Is the duke leaving Bridgerton?

Regé-Jean Page portrayed the dashing duke on Bridgerton’s first season, however, he will not feature in season two, as he was only contracted for one season.

Shondaland and Netflix announced in April 2021 that Regé-Jean Page’s character, Simon Basset, will not appear on Bridgerton’s upcoming second season. The news was revealed through a notice from Lady Whistledown.

The notice stated, “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.”

Adding, “We will 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.”

However, the news of the duke’s departure did not come as a surprise to the fans of the Julia Quinn novels, on which the series is based, as the character’s storyline largely plays out in the first book, The Duke and I.

The news also did not come as a shock to Regé-Jean, as he was always aware that his character was part of a one-season arc.

In an exclusive interview with Variety, the actor stated, “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”

Regé-Jean further explained that he enjoys the idea that Bridgerton is essentially an anthology with each book, and that each season is dedicated to a different sibling’s love story.

The duke’s on-screen storyline wraps up with Simon and Daphne solidifying their love story with the birth of their first child, a son. Off-screen, Page’s time has concluded similarly, as the actor was only contracted for one season of the show.

In addition, Page stated, “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.”

As noted in Lady Whistledown’s post, the second season will focus on the eldest of the Bridgerton clan, Anthony, and his quest for love.

The upcoming season is based on the second book in Quinn’s series, titled The Viscount Who Loved Me, with the new episodes introducing the fan-favourite character, Kate Sharma.

Daphne will also return for the new season, while Simon will live on in the Bridgerton world as Daphne’s husband, however, the character will not appear on screen.