Bridgerton stans, tighten thy corset, ribbon thy hair and gather thy stockings. Piping hot tea just spilled from a delicate porcelain cup about our collective betrothed Simon, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page).

With season two due to drop on Netflix on March 25, fans have been wondering about how the show will explain Simon’s absence.

ICYMI: Page confirmed that he wouldn’t be in season two back in April 2021. The news dried up bloomers across the nation.

“Joining this family – not just on screen, but off screen too,” Regé-Jean Page wrote on Insta at the time.

“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.”

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But Simon’s wifey Daphne, Duchess of Hastings (Phoebe Dynevor) does appear in season two.

Luckily for Simon stans and horny mums across the country, the show’s executive producer Chris Van Dusen has confirmed that the Duke of Hastings is alive and well. Hopefully he’s just been fitting some reinforced steel bars on the library ladders in case of any future shenanigans.

Van Dusen spoke to TVLine about keeping Simon, Duke of Hastings there in spirit.

“We do reference Simon,” he said.

“In the very first scene of season 2, Daphne mentions she left her husband and baby at home.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in terms of Regé being a part of the second season, but he will always be Bridgerton’s Duke. He’s not going anywhere in the world of the show.

“And just because we don’t see him, it doesn’t mean that he’s not there.”

Simon being a stay-at-home DILF? Yes fucking please.

Also a very satisfying character arc given his whole deal in season one. Character growth even when the character is off screen is very pleasing to me.

Plus Simon’s absence won’t affect the plot too much. Each season of Bridgerton is based on one of the OG novels by Julia Quinn.

The first book is The Duke and I. It focuses on Simon, Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton.

But book two The Viscount Who Loved Me is centred on eldest Bridgerton sibling Anthony (Jonathan Bailey).

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He’s on the hunt for a wife (aren’t we all) and is keen on Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) who’s new to the Ton. Alas, her older sister Kate (Simone Ashley) is less than impressed.

More enemies-to-friends-to-possible-lovers shenanigans? Colour me invested.

While there may be no Simon, I get the feeling season two will be just as saucy.