown confirmed on Friday that the Netflix hit will move on to season 2 without Page, who played Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.
"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," the note read. "We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family."
The letter noted that Phoebe Dynevor, who played the Duke's love interest Daphne Bridgerton, will return: "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."
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Page, 31, addressed news on Instagram with a photo of himself on horseback as the Duke.
"The ride of a life time," he wrote. "It's been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. 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."
Bridgerton, which debuted last December, has been a massive success for Netflix. Created by Chris Van Dusen, produced by Shonda Rhimes and based on author Julia Quinn's book series, season 1 of the period drama followed Dynevor's Daphne Bridgerton as she concocts a mutually beneficial plan with Simon to pretend to be in a relationship. The scheme was intended to help Daphne find love after struggling to do so following her debut in London high society, while Simon, determined not to marry, aimed for the initiative to help secure his bachelor lifestyle.
"Remember: the Duke is never gone," Rhimes, 51, said on Instagram after news broke of Page's exit. "He's just waiting to be binge watched all over again. #ShondalandMenOnNetflixAreForever."
Netflix renewed Bridgerton for a second season in January. The new season will follow Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, as he attempts to find a wife. Simone Ashley has been cast as his love interest, Kate Sharma.
When news regarding the sophomore season's premise emerged earlier this year, questions regarding Page and Dynevor's futures on the series came into question. Van Dusen previously said he hoped to see the pair return.
"I hope so," the series creator said on Today. "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."