Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Bridgerton. Regé-Jean Page enthralled Bridgerton viewers as Simon, the moody, romantic suitor to Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne. Their undeniable chemistry — and ample ups and downs — helped Bridgerton become Netflix’s biggest series ever, and also ensured that more Regency drama would be coming to our screens soon. However, Page himself won’t be along for the ride. In an Instagram post on April 2 (ruling out any possibility of this being a cruel joke), the official Bridgerton account, under the alias of Lady Whistledown, wrote that we must “bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings.”
Even though the second season of Bridgerton (based on the best-selling novels by Julia Quinn) was always likely to focus more on Anthony Bridgerton, rather than his now-married sister, the complete absence of Page still comes as a surprise. After all, at the end of Season 1, Simon and Daphne had just welcomed a child and finally seemed to be in a good place — after their turbulent beginning, it would have been sweet to see them simply be happy together. On her arc, the post noted that “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer.” So it looks like there won’t be any heartbreaking split or tragedy to see Simon off. Maybe he’s just busy doing duke things.
Page responded to the post, calling his time on Bridgerton “an absolute pleasure and a privilege.”
“Joining this family — the connection on and off screen, with our cast, our crew, all the incredible fans, has been like nothing I could have ever imagined,” he continued. “The love is real and will just keep growing.”
Shondaland’s official account also commented, saying that “family is forever.” Of course, Page’s absence doesn’t mean any less drama in the episodes ahead. As Nicola Coughlan (who plays Penelope) tweeted, the first season “was just the tip of the Bridgerton iceberg.”
Fans took to Twitter to express their surprise at the heartbreaking news.
As fellow Bridgerton viewer Kim Kardashian commented on the show’s Instagram post, “Wait!!! WHAT????”
Page, who will soon be starring in Netflix’s spy thriller The Gray Man, told Variety that he always understood Simon’s story to be a one-season arc from early talks with Shondaland. “I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe,” he said. “But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”