Rege-Jean Page bids ‘Bridgerton’ fans adieu after his shocking departure announced

Christi Carras
Los Angeles Times

Bring back April Fools’ Day.

“Bridgerton” gossip columnist Lady Whistledown announced Friday that season one heartthrob Rege-Jean Page will not reprise his role as Duke Simon Basset of Hastings for the second season of Netflix’s hit period drama. Sadly, this does not appear to be a belated April Fools’ prank.

“Dearest readers,” wrote Whistledown in a statement shared to the “Bridgerton” Twitter account. “While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton‘s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Rege-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings.

“We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne Bridgerton 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.”

Not long after, Page bid “Bridgerton” fans farewell with 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,” he wrote Friday.

Regé-Jean Page in "Bridgerton."

Page quickly emerged as the breakout star of the Shonda Rhimes series’ freshman season upon its splashy streaming debut in December. He portrayed the smoldering, rakish love interest to Phoebe Dynevor‘s belle of the ball, Daphne – a fan-favorite character he later reprised while hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

The upcoming sophomore season of “Bridgerton” will focus on Jonathan Bailey’s reformed rake of a bachelor, Anthony (and his signature sideburns), on his quest for marriage.