Simone Ashley is Our Kate for Bridgerton Season 2

Like the romance junkies that we are, in between reading more romance novels, rewatching Bridgerton, asking for more romance recommendations, and making silly Bridgerton memes, we are scouring the internet and gossip sheets to get as much information on Bridgerton Season 2 as possible.

Yesterday, we finally got confirmation of the big news that we predicted way back in early January: the Shondaland show was casting a South Asian Kate Sheffield, Anthony’s imminent match in season 2. The rumors and speculations were proven correct: Simone Ashley is leading the pall mall match next season as Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s impediment and inevitable love match, Kate Sharma. 


A Word About Names

That’s right … we said Kate Sharma (not Sheffield). Bridgerton producers have proven themselves committed to diversity and that means diverging from the books in key ways. Once they made this choice for Kate’s character (and Edwina’s, who based on our casting rumors will also be South Asian), there is no doubt that they created a compelling story for her as well.

Sidenote: HOW HOW HOW are they going to find an Edwina who is even more beautiful than Kate? I mean, you have found yourselves in a gorgeous girl ouroboros here, casting directors. 

Some fans are not fans of the change, and yet they can give no reason for wanting Kate to remain a Sheffield. Your bee-embroidered pall mall shirt with Kate Sheffield’s name on it is not reason enough to be a whole ass bigot on Facebook. 

I have one thing to say about Kate’s name, and it ain’t about her last one. Anthony very specifically keeps his distance from his burgeoning feelings (the longing and the animosity) for Kate by referring to her exclusively in the novel as “Miss Sheffield.” The moment in the novel when he first calls her, “Kate,” is revelatory: in his haste to comfort her, he gives himself away. And it’s very hot.  

We will be hearing “Miss Sharma” a lot in Bridgerton Season 2, mostly from the disdainful lips of the Viscount Bridgerton, himself. Through gritted teeth. Mumbled into a tumbler of whisky. Bellowed into a sand bag as he pummels it. Until he finally gets to that one breathless, “Kate.” I AM LIVING FOR THAT “KATE.”

It’s no surprise that the showrunners wanted to honor the choice of writing their Kate of South Asian descent by giving her a traditional Hindu name as well. We will no doubt be hearing it a lot throughout the season, and as Kate suffers no fools, you can bet she will suffer none of y’all’s bigoted bullshit over her last name. Also: there are fans and viewers out there for whom Kate not just being played by a South Asian woman, but also having a Hindu surname means much. We should respect that. I am sick of fans in my fandoms who can only center themselves. Figure out why you lack empathy, and quit it.  

Back to Simone Ashley

In The Viscount Who Loved Me, the book that season 2 of Bridgerton is based on, Kate appears on the scene with her half sister and her stepmother and completely uproots all the Viscount Bridgerton’s plans to court and marry the most perfect girl of the season.  

For many, many Bridgerton fans, Kate and Anthony’s story is the ultimate. And that’s not just because Grumpy Daddy Bridgerton, the capital R RAKE, is such a great hero. It’s because Miss Kate brings that Rake TO HIS KNEES. 

Kate remains in rare form throughout the entire novel. Even while reluctantly falling in love with Anthony, Kate is an absolute force. THIS FACE? All Kate. 


I loved Simone in Sex Education. She’s not only gorgeous, she’s clever and biting and worth her weight in gum popping scenes. She owns her sexuality without reservation, and I can’t wait to see her own Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton. 

Speaking of Kate and Anthony, our Bridgerton Book Club discussion on The Viscount Who Loved Me, is up today on our brand new podcast! Download and listen, and please leave us a review so more folks can find us (since we are new to the podcast space)! 


Catch all of our Bridgerton coverage here!

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