Back in December, when Shondaland and Netflix premiered “Bridgerton” — a scripted series based on Julia Quinn’s novels about the competitive world of Regency era London — Regé-Jean Page quickly became a breakout star. Unfortunately, after eight episodes of entertaining fans with his storyline, acting chops and good looks, the actor’s time on the show has come to an end.
On Friday (April 2), fans learned the news of Page’s departure from the series after a letter penned by character Lady Whistledown was shared on the show’s social media accounts.
“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,” the note read.
“We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the ‘Bridgerton’ family.”
On Twitter, Page retweeted the post, expressing his gratitude for having been a part of the Shondaland series. “Pleasure and a privilege!” he wrote. “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.”
On Instagram, he penned the caption, “The ride of a life time. 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.”
Supporters of Page and “Bridgerton” immediately flooded social media with mixed reactions. Many were disappointed to learn Page was not returning for season two.
“What is the point in making a 2nd series of ‘Bridgerton’ if Regé-Jean Page isn’t going to be in it??... like really what is the point???” read one tweet.
Another mourning fan wrote, “There better be a real good reason for Regé-Jean not coming back to ‘Bridgerton!’ This news really ruined my morning!”
One Twitter user even believed the news was an April Fools’ joke. “I thought the news about Regè- Jean Page not returning for ‘Bridgerton’ season two was an April Fools’ joke,” she tweeted. “Then I realized today is April 2nd.”
Despite the popularity of Page’s character, however, the news didn’t come as a surprise to the actor. During a recent interview with Variety, he explained that he was actually drawn to the show because of its short-term commitment.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” Page said. “[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.”
Fans familiar with Quinn’s novels also knew Page wouldn’t appear in the show’s second season.
“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,” one user wrote. Another person added, “He isn’t the main character in the rest of the books, he would have been in about 2 scenes. I’m not sure what y’all were expecting?”
Shonda Rhimes even chimed in, attempting to comfort Page fans. “Remember: the Duke is never gone,” she penned in a tweet. “He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.”
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 ❤️ https://t.co/YBk4RvKNpx— Regé-Jean Page (@regejean) April 2, 2021
goodbye to rege-jean page who will no longer be appearing in bridgerton, we (mostly me) will miss you pic.twitter.com/1YTTy4lHI3— agapé, like the love (@agapethamar) April 2, 2021
There better be a real good reason for Regé-Jean not coming back to Bridgerton! This news really ruined my morning!— Kalen Allen (@TheKalenAllen) April 2, 2021
I thought the news about Regè- Jean Page not returning for Bridgerton season two was an April fools joke. Then I realized today is April 2nd— Danielle (@danielleashh) April 2, 2021
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. Absolutely loved him as Simon, but I’m so ready for Anthony! Book 2 is my favorite #Bridgerton— ⁵⁺Kat⁷ K IS DEBUTING! ♡̆̈ ✨ (@Mintyoon9i) April 2, 2021
.....he isn't the main character in the rest of the books, he would have been in about 2 scenes. I'm not sure what y'all were expecting?— Amber #wearamask (@reallyreally_) April 2, 2021