News, Culture & Society

Jodie Turner-Smith says Meghan Markle ‘could have modernised the royal family’

Jodie Turner-Smith has revealed she feels Meghan Markle ‘could have modernised the royal family’ and said the monarchy is ‘limiting’ and ‘archaic’.

The British actress, 34, who is the first black woman to take on the role of Anne Boleyn in the new Channel 5 series, said she is not a ‘monarchist’ in a new interview. 

Speaking about Meghan in an interview published in The Telegraph, Jodie said: ‘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.’ 

Meanwhile the actress also revealed she ‘understood’ the choice to cast her as Henry VIII’s wife was ‘polarising’, saying: ‘It was an opportunity for me to bring my individual identity to this and distil it down to a human story, as opposed to a story that’s about whiteness or class 

Jodie Turner-Smith, 34, who is set to play Anne Boleyn in a new drama series coming out this month, has revealed she feels Meghan Markle ‘could have modernised the royal family’

Speaking about the monarchy, she said: ‘We have to look at things in a modern context. And only then we will recognise that certain things are archaic, and don’t really serve us as a community and are limiting us. 

‘I think we should keep those things in stories and move on to something else in reality.’

Meanwhile she said the backlash she received when it was announced that she would the first actress of colour to play the character of King Henry VIII’s second wife, was ‘to be expected’ because people are ‘attached’ to the way Anne Boleyn looks in their imagination.

The mother-of-one revealed that she thinks Anne was ‘deeply feminist’ and ‘ahead of her time’ as she argued for women to have a voice in relation to politics and religion.

Jodie said it was a 'terrible missed opportunity' that the Duchess of Sussex didn't change the institution for the better

Jodie said it was a ‘terrible missed opportunity’ that the Duchess of Sussex didn’t change the institution for the better

Backlash: Jodie said the reaction she received to the news she would play Anne Boleyn was 'to be expected' as people are 'attached' to the way King Henry VIII's second wife looks in their imagination

Tense: Jodie is the latest actress to take on the role of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn (pictured)

Backlash: Jodie said the reaction she received to the news she would play Anne Boleyn was ‘to be expected’ because people are ‘attached’ to the way King Henry VIII’s second wife looks in their imagination

In the official full-length trailer for the Channel 5 series released on Friday, Jodie is seen trying and prove her innocence after being accused of high treason but ultimately prepare to be beheaded.

The intense clip opens with Thomas Cromwell, played by Barry Ward, informing Anne she is being charged with treason, to which she immediately pleads not guilty. 

It then shows her in childbirth, desperately asking if her child was ‘a boy’ before she is seen arguing with King Henry VIII, played by Mark Stanley, yelling: ‘You promised me sons.’

In the official full-length trailer for the Channel 5 series released on Friday, Jodie is seen trying arguing with King Henry VIII played by Mark Stanley (pictured)

In the official full-length trailer for the Channel 5 series released on Friday, Jodie is seen trying arguing with King Henry VIII played by Mark Stanley (pictured)

Another character is heard asking Anne if her husband no longer visits her chamber, and King Henry is seen giving Jane Seymour, played by Lola Petticrew, an affectionate look as he and Anne attend a party. 

Shortly after it appears she was accused of treason as she’s seen telling another character: ‘The world will know my innocence.’

Anne is shown walking serenely in a number of locations before finally stepping up to the chopping block.

As the dramatic scenes unfurl, a character is heard telling Anne: ‘Fear can be fuel, let your fear drive you to be bigger, louder, the sky itself will not limit you.’  

Anne Boleyn will explore the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life from the eponymous Queen’s perspective, as she struggles to secure a future for her daughter and to challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her. 

Regal: In the photo, the Queen & Slim star, 34, posed in a traditional Tudor gown and headpiece for new three-part psychological thriller

Background: The series explores the final moments of the queen’s life from her lens before she is executed by her husband 

The three-part psychological thriller will depict the key moments that cause Anne to topple, unpicking her immense strength, her fatal vulnerabilities and her determination to be an equal among men. 

The cast also includes I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu, who will portray the role of Anne’s brother and Tudor nobleman George. 

Dating Amber actress Lola is featured as Anne’s love rival, Jane Seymour, who succeeded her as the Queen of England. 

Jamael Westman, Amanda Burton and Thalissa Teixeira also play roles in the mini-series – which finished production on location in Yorkshire in December 2020. 

Penned by writer Eve Hedderwick Turner and directed by Lynsey Miller, Anne Boleyn aims to ‘challenge all the conventions of who we think Anne Boleyn was and shines a feminist light on her story.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk