Women who dream about becoming a princess and marrying their prince, are most likely jealous of Prince Harry’s fiancée and soon-to-be bride, Meghan Markle. But Matt Smith, the British actor who plays Prince Phillip on Netflix’s “The Crown,” is one person who is happy that he is not in Markle’s shoes.
As the new season of “The Crown” gets ready to premiere on Netflix, Smith, who has played Queen Elizabeth’s husband for two seasons, now has a much better understanding of what it is like to be a royal and the role Markle is about to take on.
“I feel sorry for her,” Smith said during a "Crown" cast conversation at the 92nd Street Y in New York City Monday night. “It’s such a transition in her life, and it’s such a huge thing to take on. Life as she knows it is gone. But hey, she’s marrying the prince of Britain — how exciting for her.”
In the Netflix series, “The Crown” shows Prince Phillip’s struggle to transition into the royal family, the demands that come with the royal title, and living a new life in the shadow of Queen Elizabeth II, played by Claire Foy. Markle, who has faced controversy for being American, a divorcee and bi-racial, is now about to face similar royal obstacles that Phillip once faced with the only difference being that Markle won’t have the added pressures of being in the constant shadow of a King or Queen.
But unlike Smith, Foy had a different, more optimistic outlook on royal life.
“You realize the fact that Elizabeth forbade her sister from marrying a divorced man; it goes to show how time has changed and how they’ve had to evolve,” said Foy. “And they really have. This would not have been conceivable, this would not have happened 50 years ago. And I think that’s why the monarchy will survive and thrive, because it’s willing to change and listen to the people and realize that some elements of the institution are outdated and unnecessary.”
Though several parts of the institution have changed since Phillip and Elizabeth’s time, it’s safe to say that Markle won’t be able to fully escape publicly scrutiny now that she gone from an actress to royalty.
"The Crown" returns to Netflix this Friday.