Calling all Bridgerton fans, we have major casting news. It looks like the Netflix series has officially found its leading lady for season two (sorry, Phoebe Dynevor). 

According to Deadline, Simone Ashley has been cast as the female lead, Kate Sharma, opposite Jonathan Bailey in the regency hit’s second installment. “Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included,” the outlet reported.

It seems like the show is sticking to the timeline of Julia Quinn’s books (which the series is based on). Therefore, season two coincides with Quinn’s second novel, “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” and centers more around Anthony Bridgerton and his quest for love. The character in the Bridgerton book series is named Kate Sheffield, but the television series will have the character be of Indian descent, according to Just Jared. 

This isn’t Ashley’s first rodeo when it comes to Netflix shows. In fact, the 25-year-old actress portrays Olivia Hanan in the streaming service’s hit Sex Education. She’s also made appearances in the limited series The Sister and season three of Broadchurch.

Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long to see Ashley’s portrayal of Kate on the small screen. The second season of Bridgerton is scheduled to begin filming in London this spring—so we’re crossing our fingers for a late 2021 release date. 

Until then, we need more casting news ASAP. 

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