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Image / Living / Culture

Meet the new leading lady for the second season of ‘Bridgerton’


By Lauren Heskin
25th Mar 2021

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Meet the new leading lady for the second season of ‘Bridgerton’

You might recognise Anthony Bridgerton's new love interest Simone Ashley as Olivia from 'Sex Education'.

With the Duke and Duchess of Hastings very much in love and ensconced with their new bundle of joy, the second season of Bridgerton and the nib of Lady Whistledown’s pen will be focused on the love life of Daphne’s eldest brother and heir apparent to the Bridgerton fortune, Anthony.

Played by the very dashing Jonathan Bailey, the new season (which has just begun filming) will follow Anthony as he swears off love entirely after the demise of his romance with opera singer Siena Rosso, only to find himself betrothed to the young Edwina.

Meet Anthony’s new love interest… sort of

And now, we have season two leading lady, with Simone Ashley cast to play Kate Sharma. According to Julia Quinn’s books, Ashley will not play Edwina, but her headstrong sister Kate, whose take-no-prisoners attitude sees straight through Anthony’s simpering. Mistrusting his intentions, she is determined to ensure he either make a good husband to her sister or not at all. 

Many of you might recognise Ashley from her other Netflix hit, Sex Education, in which she played Olivia, one of the Untouchables. She also starred in ITV’s hit The Sister alongside Years & Years star Russell Tovey, which aired in the autumn last year.

Intentional casting

Ashley’s character in the book was originally called Kate Sheffield, but in line with Shonda Rhime’s inclusive casting (they dislike the term “colourblind casting” as the diversity was an explicit choice), a number of the roles have been reimagined to fit Bridgerton’s multi-racial high society in 1880s Regency London.

It looks like the filming for season 2 is already underway, as fans were sent into a frenzy at a photograph of Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, in the airport last week, sporting freshly strawberry blonde hair and a very unique fringe. However, many are estimating we won’t see the new season until Christmas 2020 at the absolute earliest and more likely in 2022 so this dribble of casting news will have to suffice until then.