“Harry and Meghan” is one of a series of shows the couple is producing under a commercial deal with Netflix.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Thursday called the British press “extortion and bribery” in a new, much-anticipated Netflix documentary.
In a series billed as revealing the “absolute truth” behind the couple’s life in the British royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also spoke out about “unconscious bias” around race at Buckingham Palace and other royals. Condemn their lack of support from family.
Early on, Harry describes the release of the documentary as “a duty and a service”. It marks one of a series of shows the pair is producing under a commercial deal with Netflix.
“I feel like being part of this family, it’s my job to expose this exploitation and corruption that’s happening in our media,” Harry said at the beginning.
The six-part miniseries, titled “Harry and Meghan,” serves as a love letter to the couple’s high-profile relationship, revealing new details of their first acquaintance in 2016 through a mutual friend. SnapchatTo the final decision to leave the royal family in 2020.
The first three episodes of the series aired on Thursday, with the second episode set to air next week.
But in the episodes released so far, the series is as notable for what it misses as it is for what it includes.
There are few, if any, difficult questions and a distinct lack of critical voices throughout the documentary.
Harry’s brother, William, Prince of Wales, for example, features only briefly in childhood photographs, and there is little allusion to the wider high-profile feud between the couple and other members of the royal family in recent years. .
There is also a conspicuous lack of information from other members of the royal family.
A statement at the start of the first episode says the royals “decline to comment on the content within the series.” However, a senior royal source confirmed to NBC News that neither Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, nor any members of the royal family are aware of any such approach to comment on the content of the series.
Here’s what the series tells us:
Conflict between the Palace and the British press
One of the main themes running throughout the series is criticism of the British press, which Harry describes as negotiating with Buckingham Palace to ensure constant media coverage.
“There are letters but there is also the cultivation of stories,” he says, though does not give specific examples.
In part three, the Duke of Sussex refers to the royal rota, through which various press and broadcasters are given slots to cover members of the family, comparing it to an extension of the palace’s PR team. Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the claims.
Prince Harry and Meghan are back in 2020 as senior members of the royal family.
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“If you’re part of the royal rota, you’re more important than the story,” says Harry. “All royal news passes through the filter of all the newspapers on the royal rota, most of which, except the Telegraph, happen to be tabloids.”
He added: “It all comes down to control, it’s like, ‘This family is our benefit.’
The prince also refers to the now infamous BBC interview with his mother, the late Princess Diana. While admitting that the interview was secured by “fraudulent” means, he says: “She told the truth of her experience.”
More accusations of racism in the royal family
The documentary also expands on an earlier explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple accused the royal family of racism.
Harry says other members of his family failed to support the couple when Meghan, the first mixed-race member of the modern royal family, faced racism in the media.
However, the couple appeared to moderate their accusations against the family, referring to such racism as “unconscious prejudice”.
“As far as most of the family was concerned, whatever was passed on to her, they were also passed on,” he says.
“So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the family members were like, ‘My wife has to go through this, so why is your girlfriend being treated differently? Why should she be treated differently? Why should she? She would be safe?”
“I said, the difference here is the element of race,” Harry adds.
Last week, the second wife of the late Queen Elizabeth, Mrs Susan Hussey, was embroiled in a racial scandal after she repeatedly asked charity activist Ngozi Fulani where she was “really from.”
Pressure against traditional royal weddings
Harry also appears to be casting a thin veil over his father, King Charles III, and brother, William, in defense of his relationship with Meghan.
In the first episode, Harry, whose relationship with the American-born has come under much scrutiny — not least for her divorce status, a factor ignored in the documents — refers to what he calls “head and The difference between making decisions with the heart.
The hotly anticipated new Netflix documentary on Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has been released.
Jacob Pacha – Pa Images | Pa pictures | Getty Images
Harry said: “For a lot of people in the family – especially, obviously, the men – there’s a temptation or a desire to marry someone who is the opposite of who you’re destined to be, It is fitting to marry him.” Harry said.
Charles famously married Diana at the behest of the royal family, despite having a long-standing and well-documented relationship with his current wife, Camilla, the Queen. William’s wife Kate, Princess of Wales, has meanwhile been widely acknowledged in the media, despite being a non-royal herself.
Comparing himself to his mother, Diana, Harry added: “My mother certainly makes most, if not all, of her decisions from the heart. And I’m my mother’s son.”
Barometer for Harry and Meghan’s popularity
The release of the series has already faced criticism for misusing footage and images.
Among the comments the couple made about being teased by the media, for example, are reportedly at least three photos that have nothing to do with the couple.
Meanwhile, others have questioned the couple’s decision to go public with their relationship in addition to stepping away from the royal family to protect their privacy.
But much will depend on the public’s wider response to the series, as Harry and Meghan try to build a new future – and income – outside of the monarchy.
It’s unclear how much the couple was paid for the series, though the extensive commercial deal between Netflix and Archwell Productions is worth millions of dollars.
“To survive in the future, they need to maintain that reputation,” James Holt, executive director of the couple’s Archwell Foundation, says of the royal family in the series.
To a certain extent, the same is true for Harry and Meghan.