Matt Smith of ‘The Crown’ says he feels ‘sorry’ for newly-engaged Meghan Markle

By Gemma Strong

Matt Smith may play a royal on television, but he has no interest in being one. He said he feels ‘sorry’ for Meghan Markle, following the news of her engagement to Prince Harry. The 35-year-old actor – who stars as Prince Philip in The Crown – was asked about the royal announcement during an appearance in New York earlier this week, and he admitted that he pities the newly-engaged star because "life as she knows it is gone".

During a talk moderated by Vanity Fair's Mike Hogan at 92nd Street Y, Matt shared, "I feel sorry for her. It's such a huge 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."

TAP TO VIEW THE GALLERYPrince Harry and Meghan MarkleThe Crown's Matt Smith has said he feels 'sorry' for Meghan Markle

Matt's The Crown co-star Claire Foy also shared her thoughts on the news of Harry and Meghan's engagement, and said it marked a significant step forward for the royal family. "You realise 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. "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thrive, because it's willing to change and listen to the people and realise that some elements of the institution are outdated and unnecessary." Of former Suits star Meghan, she added: "And she's an actress. So there's hope for us all."

Matt Smith and Claire Foy on the set of The CrownMatt stars as Prince Philip in the Netflix drama, alongside Claire Foy

Olivia Colman is set to take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II for the third and fourth seasons of The Crown. Speaking exclusively to HELLO Online at the world premiere of series two in London last month, Claire said she was "delighted" to be handing over the reins to such an acclaimed actress. "She's a genius, a wonderful human being. I can't offer anything to her, just admiration," Claire said of Olivia. When asked if she had any pearls of wisdom for her successor, she replied: "Absolutely not, she needs no tips from me."

STORY: The Crown series 2: New trailer sees the Queen and Prince Philip face marital trouble

The Crown tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, as the fragile social order established after the Second World War breaks apart. Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty's Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, following a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s. The Crown will return to Netflix on 8 December.

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