Meet Bridgerton's new diamond of season two, Simone Ashley

You may recognize her from another Netflix hit

BRIDGERTON (L to R) PHOEBE DYNEVOR as DAPHNE BRIDGERTON and RUTH GEMMELL as LADY VIOLET BRIDGERTON in episode 101 of BRIDGERTON
(Image credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

While our hearts may have shattered over the news of Regé-Jean Page's departure from the hit period drama Bridgerton, a new diamond of the season has been announced.

Simone Ashley will officially play our next leading lady, Kate Sharma, in Bridgerton's second season. Lady Whistledown didn't spill the tea about this casting decision though – this time, the author of the series, Julia Quinn, took to Instagram to announce the casting decision.

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In her caption, she praised the choice and shared her excitement over the news.

"WE HAVE OUR KATE!!!!! Welcome to #Bridgerton@simoneasshley! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate. I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!"

Simone is no stranger to hit Netflix shows and you may even recognize her from another popular series by the streaming service: Sex Education. In it, she plays popular mean girl Olivia Hanan, who is also known as one of the high school's "Untouchables." 

Production for the third season of Sex Education was put on pause due to COVID-19, which opened up her schedule to take on the role of Kate.

What can we expect from Bridgerton's season two?

The second season will shift its focus to the Bridgertons' eldest sibling Anthony and his begrudging quest to find a wife. Though our precious Duke will not be present, the Viscount won't be alone in his search. His pursuit of marriage will likely be a family affair, with Anthony receiving plenty of assistance from his siblings (including last season's diamond Daphne).

When we last left Anthony, he was heartbroken over the official end of his forbidden romance with the opera singer Siena Rosso (played by Rowan Pierce). Romance may have fizzled out for Anthony in the first season, but we can expect romance to be the main plot for him going forward.

Based on the second book in the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me, the next season will introduce Kate, an independent woman who will bring a new take to society's events and parties. While she may catch the Viscount's attention, she won't make winning her over easy on him.

Rylee Johnston
Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a digital news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers everything from beauty and fashion trends to celebrity and entertainment news.