Harry and Meghan have branded their engagement announcement in 2017 an ‘orchestrated reality show’ in episode three of their bombshell Netflix documentary.
The opening segment sees Meghan claim ‘we’ve never been allowed to tell our story… until now.’
Harry adds: ‘We’ve never been allowed to tell our story, that’s the consistency.’
David Olusoga, author of Black and British then tells interviewers: ‘Who dreamed that Britain would have a black princess? Who could have conceived that? It was the conclusion of a history that was so improbable, as to be astonishing.’
He and fellow author Afua Hirsch give a brief history lesson on Britain’s role in the Atlantic Slave trade and how it ‘fuelled’ the British empire, which was ‘financed by kings and queens right up until its abolishment’ in the early 1900s.
Harry and Meghan have branded their engagement announcement in 2017 an ‘orchestrated reality show’ in episode three of their bombshell Netflix documentary
Harry and Meghan during an interview after announcing their engagement in 2017
James Holt, former Palace spokesman, tells producers he was ‘oblivious’ to the legacy of Britain’s links to the slave trade, claiming his teachers focused on the UK’s colonial power and ‘just how important the country used to be globally.’
Linking back to Harry and Meghan’s engagement, Mr Olusoga says he felt it could have shown the Royal Family had ‘caught up with the rest of Britain.’
Chatting to interviewers, the Sussexes recall how Meghan struggled to comprehend everyday duties carried out by royals, in particular so-called ‘walkabouts’.
She says: ‘I never saw pictures or videos of a walkabout, I was like ”what’s a walkabout?”’
Harry said his advice could only help so much, adding: ‘The piece I didn’t really know about was the style… what a woman needed to do, how they needed to dress and that sort of stuff.’
Meghan says she fretted over her outfit and whether her earrings were by a British designer, before making sure to remove the tags, as Harry adds: ‘And then the zip breaks… the whole thing was just ridiculous.’
Viewers are shown clips of the couple meeting royal fans in the days after their engagement announcement in what broadcaster’s at the time branded Meghan’s ‘first real test.’
Meghan says she fretted over her outfit and whether her earrings were by a British designer, before making sure to remove the tags, as Harry adds: ‘And then the zip breaks… the whole thing was just ridiculous.’
Locals said she looked ‘amazing’ and ‘did really well’ in her first walkabout, as Harry tells Netflix interviewers: ‘Everyone was just so pleased and happy,’ describing his wife as a ‘breath of fresh air.’
Locals said she looked ‘amazing’ and ‘did really well’, as Harry tells Netflix interviewers: ‘Everyone was just so pleased and happy,’ describing his wife as a ‘breath of fresh air.’
The duke continues: ‘I thought to myself ”what a dream… I’ve found someone that not necessarily finds this easy but is able to do it and make it look easy.”’
The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ documentary flashes forward to November 2021 as Meghan is preparing for an event while chatting to Harry and close friend Mandana Dayani.
Ms Dayani asks if anyone in the UK can be a royal expert before Harry casually gives an almost scripted-like description of the press’s relationship with the Royal Family.
The Duke says the titles of ‘royal expert’ or ‘royal correspondent’ are purely given to journalists to ‘lend more legitimacy to articles’, adding that it has been this way for ‘more than 30 years.’
Tim Burt describes the ‘special relationship’ between ‘tabloids and the royals’ as a ‘we pay, you pose’ scenario.
Harry adds: ‘It’s like ”this family is ours to exploit… their trauma is our story and our narrative to control.”’
Mr Holt claims one photographer once told him of Harry: ‘He doesn’t perform for us anymore.’
He then admits he told the couple: ‘Sometimes we’ve got to just play the game… ultimately that game is the invisible contract.’
He said the Sussexes had an ‘obligation’ to perform and that if they didn’t they would ‘fall out of favour’ and ‘any opportunity to write negative would be taken.’
Friend of Meghan Lindsay Jill Roth said she knew that the press would contact people she was close to, but ‘did not know the lengths they would go to’, claiming she was tailed while in London.
Childhood friend Susan Willigher also said reporters were ‘ruthless’ and went to her parents’ home.
Meghan’s mother Doria then claims she felt ‘unsafe’, adding: ‘I can’t just go walk my dogs, I can’t just go to work, there was always someone there… I was being stalked by the papparrazi.’
Meghan tells interviewers: ‘The UK media I truly believe wanted my mum’s side of my family to be the ones that all this drama could be stirred up with… and they just had my mum who is classy and quiet and then you have the other side of family which is just acting differently.
‘My half sister [Samantha Markle] who I hadn’t seen for over a decade, and that was only for a day and a half, suddenly it felt like she was everywhere… I don’t know your middle name, I don’t know your birthday, and you’re telling people that you raised me and are calling me ‘princess pushy’?’
Doria explains how Meghan was 17 years younger than her half siblings, who she moved away from when she was two.
Meghan adds: ‘I don’t remember seeing her [Samantha] when I was a kid… the last time that I saw her I remember was when I was in my early 20s… I hadn’t had a fallout with her I wasn’t close enough with her… and I wanted a sister!’
Netflix claims Samantha told producers that she and Meghan had a close relationship until 2018.
Samantha’s daughter Ashleigh – Meghan’s niece – an immigration lawyer, reconnected with her mother in 2017, before beginning a relationship over email and texts with the Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan says they ‘just hit if off’ and went on several trips together, with Ashleigh describing her as ‘maternal’ and like a friend and sister.
Ashleigh says she felt her mother showed ‘resentment’ towards Meghan and voiced ‘angry opinions’ which ultimately led them to stop talking.
Recalling her first Christmas at Sandringham, Meghan said she found it ‘amazing’ as she was ‘with a big family like I always wanted.’
‘And there was just this constant movement, energy and fun,’ she adds, ‘and at dinner I was sat next to H’s grandfather and I just thought it was so wonderful and I was like ”we chatted about this and this”… and he [Harry] was like ”you had his bad ear he couldn’t hear anything you were saying” and I was like ”oh… well I though it went really well.”’
But things went awry when reports emerged that the Princess Michael of Kent wore a ‘Blackamoor-style’ brooch to the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch – which was widely viewed as ‘racist’.
Harry said: ‘In this family, sometimes you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. There is a huge level of unconscious bias.
‘The thing with unconscious bias, it is actually no one’s fault. But once it has been pointed out, or identified within yourself you then need to make it right.
‘It is education. It is awareness. It is a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.’
Harry then spoke about when he wore a Nazi uniform to a private party in 2005.
He said: ‘It was probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I felt so ashamed afterwards. All I wanted to do was make it right.’
He said he spoke to a chief Rabbi in London which ‘had a profound impact on me’ before visiting a holocaust survivor in Germany, adding that he ‘learnt from’ his mistake.
Discussing his decade-long stint in the army and describing how that time ‘burst’ the bubble of his life in the royal family.
After footage of him meeting US servicemen and women, Harry says: ‘Working and living with normal people – and I fully appreciate my life is not normal – certainly has an effect on you. The bubble within the bubble that I was brought up in got burst.’
The couple then reflect on the time leading up to their wedding in May 2018, claiming ‘salacious’ stories were ‘planted’ by the press.
Meghan says her life was not like The Princess Diaries starring Anne Hathaway, which saw the main character suddenly discover she is a European princess before being taught how to behave.
‘I needed to learn a lot… including the national anthem,’ she says, before revealing that she Goggled the song to learn the lyrics.
She says practiced her courtesy ‘over and over’ again in what she described as a ‘baptism by fire’.
She says she was not taught how to wave, adding: ‘That’s not a thing, although I guess you don’t want to wave like an American…everything is just smaller.’
Meghan said she wore a lot of muted tones to blend in as she did not want to ‘stand out’, adding: ‘I don’t want to embarrass the family.’
On the press scrutiny she adds: ‘We were playing whack-a-mole. Every day it was like ‘Wait, another one popped up – wait, stop, another story’. Constant. They were going through the woodwork and pulling out people to create and plant the most salacious stories that they could. Then it started to get scary.’
The documentary then features headlines from Australia’s New Idea, the US’s National Enquirer and the UK’s Mirror about their tightened security after a letter was sent holding white powder, sparking an anthrax scare.
Meghan adds: ‘It was on the heels of those terrorist attacks, so there is so much concern at the wedding. It was so scary. They were talking about getting snipers.’
She said that ‘behind the scenes’ she was ‘just turtling’.
The first three episodes of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell series have dropped on Netflix – with the Royal Family braced for further incendiary allegations from the couple.
King Charles and Prince William are expected to respond to any unjust claims in the series in a ‘calm and measured’ way – but William and his wife Kate are not likely to watch, sources have said.
The Sussexes hadalready made a number of claims in two trailers released by Netflix in recent days, saying they had no protection from the Palace and accused aides of actively leaking and ‘planting’ stories against them as part of a ‘dirty game’.
But the Royal Family believes the series will actually be slim on new revelations, with a source telling The Mirror: ‘There’s a real feeling in the camp that Harry and Meghan are making a lot of noise and there isn’t much more to say. But preparations are being made for all outcomes, especially if there are unjust accusations being made.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already made a number of incendiary claims in two trailers released by Netflix
Senior royals are said to be bracing for the worst and will be prepared to address any unfounded accusations as the new series drops on the streaming service at 8am.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already made a number of claims in two trailers released by Netflix in recent days, saying they had no protection from the Palace and accused aides of actively leaking and ‘planting’ stories against them as part of a ‘dirty game’.
But the Royal Family believes the series will actually by slim on new revelations.
A source told The Mirror: ‘There’s a real feeling in the camp that Harry and Meghan are making a lot of noise and there isn’t much more to say.
Left-leaning Oscar nominated director behind Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series
Liz Garbus, the Left-leaning Oscar nominated director behind Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series has had a 25-year career working on projects about oppressed women and is ‘long admired’ by Duchess of Sussex .
Ms Garbus is known for her critically acclaimed exposes and documenting the stories of ‘survivors’, and worked on the Handmaids Tale finale.
Raised in New York by a civil rights lawyer father, her career has spanned almost 25 years, covering documentaries, true crime and high-end drama.
Her notable titles include The Farm: Angola, USA; Bobby Fischer Against The World; Love; Marilyn; and The Fourth Estate.
The Duchess of Sussex previously suggested that the show’s direction was in the hands of left-leaning filmmaker Liz Garbus ‘even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it’.
She said: ‘It’s nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I’ve long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it.
But that’s not why we’re telling it. We’re trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens.’
‘But preparations are being made for all outcomes, especially if there are unjust accusations being made.’
Members of the Sussexes’ now defunct household are also said to be ‘seething with rage’ over trailers for the six-part documentary.
Officials from both Buckingham and Kensington Palace will watch the first three episodes of the series on Thursday morning.
But it is understood that the Prince and Princess of Wales will refuse to watch the first three episodes of the documentary.
An insider also told The Sun that the royals are reluctant to engage in a tit-for-tat battle over the series.
They said: ‘If there are parts which are blatantly wrong, then it is only right that they are corrected.
‘The trailers already have some glaring errors and misrepresentations, which doesn’t bode well for the full series. But the plan is to keep schtum and carry on.’
But sources told the newspaper they are unlikely to respond until the full series has been released – due next Thursday.
Aides are understood to have been briefed by the King and Prince of Wales to issue a ‘swift and robust’ response if required.
‘If there is a need to respond to anything in the upcoming series then you can be assured that response will be swift and robust.’
It is understood that Netflix offered a right of reply to senior ryal to allow them the chance to respond to any allegations featured in the series.
But Buckingham and Kensington Palace both deny receiving any such approach.
Harry and Meghan, meanwhile, have vowed that it is just the ‘beginning’ and have earlier spoken of ‘sweeping down walls of oppression’.
But Netflix’s use of ‘misleading’ footage in two trailers for the series would not have been tolerated by British broadcasters, according to producers.
Former BBC and Channel 4 commissioning editor Peter Grimsdale said lawyers would have intervened before the trailer was relased.
He told The Times: ‘It’s almost hard-wired into us to make sure we know where every shot comes from because that’s the sort of thing that if there was complaints about it, you would be in real trouble.
‘There’s a certain duty of care. I think people working for Sky would feel the same way. It’s partly a function of regulations just being different in America.’
Mr Grimsdale added: ‘99.9 per cent of the time this doesn’t happen because every one checks.’
Members of the Sussexes’ now defunct household are said to be ‘seething with rage’ over trailers for the six-part documentary
The couple have been shown claiming they had no protection from the Palace and that aides actively leaked and ‘planted stories’ against them as part of a ‘dirty game’
It comes after the Sussexes faced an awkward grilling from journalists about their explosive documentary in New York last night.
Harry and Meghan were asked if they were putting money before family as they graced a star-studded gala hosted by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation, where they received an award for fighting racism in the Royal Family.
The pair did not give a direct response, but the duke could be heard saying ‘so many questions’ before they were escorted inside.
Earlier, they told the ceremony that their war against ‘oppression’ has only just begun.
Harry and Meghan delivered the politically charged pre-taped remarks after being honoured with an award for fighting racism in the Royal Family by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, a prize that counts Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton among its former recipients.
Meghan also talked about her struggle with suicidal thoughts since becoming a member of the Royal Family, telling the audience she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ and revealing that the decision not to end her life ‘wasn’t easy’, in remarks echoing those made during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In a speech praising the late RFK, the Duke of Sussex told the star-studded Ripple of Hope Gala: ‘As we all face a complete and challenging time in the world, we choose the path of optimism of care for each other and our communities.
‘We understand this honour, not about the culmination of a life’s work, but instead and in many ways for us, a beginning.’
He said: ‘Bobby Kennedy said, ”Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”’
Harry and Meghan were asked if they were putting money before family as they graced a star-studded gala
His wife said: ‘The enduring dream of RFK of a just and peaceful world is so much more than a simple hope. It’s a direct ask, a specific challenge, a call to action, a test of individual courage and collective spirit. And his appeal to humanity is as relevant today as it was in 1966 when he stood before the University of Cape Town, a place we’ve visited and hold close to our hearts. And he delivered a vision for the common good of society.
‘He also said those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance’.
Friends and family snub Harry and Meghan’s Netflix show: Elton, Oprah, Edward Enninful and the Obamas AREN’T taking part in bombshell series
Alison Boshoff, chief showbusiness writer for the Daily Mail
Prince Harry and Meghan’s most famous celebrity friends – and almost all of their families – have snubbed their bombshell Netflix documentary.
In publicity material released ahead of today’s transmission of the first three episodes, Netflix has promised that interviews with ‘friends and family’ of the couple will feature.
But the Mail can reveal key allies – including Elton John, Vogue editor Edward Enninful and Prince Harry’s ‘surrogate Dad’, the music producer David Foster – are not taking part.
It is thought that Oprah Winfrey is not a part of it either, and nor are the Obamas.
Moreover there will also not be a single royal ‘talking head’ in the Harry & Meghan series – not even Princess Eugenie with whom they remain close.
Harry and Meghan’s new show, which comes out on Netflix tomorrow, is promised interviews with ‘friends and family’. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appear in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021
The Obamas are not thought to be taking part in the programme. Pictured: Prince Harry speaks to Barack Obama at a wheelchair basketball match during the 2017 Invictus Games
Of all the absences, perhaps the most surprising is Vogue editor Edward Enninful. He landed a major coup when Meghan agreed to guest edit the September 2019 issue, Forces for Change.
It was the fastest selling edition in Vogue’s history and in an article for the publication, Meghan wrote that she and Enninful were ‘like-minded thinkers who have so much in common’.
The following year, Enninful said he felt she had been criticised unfairly in the media storm over Megxit – the couple’s move to California.
But sources close to the Vogue editor confirmed that he was not taking part. He recently praised the Princess of Wales for her ‘graceful’ fashion sense.
Elton John, a key ally of the couple, is another who is thought not to be taking part in the show. Pictured: Elton John attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Oprah Winfrey is not thought to be appearing on their Netflix show. Pictured: Oprah (right) speaks to Harry and Meghan (left) during their interview in 2021
Another absent influential figure is Sir Elton, a great friend of Princess Diana’s who has gone out of his way to defend Harry and Meghan in the past.
He and husband David Furnish have had them for family holidays at his home near Nice in France and Furnish was among executives working on the proposed Archewell show Pearl, which was later shelved.
Last week Prince Harry sent the singer a video message thanking him for being a friend to the couple and their children, and to his late mother.
Sir Elton is regarded as an unofficial godfather to both William and Harry and was among the guests at William’s wedding. The Waleses had their first dance to Sir Elton’s Your Song.
Music producer Mr Foster has not taken part, a spokesman confirmed this week. He and Harry grew close during the Megxit crisis and Mr Foster helped to find them a temporary home in Canada before they settled in California.
Meghan and Mr Foster’s wife, Katharine McPhee, are old classmates and the four have been seen dining together in California where they all live.
And it can also be revealed that their preferred journalist, Omid Scobie, is not among those in the show.
Vogue editor Edward Enninful is another who is not thought to be appearing. Pictured: Edward Enninful at Paris Fashion Week in October 2019
Representatives for Miss Winfrey and the Obamas did not return requests for comment but sources in America say both are wary of being drawn into what they see as a ‘family drama’.
Guy Pelly, one of William and Harry’s oldest friends, is also not appearing, the Mail was told. Nor is former Vanity Fair editor and royal biographer Tina Brown, who has been covering dramas surrounding Buckingham Palace since the early days of Diana.
It was confirmed yesterday that Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie – the best friends of the Sussexes among the young royals – are not taking part.
Their mother Sarah, the Duchess of York – no stranger to a tell-all TV special – is also not going to be on camera, and neither is her ex-husband Andrew.
King Charles, Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales will naturally not feature.
A spokesman for Earl Spencer declined to comment on whether he or his sisters Jane and Sarah might appear, but sources indicate that it’s unlikely any of them would.
Which leaves only Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland, as a possible family member appearing on the series. She has never previously spoken on camera and her rumoured appearance was, as of last night, still unconfirmed.
Meanwhile there are signs of a backlash from the public about the high-profile show. So far, the first Netflix trailer on YouTube has 20,000 likes and 288,000 dislikes and the second has 16,000 likes and 133,000 dislikes.