The Duke is gone. Regé-Jean Page, who became a global heartthrob as the dashing Duke of Hastings in Season 1 of Bridgerton, will not be part of Season 2 of Shondaland’s hit Netflix series. In typical Bridgerton fashion, the news was revealed by no other than the show’s intrepid Lady Whistledown. Her announcement on Bridgerton’s Twitter account was accompanied by a note, “Your Grace, it has been a pleasure”. (See it below)
Page responded on Twitter. “Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family – on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans – the love is real and will just keep growing,” he wrote.
Page and Phoebe Dynevor were breakout stars as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton, the couple whose sweeping romance was at the center of Season
For the People alum Page had only been contracted for one season, and the plan was always for him to only do Season 1, based on the first Bridgerton book, The Duke And I, sources said. His character will be referenced going forward though he won’t appear. As a Bridgerton, Dynevor’s Daphne will continue to be a part of the series, Lady Whistledown confirmed. (Each of the eight Bridgerton novels by Julia Quinn centers on one of the Bridgerton siblings.)
The second season of Bridgerton will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as chronicled in the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Anthony’s love interest, Kate Sharma, will be played by Simone Ashley. Production on the new season, whose new cast additions also include newcomer Charithra Chandran as Edwina and Rupert Young as Jack, begins in early April.
“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,” Lady Whistledown wrote. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. 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.”
In addition to global popularity, which put Page in the mix to be the next James Bond and landed him a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, Bridgerton brought the actor awards recognition for his portrayal of Simon. He won an NAACP Image Award last week and is nominated for an individual SAG Award in addition to sharing in the show’s ensemble nomination.
While Simon and Daphne’s love story wrapped up nicely at the end of Season 1, fans had been looking forward to seeing more of the Duke. “I hope so,” Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen said when asked whether Page and Dynevor’s characters will be back as he announced the Season 2 renewal in January. “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.”
Today, Van Dusen bid farewell to Page.
“Writing the Duke of Hastings for this series has been a true privilege and I’ll forever cherish His Grace’s #Bridgerton reign,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to the fans for embracing him and to @regejean for bringing him to life in such beautifully moving and memorable ways. #TheDukeIsForever”
With its vibrant mix of Jane Austen-meets-Gossip Girl and its contemporary storytelling redefining the period drama and romance genres, Bridgerton has captivated audiences around the world to shatter Netflix’s viewership records. It became the streamer’s biggest series ever as 82 million households globally watched the first season (partially or in its entirety) in the first four weeks.
Source: Deadline Hollywood