Photo courtesy Liam Daniels / Netflix

When Bridgerton arrived to Netflix, the scintillating reimagination of the Regency-era aristocracy left viewers wonderstruck — seriously, the megahit eclipsed the streamer’s ratings. Adapting Julia Quinn’s eponymous romance novels, the series orchestrated the period’s tales of romantic chaos and high-society drama with principal roles of color in a way that arguably exceeded Hollywood’s diversity quota initiatives. Oh! And, how could we forget our adoration for the show’s eye candy, the Duke of Hastings (played by Regé-Jean Page)? While we’ve all been preparing for Anthony Bridgerton’s nerve-wrecking journey to secure a viscountess, it has been unpleasantly announced that filming for the forthcoming season has been indefinitely halted.

According to reports via Deadline, after two positive COVID-19 tests hit production merely three days apart, Netflix has made the executive decision to pause filming. During the indefinite hiatus, the streamer will work with producers at Shondaland to devise a plan for the cast and crew to safely return as the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges through Britain.

As season 2 is in limbo, the halted production presumably sets back the expansion of the Bridgerton-verse as the spinoff limited series based on the origin of Queen Charlotte was reportedly on the horizon. The untitled offshoot is said to be a prequel on the juvenility of Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel) and her ascent to the throne. Although the character is not originally included in Quinn’s literary series, Queen Charlotte’s real royal history as the Britain’s first Black monarch who reigned 1761 to 1818 adds a welcomed element to the flagship’s interplay between race and reimagination. Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), the mother of the Bridgerton clan, and Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), Simon’s closest mother figure, will also have their origin stories featured in the newest series.

While, we’re reeling from the possible postponement of the premiere of season 2 (on top of Page’s shock exit from the show), the good news is Bridgerton racked up 12 Emmy Awards nominations last week, including a nod for Page for leading actor in a drama category.