Sex Education's Simone Ashley is about to steal the show as Kate in Bridgerton

Fans have been talking about a season 2 character but who is Kate in Bridgerton?

Who is Kate in Bridgerton? Simone Ashley in Sex Education on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Dearest readers, who is Kate in Bridgerton? If you're deep in the world of Ton stans on Twitter, then you'll have noticed the name pop up regularly in talks about the second season of Bridgerton. But who exactly is this new character—who'll be played by Sex Education's Simone Ashley—and why does everyone love her so much? 

Earlier this year, we got the devastating news that Regé-Jean Page, who plays the dreamy Duke of Hastings, will not be returning for the second season and naturally, our hearts were shattered. However, despite what it feels like now, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to look forward to when we do eventually get the follow-up season—the main being some fresh new faces to get to know. 

Ever since Netflix delivered that special note from Lady Whistledown, detailing that the plot of the second season would focus on Anthony Bridgerton's quest for a wife, we've been keen to know who was in the running to steal the eldest Bridgerton's heart, or whether he would marry for love at all, even after vowing to “remove love from the equation," at the end of the first season. Well, it looks like a certain Kate may be our answer to that... 

Simone Ashley, Ncuti Gatwa and Kedar Williams-Stirling attends the House of Holland AW19 LFW after party, celebrating the 2019 House of Holland x Vype collaboration for the Vype ePen 3 at The Court on February 16, 2019 in London, England

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Vype)

Who will be playing Kate in Bridgerton? 

Netflix announced that it has cast Sex Education star Simone Ashley to play Kate Sharma Sheffield in season two. Simone will play the female lead alongside Jonathan Bailey, who will reprise his role as Anthony Bridgerton. 

Julia Quinn was over the moon with the casting of Kate, taking to Instagram shortly after the news was announced to express her excitement: “WE HAVE OUR KATE!!!!! Welcome to #Bridgerton, @simoneasshley! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate,” Quinn wrote in a post. “I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!” 

First look at Simone Ashley as Kate in Bridgerton

During its first-ever fan event, Tudum, Netflix released the first look at Simone Ashley as Kate and boy, are we excited for the new season! Kate seems just like what Anthony needed to be put in his place...

Who is Kate in Bridgerton? 

In the sequel to Quinn's first book, which is titled The Viscount Who Loves Me, a woman named Kate Sharma Sheffield is the main character. We are introduced to her as Anthony Bridgerton is set to marry her little sister but she's totally opposed to the idea as she deems him unworthy, which frankly, we understand. He did say he'd marry practically anyone as his 'duty'. 

Netflix has described Kate's character as a “smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included”.

However, in a classic enemies-to-lovers story, Kate and Anthony end up falling for one another which means he could end up marrying for love after all. But as we know, TV adaptations don't always follow the exact plot of the books so anything could happen. However, this definitely sounds like a new fictional relationship we can obsess over, especially as Daphne and Simon will no longer be taking center stage. Plus, Kate already seems to have a strong fan base, with fans expressing their excitement for her to be introduced on the show ever since the second season was confirmed. 

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What about Siena Rosso?

In the first season, we saw Anthony having an affair with opera singer Siena Rosso (played by Sabrina Bartlett). The two were in love but couldn't be together due to their contrasting social statuses. They reluctantly parted ways for good at the end of the season, leaving Anthony heartbroken, hence his vow not to marry for love. So will Siena be making a return in the second season? 

According to the books, the affair is only ever mentioned in passing meaning Siena never returns. But creator Chris Van Dusen did tell Entertainment Weekly before season two was announced: "If we’re going to tell Anthony’s story in a later season, I always found it interesting to figure out what would have happened to Anthony before he came in the book. Exploring his background and giving him real texture and backstory.”

When asked about Siena returning, he said it was "too early to say" at the time. So, you never know! 

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.