Why The Crown's Josh O'Connor Feels Sorry For Prince Charles

It can be difficult to feel sorry for any member of the British royal family. Whether you're a republican or a royalist, it's undeniable that the family enjoys the benefits of a thousand-year unbroken bloodline and all the wealth and power that comes with it. Others are more than jealous and overtly critical of the Crown, preferring a vision of the United Kingdom without a monarchy, period.

If there's anything, though, that could make us feel a bit more empathetic for this genetically and financially blessed family, it's The Crown. The Netflix series has shone a spotlight on the ins and outs of the Royal Family over four seasons, demonstrating that for Queen Elizabeth and those that surround her, being royalty is not always all that it's cracked up to be. The royals are subject to constant scrutiny and have to abide by rules set hundreds of years before their birth.

Part of the sympathy for these characters, however, comes not from their unique circumstances, but from the pathos of the actors who bring them to life on the screen. When Josh O'Connor stepped into Prince Charles' simultaneously overlooked and overexposed shoes, he came to feel bad for the Prince of Wales — and he thinks you should too.

Josh O'Connor wants you to feel sorry for Prince Charles

In an interview with Town&Country, Josh O'Connor said he really sympathizes with the predicament that Prince Charles is in, calling it "a really difficult one and profound one." In The Crown (and its real-life historical basis), Charles is unable to be with the woman he truly loves, Camilla Parker-Bowles, due to centuries-old rules and instead ends up married to Diana Spencer. "It's a difficult situation for him because ultimately, the Queen's not wrong when she says duty comes first," O'Connor explained.

O'Connor also said that his view of the monarchy has changed quite a bit since he began his work on the Netflix series. "Before I did this job, I would describe myself as a republican," O'Connor said. "Now I would say I'm probably a republican with deep sympathy and respect for the Queen and Prince Charles."

Part of that change comes from actually embodying the role of royalty and understanding the unique humanity that exists in their situation. "The emotional significance of a son waiting for his mother to die for his life to take meaning? That's quite bold," reflected O'Connor, adding that he knows he's done his job not just when he starts to sympathize with Charles, but when the audience does too.