Meghan Markle should have been 'protected' by Royal Family, says Anne Boleyn actress

·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: Jodie Tuner-Smith: The royal family missed chance to modernise with Meghan

Meghan Markle should have been protected by the Royal Family when she married Prince Harry, Jodie Turner-Smith has said.

The actor, who is the first black woman to play Anne Boleyn in a TV drama, said the royal couple's marriage could have been better supported by the wider Royal Family.

She told Good Morning Britain: "There’s a lot of resistance to new things that can push that institution forward in a way that more represents the world today.

"I think they could have looked at this marriage and that relationship as a way to evolve.

"They could have embraced it and embraced her fully, and protected her.

"And protected their son in a way that made him feel like he didn’t need to leave." 

Harry and Meghan married in May 2018 but by January 2020, they had decided they wanted to step back from their roles as senior royals, opting instead to make their own money and run a foundation.

In recent months they have given explosive interviews which have revealed the depth of their frustration inside the palace, with Meghan claiming she got no help when she had suicidal thoughts and Harry saying the Royal Family neglected them.

The Queen previously said the issues they raised, in a March interview with Oprah Winfrey, were concerning and would be dealt with privately. 

Meghan referred to 'The Firm' as she sat down to talk to Oprah about life in the royal family. (CBS)
Meghan and Harry's interviews in the US have not helped their UK popularity levels. (CBS)

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge is a 'peacemaker' says her uncle

No official comments have been made in the wake of the later remarks, which were made during a five-part series on mental health which Harry produced with Winfrey.

Turner-Smith, 34, also said the Royal Family missed an opportunity with the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a previous interview with the Telegraph.

Asked if Meghan could have been the moderniser, she said: "I think that Meghan could have been that.

"It was a terrible missed opportunity, the way in which it was not allowed to be something that really modernises that institution, and to change it to something for the better. I think that’s why there’s dysfunction there."

The Channel 5 series, with Turner-Smith in the starring role, was written by Eve Hedderwick Turner, and directed by Lynsey Miller as a psychological thriller.

Jodie Turner-Smith during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jodie Turner-Smith is playing Anne Boleyn in a Channel 5 telling of the story. (Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

On the role and the show, Turner-Smith said: "The biggest thing that jumped out to me was how this was a story about mothers.

"[It’s about] Anne as a mother and how she was trying to manipulate her circumstances in order to protect her children, how her ability to provide an heir affected her own life and viability as a Queen, and how she manipulated her rivals’ children in order to get what she needed."

She said "it was brilliant that it was a multi-racial cast" in Anne Boleyn.

Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII and Queen from 1533-1536. She was beheaded for treason. 

Channel 5's three-part Anne Boleyn continues Wednesday night at 9pm.

Watch: Oprah gives her take on Prince Harry's relationship with his family