After a blaze of publicity and controversy, Netflix’s Harry & Meghan series is beginning on Thursday with three episodes. It promises to reveal the inside story of how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from royal duties.
Trailers refer to a “war against Meghan”, with Prince Harry speaking of the “leaking and… planting of stories” as part of a “dirty game”. Buckingham Palace has not responded to the Sussexes’ claims. There will be intense scrutiny of the series.
A “behind-closed-doors” view of Palace life has been promised, with Prince Harry speaking of the “pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution”, in an apparent reference to his wife, Meghan, and mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
The trailers suggest the TV documentary will reveal the love story of how the “clandestine” relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan developed. But it will also show their account of a changing relationship with the media and the public.
This will be their version of events – and the rest of the Royal Family might be watching to see how far the claims go, if there is any evidence and whether they should officially respond.
“We know the full truth,” Prince Harry says, introducing a series with a 15 rating and a warning it deals with “discrimination”. But questions have been raised about some of the images used.
A scene of a press scrum is said to have been taken from an appearance at Crawley Magistrates’ Court by TV personality Katie Price, rather than a royal engagement.
On Tuesday, at a New York event where the prince and Meghan received a human rights award, the couple faced awkward questions from reporters: “Are you putting money before family?” and “Are you harming your family, Harry?”. But the dramatic tone of the trailers shows no sign of offering any olive branches, instead suggesting a collision course with the Royal Family.
And the new year will bring the publication of Prince Harry’s “unflinching” memoir. The series is being released in two sections of three episodes, on 8 and 15 December.