'Bridgerton' Season 2: Why Regé-Jean Page Is Not Returning as the Duke of Hastings

Bridgerton Season 2 has been confirmed by Netflix, but the cast of the new season will feature some key cast changes. The smash-hit first season of the show focused on the relationship of Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page).

However, that love story will have no more chapters, as Page has announced he will not be returning to the Netflix show. This was confirmed by a post on the Bridgerton Twitter page, styled as a story from Lady Whitledown's Society Papers. It read: "Dearest 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 onscreen, but he will always be part of the Bridgerton family."

Your Grace, it has been a pleasure. 💜🐝 pic.twitter.com/kX1nIG8pz7

— Bridgerton (@bridgerton) April 2, 2021

As this tweet suggests, Page's exit comes as Bridgerton Season 2 shifts its focus to new characters. Each of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books has as its main character a different Bridgerton child, and the second book tells the story of Anthony Bridgerton's (Jonathan Bailey) hunt for a wife.

Though some fans may have expected the Duke to remain as a background character, Basset confirmed to Variety that the role was only intended to be for one season. He said that Bridgerton producers Shondaland told him, "it's a one-season arc. It's going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year."

He added, "I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe. But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing."

Bridgerton, costume design, costume, fashion
Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, The Duke of Hastings, in 'Bridgerton'. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Though Page is moving on to new projects, his on-screen wife will remain for Season 2. This was also confirmed by the tweet from "Lady Whistledown," which continued: "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." Dynevore's continued presence on the show means that the Duke joins Maris Crane from Frasier in the list of the great off-screen spouses.

Though Page may be leaving Bridgerton, the show has ended a whole roster of new roles for its second season. Anthony's search of love revolved around two sisters— Edwina, the woman who Anthony is initially engaged to and the sister Kate who he has romantic sparks with. These Sharma sisters will be played by Alex Rider's Charithra Chandran and Sex Education's Simone Ashley respectively.

Also joining the cast is Terra Nova's Shelley Conn as the Sharma sisters' step-mother Lady Mary, Mrs Wilson's Calam Lynch as printer's assistant Theo Sharpe and Merlin's Rupert Young as a character called Jack who has been invented for the series.

Bridgerton Season 2 is coming soon to Netflix; Season 1 is streaming on Netflix now.