Elizabeth Hurley Says Meghan Markle Has ‘a Lot More Privacy’ Than Celebrities — Here’s Why

Elizabeth Hurley’s time spent playing Queen Helena on E!’s The Royals, a show about a fictional version of the British royal family, taught her that real-life royals have more privacy than people in show business. 

Hurley played a royal on TV from 2015 to 2018 but had to give up her crown when the network ended the series after four seasons. Next up she’ll play the character of Morgan le Fay in Runaways, a Marvel TV series on Hulu. But before leaving royal life behind, Hurley shared what she learned about privacy from playing a royal.

Hurley: ‘The real royal family, you never see them behind closed doors ever’

The actress made an appearance on BuzzFeed News‘ live morning show, AM to DM, on Dec. 11, 2019, to promote Runaways. However, she did touch on The Royals and the actual British royal family. She opened up about the show, which centered around royals’ dramatic private lives and their contrasting public images, sharing that she felt envious of the British royal family after pretending to be one on TV. 

Elizabeth Hurley attends BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" on Dec. 11, 2019
Elizabeth Hurley attends BuzzFeed’s AM To DM on Dec. 11, 2019 | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

“It made me feel a little jealous because it really made me realize that — on our show, you saw us out and about as royalty bestowing goodness and grace on the public, but then, of course, you went behind closed doors and saw what we were getting up to,” Hurley said on the show. 

She continued, saying, “The real royal family, you never see them behind closed doors ever. We only ever see them bestowing nice things on the outside and you never see anything else, unlike people in show business where unfortunately pesky people seem to get behind the scenes all the time.”

To her, royals are lucky because they have considerably more privacy than people in show business.

“So actually they’re really lucky because I always think of the royal family being sort of like showbiz — really because it is — but with a lot more privacy. Sometimes. Maybe they’ve lost a little lately!”

Sussexes ‘not really’ experiencing same press coverage as celebrities

When asked if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were experiencing the same press coverage as a celebrity like herself, Hurley said what they’re going through is different because of the level of protection they’re afforded.

“They’re not really because they still have the secret service looking after them and they still have the palace guard and there’s no cameras backstage, so they don’t really,” Hurley said. “They still have a great deal more protection than people in show business.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance on Nov. 9, 2019
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance on Nov. 9, 2019 | CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

While she did say some in show business chose to let the public in on parts of their lives they could keep under wraps. 

“But we are of an age where perhaps more people who could have more privacy choose in some ways to be a little more open and to reveal a little more than perhaps their predecessors did,” she said, “and I guess that’s a choice.”

Prince Harry and Markle’s relationship with the press has had its ups and downs since the couple went public with their relationship. Before their engagement in Nov. 2017, Prince Harry released an unprecedented statement to the press about Markle’s privacy and comments made about her in the media. And in Oct. 2019, the Duke of Sussex announced he had taken legal action against numerous British tabloids for publishing private letters belonging to Markle and accessing her personal voicemails.