Jodie Turner-Smith says not allowing Meghan Markle to modernise the monarchy was a ‘missed opportunity’ for royal family

Actor said she didn’t think the royal family were changing ‘quickly enough’

Isobel Lewis
Monday 17 May 2021 13:17
First look at Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn

Jodie Turner-Smith has said that the royal family missed an opportunity to be modernised by Meghan Markle.

The actor, who will star as Anne Boleyn in a forthcoming Channel 5 series, revealed in a new interview that she isn’t a monarchist and didn’t feel the royal family was changing “quickly enough”.

Asked whether Markle, who stepped down from working as a senior royal in early 2020, could have been the one to modernise the monarchy, Turner-Smith told The Telegraph: “I think that Meghan could have been that.”

She continued: “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.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the actor said that the monarchy should be viewed from a “modern context”.

“Only then we will recognise that certain things are archaic, and don’t really serve us as a community and are limiting us,” she said. “I think we should keep those things in stories and move on to something else in reality.”

Turner-Smith will play Henry VIII’s second wife in the three-part psychological drama Anne Boleyn, which explores the final months of her life from a feminist perspective.

It will air later this year and contains a cast including Paapa Essiedu, Mark Stanley, Amanda Burton, Thalissa Teixeira, Barry Ward, Jamael Westman, and Lola Petticrew.

Turner-Smith recently commented on the racist reaction to the news that Boleyn would be played by a Black woman, suggesting the fact she was playing someone who existed in history “makes people feel uncomfortable and upset”.

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