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Why 'The Crown' star Matt Smith feels sorry for Meghan Markle

Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip on the Netflix series, expressed sympathy over the sacrifices Markle will be making to marry into the royal family.
/ Source: TODAY

He may not be a real royal, but he plays one on TV — which is why Matt Smith has some perspective about the sacrifices Meghan Markle will be making now that she’s engaged to Prince Harry.

“I feel sorry for her,” said Smith, who plays Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, on the Netflix series, “The Crown.”

“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,” said Smith, 35, during a talk this week at New York's 92nd Street Y.

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Markle, whose engagement was announced last week, recently ended her seven-year run on the USA series, “Suits,” and revealed she will retire from acting to focus on royal duties.

In "The Crown," Prince Philip struggles with the same transition Markle is only now starting to experience as he adjusts to living in the shadow of the monarch.

However, Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth on the series, offered up a more cheerful perspective about Markle’s fate.

"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," she said, referring to Markle’s status as a divorcée.

"And they really have. This would not have been conceivable, this would not have happened 50 years ago," she said. "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thrive, because it’s willing to change and listen to the people and realize that some elements of the institution are outdated and unnecessary.”