Bridgerton fans are still recovering after The Tab’s April Fools Day prank falsely announcing that Season 2 was set to drop next week. As if attempting to preserve the sanity of the Netflix’s shows viewers, Lady Whistledown waited another day to reveal that Regé-Jean Page—who plays the period drama’s Duke of Hastings—will not be returning for the next chapter of the Regency-era romance drama.
The TV show’s fictional gossip columnist penned a letter for the series’ social media followers that was shared on Friday, April 2. The message goes as follows: “Dear Readers, 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. We’ll miss Simon’s presence on-screen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”
Interestingly, the Duke will live on within the drama series, but viewers won’t see him on-screen. “Daphne [played by Phoebe Dynevor] will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer,” the statement continues, promising that the new season will still bring “more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”
Not long after the Bridgerton team shared the news, Page took to his social media accounts to post a statement on his own. “The ride of a lifetime,” he captioned an Instagram post. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, fans are distraught that Simon and Daphne’s on-screen romance is over—and that they won’t see the Duke transition into his role as a dad. At the time of writing this article, the show is trending on Twitter because people are struggling to process the news. Kim Kardashian, who only recently started watching the show, took to her Instagram Story on April 2 to voice her frustration. “I’m NOT ok!!!!!” the KKW Beauty founder wrote. “What is happening!!??? How can this be?”
But according to a Variety article, this news isn’t exactly a surprise for those who’ve read the Julia Quinn series, as each book focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling’s romance. That said, Page knew in signing his one-season contract that he wouldn’t stay on for a second season. The actor told the outlet that’s a part of why he was drawn to the role. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on,” he said. “I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe.”
Next season, as briefly mentioned in Lady Whisledown’s statement, will focus on Daphne’s oldest brother, Anthony Bridgerton, and newcomer Simone Ashley. The 26-year-old actress recently landed the lead role in Season 2 as the Viscount’s love interest. We won’t reveal any more spoilers ahead of the show’s return, but if you simply can’t bear to wait, shop the first and second novels in the eight-book series below.
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