Netflix's original series The Crown follows the life of Queen Elizabeth, beginning before her coronation, and portrays every major royal moment along the way. One of the most fascinating insights from the series surrounds the royally controversial love life of Princess Margaret, who was forbidden to marry a divorced man. But, things have changed a lot since the '50s, and now royals can marry divorced people and even get divorced themselves. Prince Harry and actor Meghan Markle (who is both American and a divorcée) announced their engagement, and it's a nonissue that Meghan has an ex-husband. Ah, royal modernization. But, now that she's part of the very legacy that the show documents, is Meghan Markle Watching The Crown?
There's no official word from Markle herself about whether or not she has bunkered down with the dramatized version of her soon-to-be in-laws. Bustle reached out to Kensington Palace for comment and they had no comment on the subject. But it wouldn't be a crazy notion to think that she may want to do her research — or at least see how the actors and real people compare. But, even if she isn't watching (or publicly saying so), The Crown actors are certainly watching her. Matt Smith, who plays Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip on The Crown, told Vanity Fair that he feels bad for Markle. “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," he said. It's worth noting that Smith only plays a royal — and in a rather outdated time period. He doesn't necessarily really know how Markle's life will be.
As noted above, Markle is an American who has been divorced. This is still pretty new territory for the royal family, but they have evolved thanks in part to Princess Margaret's own love life and struggles, which is a large focus of The Crown. According to an article about the series in The Telegraph, Margaret fell in love with divorced, World War II veteran Pete Townsend. This was a pretty scandalous romance at the time because, per The Washington Post, divorce was not acceptable to the royal family and remarrying while your former spouse was still alive was forbidden unless you relinquished your royal titles and left the country for a bit. Yeah, it was pretty serious.
This is exactly how Queen Elizabeth became queen in the first place. Her uncle, King Edward VIII, also the head of the Church of England, chose to abdicate his throne in order to marry the twice divorced American woman he loved. This threw the crown over to Elizabeth's father, and he reigned for a short time. After his sudden death, the crown then went to Elizabeth.
Luckily for Prince Harry and Markle, things have changed since then. Per Vogue, "In 2002, the church dropped their provision against remarriage for a divorced person with a living spouse. Individual clergymen were empowered to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to conduct such weddings." This means that Markle's status as a divorced woman won't cause Prince Harry to have to relinquish all royal titles or be exiled. Harry is much better off than Elizabeth's own sister, who was denied the chance to marry by Elizabeth herself. As the head of the Church of England, Elizabeth had to make the decision of whether to allow her sister to marry a divorced man or not. She chose not to, at the time.
And, per The Telegraph, although the Queen allowed a divorced Prince Charles to marry Camilla Bowles, who was also divorced, in 2005, she didn't attend the ceremony because she feared it wouldn't look good for her, as the head of the church. She has changed a bit since then. According to The Daily Mail, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen will attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. And, for that growth within the royal family alone, Markle may want to check out where her husband-to-be's family came from — and how much is different now — according to The Crown.