Grab the smelling salts and pass the linen handkerchief – we must offer our hand for Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings to wish us good day …and farewell
Thirst traps giveth and thirst traps taketh away. Like a parent telling a teenager to go to their room RIGHT NOW, Netflix and Shondaland announced that star Regé-Jean Page’s character will not appear on the show’s forthcoming second season, unveiling the information through a cruel note from Lady Whistledown.
“Dear 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,” the message began.
“We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family,” it continued. “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.”
It seems we barely had time to fasten our corsets, and then he was gone. Life is cruel and beauty is fleeting. But we’ll always have our watchlist.
Twitter users fluttered their fans in frustration at the news. “So you’re telling me that we won’t be able to see Simon struggle as a father? how Simon takes care of his children? how they are as a married couple? then I bid farewell too,” one person wrote.
Another user referenced the charm and stunning good looks of Page in a tweet.
Readers of Julia Quinn books on which the series is based, won’t be too surprised, as the duke’s plot pretty much ends in the first book, The Duke and I. And the news absolutely did not come as a jolt to the star.
One Twitter user seemed to understand the writing was on the wall.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” Page told Variety. “[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.”
The British-Zimbabwean star told the outlet that he loved the idea of Bridgerton as an anthology, with each book (or season) focused on a different sibling’s love story.
Some people aren’t so sure.
Our dashing duke would like for viewers to give it a chance, it seems. “One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes,” he explains. “They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby.”
On social media, Page called his experience on the series, “The ride of a life time.” He writes in a farewell post, “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.”
Shondaland boss Shonda Rhimes posted a tribute to the actor on social media after news broke of the duke’s departure.
“Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge-watched all over again,” Rhimes wrote in her caption, adding the hashtag #ShondalandMenOnNetflixAreForever