Fans hoping to see the Duke of Hastings back in action in Bridgerton season 2 we have some bad news for you: Rege-Jean Page does not return as the Duke in season 2.
Despite reports ahead of the season’s release that Page had opted not to return for season 2, there had been an overwhelming hope among audiences that the Duke would make an appearance — even if in a brief cameo. Unfortunately, there was no surprise appearance of any kind with only brief references of the character across the season in subtle moments.
Considering the size of the role Page’s character had in season 1, it’s understandable for there to be confusion among audiences regarding why the show’s breakout actor chose to leave the show. After all, it’s not every day you see a lead actor walk away from a show after just one season — especially when their work in said season netted them a slew of critical acclaim.
So why exactly did Rege-Jean Page choose to leave Bridgerton?
Why did Rege-Jean Page leave Bridgerton after season 1?
Following the success of Bridgerton‘s first season and the breakout role he had as the Duke of Hastings, Rege-Jean Page’s exit from Bridgerton took many by surprise. While his sudden exit was shocking to fans, the truth is that Page only ever signed on to appear in one season of the show.
When word first broke that Page would not return for season 2, it was revealed that the actor had initially only signed a one-year deal with the show. As he revealed in an interview with Variety, this was part of what drew him to the role in allowing him to come in, tell a complete story and then step away.
"“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” Page revealed. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”"
While Netflix attempted to get Page back for season 2, he ultimately choose to leave the series in seeing the value in completing the story he signed on to tell.
"“I have nothing but excitement for ‘Bridgerton’ continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe,” Page confessed. “But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”"