Playing a duchess is no easy feat — just ask Tiffany Smith, who transformed into Duchess Meghan for Lifetime’s upcoming movie Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal.
“It takes a lot of joy and hard work,” the 36-year-old told Us Weekly exclusively at the recent Shazam! premiere in Hollywood. “I was in Vancouver for about five weeks filming. What I loved about it was every day there was something we were talking about that was uplifting. It’s really something about finding who you are and staying true to it and the pieces of you that are wonderful. That is the biggest takeaway from Meghan. She is someone who is true to that and who she is. [She] embraces her heritage. She is a joyful person and a positive person. I think that is what it takes to play someone like that.”
Though Smith was not lucky enough to meet the real-life Meghan, 37, she spent plenty of time studying the Suits alum’s ascent from Los Angeles to Kensington Palace.
“I watched a lot of videos and social media. Everything I could find of her being interviewed,” she told Us. “I watched a lot of interaction between her and [Prince] Harry. It is such a big part of this movie. The first one [2018’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance] was them getting engaged, and this one is the wedding and moving forward.”
To perfect the role, the actress — who previously made brief appearances on Supernatural and Jane the Virgin — developed a close connection with Charlie Field, the actor who played Harry, 34. She also studied the royal family’s protocol.
“A lot of [the movie] is things we have not seen in real life,” she explained to Us. “Looking up stuff like what you can and can’t do when you are a royal, having the right nail polish and making sure your legs are crossed properly. You have to do a lot of prep.”
As for the biggest thing that Smith learned on set? “When you meet the queen for the first time, you call her ‘Your Majesty,’ and every other time you say ‘Ma’am,’” she said. “I didn’t know that.”
Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal premieres on Lifetime Monday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET.
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