The Real Reason Rege-Jean Page Will Not Be A Part Of Bridgerton Moving Forward

Rege-Jean Page will no longer be on Bridgerton. The actor, who rose to fame on season 1 of the hit Netflix series, will not be returning for season 2, and is not expected to reprise his role as the Duke of Hastings at any point in the future. The official announcement was made in typical Bridgerton fashion, with a note from the elusive Lady Whistledown. "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. We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family," the letter posted on the official Bridgerton Twitter account on April 2, 2021, read in part.

The news came as quite a shock to Bridgerton fans who simply fell in love with Page's character — and his on-screen love story and chemistry with Phoebe Dynevor, who portrayed his love interest, Daphne Bridgerton. In fact, fans were actually led to believe that Page would be back to reprise his role in season 2 — and beyond — after Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen told Deadline that he hoped that Page and Dynevor would both return for another season. The interview, which ran in January 2021, simply delighted fans. So, why isn't Page going to be a part of the show moving forward? Read on to find out the truth.

Rege-Jean Page's character was only under contract for one season

Rege-Jean Page was only slated to appear in one season of Bridgerton, according to Deadline. Evidently, this was the plan all along, as casting reportedly made the decision using the first Bridgerton book, The Duke And I, as its basis. "His character will be referenced going forward though he won't appear," Deadline reports. In an interview with Variety, Page explained that the idea of a limited appearance was appealing. "It's a one-season arc. It's going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year," he told the outlet, adding "[I thought] 'That's interesting,' because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on."

Meanwhile, Lady Whistledown's tweet confirmed that actor Phoebe Dynevor will return as Daphne Bridgerton for season 2. "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," Whistledown wrote in her letter. And while he will be missed, Page seems to have already moved on from his Bridgerton role, according to his IMDb page. He's currently filming Netflix's The Gray Man alongside Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, and he has been cast in the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons, which is set to be released in 2022.

Regé-Jean Page called the role 'a ride of a lifetime'

The Duke of Hastings will always have a place in actor Regé-Jean Page's heart! The breakout star of Bridgerton confirmed his departure from the series with a heartfelt Instagram post. "The ride of a life time," Page captioned a photo of himself in costume atop a horse. "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." The post garnered 1.2 million "likes" in just a few hours. 

Although many of Page's co-stars have thus far stayed mum over the announcement, rest assured he's beloved by the project's cast and crew. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes previously gushed about working with the British actor, writing in a tribute for the 2021 TIME100 Next List,  "In reality, Regé-Jean Page is finer than fiction and better than any dream. "He is that rare actor, one who brings an intensity, an intelligence and a precision to his work, providing endless depth to any scenes...Today, he may be our duke. By tomorrow... not even I can dream big enough to imagine." 

Seems like Rhimes knew Page had some career surprises in store! Yet Bridgerton fans are still reeling from the news that Page won't be back for a second season. 

Celebs react to Regé-Jean Page's departure

Regé-Jean Page won over millions of fans in just a single season. From his smoldering love scenes onscreen to rumors of his real-life romance, Page has plenty of swooning adorers. Yet now those same fans are demanding answers — and some A-listers. As reported by Entertainment TonightKim Kardashian commented "Wait!!! WHAT???" on the official Bridgerton Instagram post. Model Stephanie Sheperd Suganami similarly wrote, "You guys know he's the reason we watch, right?" 

Yet other viewers pointed out the series is adapted from a book series, and the second novel doesn't prominently feature the Duke and Duchess of Hastings. "So sad that Regé-Jean Page will not be in season 2 of Bridgerton but they are going by the books and it wasn't meant to only follow Simon and Daphne," someone tweeted. "He isn't the main character in the rest of the books, he would have been in about two scenes. I;m not sure what y'all were expecting?" another fan agreed.

For those itching to see more of the Duke, at least we still have Season 1. As Shonda Rhimes tweeted, "The Duke is never gone. He's just waiting to be binge watched all over again." Excuse us while we queue up Netflix!