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Bridgerton: Why Doesn't Simon Want Children?

Bridgerton: Let's Unpack Why Simon Is So Reluctant to Have Children

BRIDGERTON, from left: Phoebe Dynevor, Rege-Jean Page, ?Diamond of the First Water', (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Dec. 25, 2020). photo: Liam Daniel / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) most certainly feel hot and bothered for each other on Netflix's Bridgerton, but there's one problem: Simon doesn't want kids. On paper, Simon is perfect for Daphne — the mysterious man she bumps into at the start of the social season is a handsome and well-off duke. They even enjoy each other's company when they're not dying to have one scandalous kiss. However, Simon is adamant about never marrying and having children. Why is this so? Ultimately, he's not half the rake that Daphne suspects him to be. The answer lies in a vow that Simon makes to his father to never sire an heir for the Hastings line.

It turns out that Simon has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. In multiple flashbacks, we learn about his cold and cruel father. Simon's father merely wants an heir for the sake of continuing the family name. Even when Simon's mother dies in childbirth, his father could care less. Simon shapes up under Lady Danbury's tutelage, but his dad bullies him for his stammer and ignores Simon's letters. For most of Simon's life, he pretends that Simon doesn't exist. On his father's deathbed, Simon vows to end the Hastings line, knowing that was all his father ever cared about. By extension, he is reluctant to marry anyone. You can't say that he isn't a man of his word!

Fast-forward to Daphne. He and Daphne cook up a fake relationship To All the Boys I've Loved Before-style. This way, the women back off Simon, and Daphne can get more suitors to pay attention to her. They catch feelings because it is, after all, a rom-com series. When they get caught in a hot make-out session, Simon is adamant about not marrying her, causing her brother Anthony to challenge him to a shooting duel to protect her honour. When Daphne stops the duel, Simon explains that even if he marries her, he can't give her the thing she wants the most: children. Daphne decides to marry him anyway.

Living in 19th-century London with a woefully limited understanding of sex, Daphne is under the impression that Simon has a physical issue that prevents him from conceiving. But clearly, he has everything she needs as a lover. Fervently consummating their marriage, Simon sticks to the pull-out method every time, prompting poor Daphne to ask him, "Does it hurt?" when he, uh, finishes.

Thanks to her servant, Daphne finally learns how babies are made. This creates tension between the duo, and they entertain the idea of separating. Ultimately, Daphne gives birth at the very end of the first season, Simon supporting her by her side. He's so thrilled that he even suggests that they follow the Bridgerton tradition of naming their children in alphabetical order.

Image Source: Everett Collection
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