December 6, 2017 11:49 AM EST

Marrying into a royal family — especially Britain’s notoriously hyper-scrutinized Mountbatten-Windsor family — is no small step. And despite the allure of crowns, gowns and castles, it can be a huge responsibility. Just ask others who have tied the knot and knitted their fates with that of the crown. Or ask those who have done it… fictionally.

Matt Smith, who plays Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip on Netflix’s popular The Crown, had some comments about Meghan Markle’s future as the wife of Prince Harry. Speaking at a screening of the show at New York’s 92nd Street Y, Smith seemed to relate with Markle’s situation. (As displayed in his story arc onscreen, Philip could be a reluctant royal consort, finding difficulty adjusting to expectations. But the real-life Philip has stuck by his Queen’s side for 70 years now.)

“I feel sorry for her,” Smith said of 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.”

Following months of privacy, Markle has just taken on some of her first public roles as Prince Harry’s fiancée, including making an appearance at a charity event. She also announced her decision to leave her acting career.

Write to Raisa Bruner at

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