Palace 'Might Be Relieved' by Harry & Meghan Series

Early episodes of Netflix series are free of major bombshells, royal correspondent says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2022 9:00 AM CST
Harry, Meghan Series Captivates Britain
This image released by Netflix shows promotional art for the upcoming documentary "Harry & Meghan," directed by Liz Garbus.   (Netflix via AP)

The first three episodes of Harry & Meghan, the six-part Netflix docuseries on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, were released Thursday—and on the front pages of some British news sites, there was little room for other news. But while papers like the Daily Mail accuse the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of "waging war" on the royal family, the early episodes contained little that would embarrass senior royals. The opening sequence states that royals declined to comment on the series, and that all interviews were completed by August 2022, before the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The next three episodes will be released next Friday. More:

  • Media harassment. The first two episodes focus on how the couple got together and on the media harassment that followed, the Washington Post reports. Harry recalled how some of his earliest memories were of his mother, Princess Diana, "being swarmed by paparazzi." He said that in the early days of his relationship with Meghan, "dating became a combination of car chases, anti-surveillance driving and disguises, which isn’t a particularly healthy way to start a relationship."
  • A look at tabloids, racism. The early episodes also look at the relationship between tabloid newspapers and the British royals, along with the history of racism in the British Empire, the AP reports. They include interviews with the couple, their friends, and experts on race and the media. The first episode includes footage Harry and Meghan took on their phones in early 2020, as they prepared to leave Britain.

  • Meeting other royals. "When Will and Kate came over, and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot," Meghan said, per the Telegraph. "I was a hugger. I've always been a hugger, I didn't realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits. I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside."
  • "How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother?" Meghan said that the first senior member of Harry's family that she met was the queen—and Harry didn't tell her that she would be meeting her until moments before they arrived for lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor. "How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you will need to curtsy," Harry said. "Especially to an American. That's weird." Per Vanity Fair, Meghan said, "For Americans, you’ll get this, it’s like going to a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament."

  • "The difference here is the race element." Harry said when the relationship became public, other family members saw the attention from the press as "almost like a rite of passage," but he told them "the difference here is the race element" because Meghan is biracial. He said he put out a statement "calling out the racist undertones of articles and headlines that were written by the British press, as well as outright racism from those articles across social media," reports the Guardian. One Daily Mail headline from the time described Meghan as "(almost) straight outta Compton." "Firstly, I’m not from Compton, I’ve never lived in Compton, so it’s factually incorrect," Meghan said. "But why do you have to make a dig at Compton?”
  • Buckingham Palace might be relieved. BBC royal correspondent Sean Coughlan says some of the most "delighted viewers" will be other members of the royal family. "They might get a bit of a frosty blast from the series, described as unable to hug and getting married for the wrong reasons," Coughlan says. "But there are no real bombshells or direct hits and nothing specific about any individuals." The series "had threatened to be a tell-all tale," Coughlan says, but so far, it "has been much more revealing about how the couple see themselves."
(Read more Duke and Duchess of Sussex stories.)

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