Sorry “Bridgerton” fans, but Season 2 won’t be including the Duke of Hastings.
The Shonda Rhimes-produced series, which follows an upper-class family in 1813 London society, announced Friday in a statement that Regé-Jean Page, who plays royal Simon Basset, won’t be returning to the hit show.
“Dearest 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,” read the statement, written in the form of a letter by the show’s narrator Lady Whistledown. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.”
Even without the charming duke, however, his wife Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) “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 statement added.
Review:Netflix’s magnificent ‘Bridgerton’ glitters with period drama glory
Page confirmed his departure on Twitter, calling it a “pleasure and a privilege” working on the show, and Netflix confirmed the statement.
“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 actor tweeted.
USA TODAY reached out to Page’s reps for comment.
Rhimes took to Instagram to add that “the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.”
Can’t wait for ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2?:We look to Julia Quinn books for possible spoilers
“Bridgerton,” based on the first of eight novels by Julia Quinn, was renewed for a second season in late January after becoming an instant hit following its Christmas Day debut.
Following along with Quinn’s novels, which focus on the eight Bridgerton children, the second season will focus entirely on Anthony’s quest for love. Her second book is called “The Viscount Who Loved Me.”
In the novel, Anthony, a playboy – or “rake,” as Lady Whistledown calls him – has finally decided to settle down and sets his sights on the sister of Kate Sheffield, who at first shuts down their courtship and then predictably falls for him herself.
‘Bridgerton’:Show reveals Lord Anthony’s Season 2 love interest
In February, Shonda Rhimes’s production company, Shondaland, announced on Instagram that actress Simone Ashley had been cast in the highly-anticipated second season of the hit Netflix romance as Miss Kate Sharma, the love interest of the eldest Bridgerton son, Anthony (played by Jonathan Bailey).
“Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included,” Shondaland described on Instagram.
Contributing: Cydney Henderson, Julia Thompson, Erin Jensen