To many, it seems like being born into royalty would be a dream life. Money, palaces, the fanciest of vacations, international travel, even a title to go along with it all. But for Great Britain’s Prince Harry, who married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018, royalty didn’t go along with those dreams. The couple now live in California with their two children, and their documentary series, Harry & Meghan, is about to come out on Netflix.
Here’s what we know.
What’s Harry & Meghan about?
Netflix is already home of The Crown. But that fictional look at royal life will be joined by the real thing, as Harry & Meghan presents the real-life royals in their own words. It’s expected to cover the couple’s early relationship, engagement and 2018 royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. But the juicy parts of the show will cover the couple’s decision to step back as working members of the royal family in 2021, moving first to Canada and then the US.
A trailer released on Dec. 5 shows Harry and Meghan talking about how rosy her reception into the royal family was — at first. Things quickly changed, with the British press and certain people inside the palace apparently taking aim at Meghan, specifically focusing on her mixed-race background. Comparisons are made to Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, who died in a car crash while being chased by photographers in Paris in 1997. Meghan says she realizes the family was “never going to protect” her, and Harry says he was “terrified” that what happened to his mother would happen to his wife.
Where can you watch Harry & Meghan?
The couple has a deal with Netflix, and accordingly, that’s the only place you can watch the show. The streaming service isn’t offering free trials, but you can cancel your membership any time if you try it out and don’t think you’ll get your money’s worth. There are no cancellation fees or long-term contracts.
Or get a friend with Netflix to invite you over for tea and TV.
When will Harry & Meghan episodes be available?
Harry & Meghan is a six-episode series. The first three episodes arrive on Dec. 8, and the last three a week later, on Dec. 15.
What’s the big deal about Harry & Meghan?
Harry was third in line to the British throne when he was born into an already troubled marriage between Diana and Prince Charles (now King Charles III) back in 1984. He’s now fifth in line, behind older brother William and William’s three young kids. Barring a tragedy, he’s never going to sit on the throne. But many viewers feel they’ve watched Harry grow up and felt sympathy for him when Diana died when he was just 12. He’s one of those well-known faces whose life doesn’t matter to Americans (or, frankly, to many Brits), but there’s enough glamor and intrigue to keep royal-watchers interested.
Netflix is also promising a socially educational side to the show, not just celeb gossip. We’ll see.
“With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family’s relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other,” Netflix says in the show description.
What will Harry & Meghan reveal?
Certainly, the racism faced by the couple will be a huge part of the show. When Harry and Meghan gave their famed Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, Meghan told the talk show queen that palace representatives were concerned about her unborn son’s skin color. There’s been plenty of speculation since about who said that and what exactly they said. It seems unlikely either Harry or Meghan will reveal that person’s name and risk forever cutting that family tie, but the royals will no doubt be sweating as the series arrives hard on the heels of another racism scandal last week involving a palace official questioning a Black guest to the palace.
Much of the show, certainly, will deal with how the palace treated Meghan, as a biracial American divorcee marrying into a family where all those things were once shocking. Meghan said in the Oprah interview that the palace didn’t offer help when royal pressures drove her to thoughts of suicide — that will certainly come up. A line from Harry in the trailer hints at leaked and planted stories about the two that came from inside the palace and presumably made Harry and Meghan look bad in the press.
On a fluffier note, the show will likely give you a glimpse inside the royal couple’s $14.7 million Montecito mansion and some insight into being a multi-millionaire parent of two small children. Princess Diana fans may learn more about what it was like to be the younger son of perhaps the world’s most famous woman.
And speaking of famous women, Harry could reveal a little bit about the personal side of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II
, who always kept her private life under wraps. It’ll be interesting for some to see if the series addresses Netflix’s other royal series, fictionalized drama The Crown, or Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the Prince and Princess of Wales, aka Prince William and Kate Middleton — especially the much-discussed argument about bridesmaid dresses that Kate and Meghan are said to have had before Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
And as the episodes air, the British press will almost certainly reveal what courtiers in the palace think about the show. They’re certain to have some backlash. The queen’s gentle statement after the Oprah interview said “some recollections may vary,” and you bet we’ll hear about those differing recollections.
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