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Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page will not be returning for the second series of hit Netflix show Bridgerton.

The hit drama took to its official Instagram to announce that the actor, 31, who played Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, will not be returning for the much-anticipated series two.

Regé, who is set to star in action-thriller The Gray Man, also announced the news on his Instagram alongside a snap of him as the Duke of Hastings.

In an emotional statement, he penned: “The ride of a life time.”

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“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 Netflix series shared the news of Regé-Jean’s departure to Instagram with a letter penned by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, captioned: “Your Grace, it has been a pleasure.”

The note continued: “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.

“We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.

“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. Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.”

Meanwhile the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes tweeted: “Remember: The Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to binge watched all over again.”

The official Netflix account also re-shared the letter posted by Bridgerton, captioned: “You’ll always be our Simon, Regé.”

And fans of the show also shared their heartbreak at not seeing Rége return to their screens.

Kim Kardashian commented on the Bridgerton Instagram post: “Wait!!! WHAT????”

Another fan penned: “Your Grace, this is not what I had in mind.”

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A third added: “Noooooooooooooooooo, we wanted to see simon as a father!!!?!?!”

The second series of the hit show will focus on Anthony Bridgerton, who is played by Jonathan Bailey, and we’ll see his search for a wife through Regency London.

The books, by Julia Quinn, provide huge scope for season upon season as there’s still so much to explore.

It comes after the season two announcement was made in a very Bridgerton-esque manner in January.

The exciting news was shared by the show’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, reading: “Dearest readers, the ton are abuzz with the latest gossip, and so it is my honour to impart to you: Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season.

“I do hope you have stored a bottle of ratafia for this most delightful occasion.”

The exciting announcement went on to state that the cast will return to production in the Spring of 2021, adding: “Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season.”

However, the “particulars” are yet to be announced, the message, which was signed off by Lady Whistledown, went on to state.

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