“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,” the show said in a statement, written in the style of the anonymous narrator voiced by Julie Andrews. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”
Page, who played the alluring yet unattainable Simon Basset, became an instant star after the release of the series, winning an NAACP Award for his portrayal. He recently hosted “Saturday Night Live” and will soon star in Netflix’s “The Gray Man” and Paramount’s “Dungeons & Dragons.”
In response to the news, Page posted an image of himself riding a horse on set, calling the experience, “the ride of a lifetime.”
“It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke,” he wrote. “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.”
The statement also revealed the fate of Phoebe Dynevor, who plays the star of the series, Daphne Bridgerton. The actress will reprise her role for Season 2, which will focus on the love life of her eldest brother, Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey.
“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,” Netflix said. “Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.”
Netflixthat the wildly successful show, based on Julia Quinn’s book series set in the extravagant world of Regency-era London, would return for a second season. It became the most-watched series on Netflix, with a record viewership of 82 million households in its first 28 days.
Production is scheduled to begin this spring.