Why is Regé-Jean Page leaving Bridgerton? Duke of Hastings won’t reprise role in season 2 - who will return?

The Bridgerton show is based on a series of books written by Julia Quinn

Bridgerton was a huge success when it hit first hit Netflix on Christmas Day last year, with fans of the TV series - set in Regency-era London - eagerly waiting for season two.

However, Regé-Jean Page - who won viewers' hearts for his portrayal of Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings - has announced he won’t be returning to his role in the next series of the show.

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But why is Regé-Jean Page leaving Bridgerton and what will be the focus of the second series?

Regé-Jean Page - who won viewers' hearts for his portrayal of Simon, the Duke of Hastings - has announced he won’t be returning to his role in the next series of the show (Photo by Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Regé-Jean Page leaving Bridgerton?

Brigerton’s official Twitter page tweeted a letter penned by Lady Whistledown - one of the show's characters - revealing that Page’s character of the Duke will not be returning in season two.

The letter said: “Dearest readers, while all eyes turned to 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 on screen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”

Page also posted on his Twitter page saying, “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.”

The Bridgerton show is based on a series of books written by Julia Quinn, with each book focusing on a different member of the Bridgerton family.

The first book, named the Duke and I, was portrayed in the first series of Bridgerton, and focused on Daphne Bridgerton - played by Phoebe Dynevor - and her relationship with Page’s character of the Duke of Hastings.

However, the second series, based on the ‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’ book, will instead focus on Jonathan Bailey’s character of Anthony Bridgerton - the oldest member of the Bridgerton clan - in his pursuit of marriage.

Fans took to Twitter to express their emotion in response to the news that the Duke of Hastings will not be appearing in the second season of the show.

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Who will be in season 2 of Bridgerton?

Although the letter revealed that Page won’t be returning to his role of the Duke in the second series of the show, it said that the Duke’s wife, Daphne Bridgerton, will be making a return.

The letter said: “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.”

The letter then signed off with “Yours Truly, Lady Whisteldown.”

Derry Girls’ Nicola Nicola Coughlan will also be returning in her role of Penelope Featerington and Sex Education’s Simone Ashley will join the cast in the role of Anthony’s love interest, Kate Sharma, with Charithra Chandran taking up the role of Kate’s little sister, Edwina.

Luke Newton will also return as Colin Bridgerton, alongside Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton and Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton.

Season two of Bridgerton is expected to air on Netflix in 2022.