Actress Helen George has spoken in defence of the Duchess of Sussex, who she said “women are tearing down” for being “different”.

The Call The Midwife star contrasted “hostility” towards Meghan with praise for another “unconventional” woman, award-winning actress and playwright, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

George, 35, made the comparison in an interview with the Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine about her latest role as the female protagonist in My Cousin Rachel.

The Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex has been criticised by some sections of the media (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The play – based on a Daphne du Maurier novel – follows Philip, a young man in Cornwall who suspects his cousin Ambrose’s wife, Rachel, of being responsible for his death.

Miss George plays Rachel, a character she describes as “outrageously bohemian” within a traditional Cornish community in 19th century England.

She said: “I think the way Rachel was viewed smacks of our current situation with Meghan Markle and the treatment she gets simply because she is a woman who is not doing things in the way this establishment – the Royal Family – do them.

“She is different and that engenders hostility.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge has received near-universal praise (Matt Crossick/PA)

George added: “I have always been a feminist, but I’m now living through an era where women are tearing down Meghan Markle for not behaving like a traditional member of the Royal Family, while at the same time Phoebe Waller-Bridge is being heaped with awards and praise for Fleabag, a drama series about a woman most definitely not behaving in a conventional manner for a woman.

“It’s completely crazy.”

George has played glamorous midwife Trixie in BBC drama Call The Midwife since the show first aired in 2012.

The actress, who took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, gave birth to her daughter, Wren, in 2017.