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Harry and Meghan release Netflix documentary

Harry and Meghan release Netflix documentary - all the key moments

Harry and Meghan release Netflix documentary – all the key moments

The anticipation for the documentary reached fever pitch this week, and at 8am on Thursday, the first three episodes were aired.

Here are the key moments.

Prince Harry takes swipe at William and Charles

The Duke of Sussex appeared to take a swipe at his brother the Prince of Wales and his father, King Charles, in the first three episodes of his Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan.

Prince Harry said of men in the Royal family – “the temptation is to marry someone who fits the mould”, in what appeared to be a jab at his brother.

The Duke of Sussex said: “I think for so many people in the family, especially the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould as opposed to somebody who perhaps you are destined to be with.

“The difference between making decisions with your head or heart – my mum certainly made most of her decisions, if not all of them, from her heart – and I am my mother’s son.”

He also aimed a dig at his father, King Charles, as he said he and the Duchess of Sussex were keen “not to make the same mistakes our parents did” while bringing up their children.

The Duke of Sussex also claimed that negative headlines about members of the Royal family were seen as a “rite of passage”, and said: “And some of the members of the family were like, ‘Right well my wife had to go through that so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should she get special treatment? Why should she be protected?’.

“I said, the difference here is the race element.”

The Duke of Sussex has said his wife being an American actress “clouded” his family’s view of her, and said: “I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed, some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves.

“Because I think they were surprised. They were surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman.

“But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning, ‘oh she’s an American actress; this won’t last’.”

They also discussed Meghan meeting the Prince and Princess of Wales for the first time, and the Duchess of Sussex said: “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.

“I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger, I didn’t realise 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.

“There is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and go ‘You can relax now’, but that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.”

Meghan says joining the Royal family is not like the film The Princess Diaries, because unlike the movie, in which Julie Andrews teaches Anne Hathaway how to be a princess, there are no lessons in deportment.

“I needed to learn a lot, including the National Anthem,” she says. Asked how she did learn the National Anthem, she replies: “I Googled it.”

Her lack of apparent knowledge of how the Royal family worked was made evident when the couple described Meghan meeting the Queen for the first time.

Harry said: “My grandmother was the first senior member of the family that Meghan met. She had no idea what it all consisted of so it was a bit of a shock to the system for her.”

Meghan said: “There wasn’t like some big moment of ‘Now you’re going to meet my grandmother’. I didn’t know I was going to meet her until moments before.

“We were in the car and we were going to Royal Lodge for lunch, and he’s like ‘Oh, my grandmother’s here, we’re going to meet her after church.’ And I remember we were in the car driving up and he’s like ‘You know how to curtsy, right?’ And I just thought it was a joke.”

Harry said: “How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you will need to curtsy. Especially to an American. That’s weird.”

Meghan added: “Now I’m starting to realise ‘This is a big deal’. I mean, Americans will understand this… We have medieval times, dinner and tournament. It was like that.”

She also said that when she joined the Royal family she wore muted tones of white, beige and camel so she would not stand out.

Race and the royals

Episode three majors heavily on Britain’s colonial past as it delves into the issue of Meghan’s race.

Historian David Olusoga talks about the scale of the British Empire in Victorian times but says the question is “who has paid the cost in all of this?” and fellow historian Afua Hirsch, who is described on screen as Brit(ish) tells viewers that Britain had a “deep south” that enslaved more Africans than America did.

She went on to tell viewers that “the first British slave expedition was personally financed by Queen Elizabeth I and it continued to be financed by kings and queens right up until its abolition”.

The slave trade was abolished in 1807 but Olusoga says children are not taught about the reparations paid to slave owners, which is “another way that the slave trade has been airbrushed out of Britain’s story”.

Harry said he realised after talking to Meghan about race that he was “blissfully sleepwalking through life”.

He said: “By the time I met Meghan, I think I had travelled half of the Commonwealth.

“Through that I thought I knew. I thought I had an awareness to issues, ways of living, unconscious bias.. all of it.

“But hearing her talk… sitting down having conversations and chats I was just like… well here you are just blissfully sleepwalking through life.

“My son, my daughter, my children, are mixed race and I’m really proud of that.

“When my kids grow up and they look back at this moment and they turn to me and say what did you do in this moment? I want to be able to give them an answer.”

Meghan said race only became a factor when she moved to the UK – before then she was never treated as a black woman.

“She was just silent the rest of the drive home, we never talked about it,” the Duchess of Sussex said.

“I’d never in my life heard someone say the n-word. It’s very different to be a minority but not be treated as a minority right off the bar.

“Obviously now, people are very aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK. But before that, most people didn’t treat me like a black women so that talk didn’t have to happen for me.”

Her mother Doria Ragland, speaking publicly for the first time since her daughter split from the Royal family, added to camera: “As a parent, in hindsight absolutely I would like to go back and have that real conversation about how the world sees you.

“I said to her – I remember this very clearly – that this is about race. Meg said, ‘Mommy, I don’t wanna hear that’.

“I said, ‘You may not want to hear it but this is what’s coming down the pike’.”

Harry and the Nazi uniform

The Duke of Sussex said there is a “huge level of unconscious bias” in the Royal family.

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.”

Prince Harry defends Panorama interview

After his brother the Prince of Wales said the Panorama interview with their mother the late Princess Diana should never be mentioned again, the Duke of Sussex featured clips of it in the documentary.

Prince Harry appeared to defend the BBC interview, saying: “We all know now that she was deceived into giving this interview, but at the same time she spoke the truth about her experience.”

Couple decided to film themselves on mobiles during split from Royal family

In the first episode of Harry & Meghan, the Duke of Sussex said a friend told them they should document this particular period of their lives.

He said: “A friend of ours actually suggested that we document ourselves through this period of time.

“With all of the misinformation that was going on out there, especially about us and the departure, it seemed like a really sensible idea.”

Meghan is then seen speaking into her phone camera and seems to ask if this is the first video she has filmed, saying: “I don’t know. We’ve talked about it. We keep talking about it, because we know that, right now it might not make sense, but one day it will make sense.”

In interview footage, she says: “We’ve been really conscious of protecting our kids as best as we can and also understanding the role that they play in this really historical family.”

In the opening of the first episode, Harry says: “So like duty and service and I feel as though being part of this family it is my duty to uncover this exploitation and bribery that happens within our media.”

Meghan says: “Unfortunately, in us standing for something, they are destroying us.”

As the piano music continues to play, Harry says: “This isn’t just about our story. This has always been so much bigger than us.

“No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth. The institution knows the full truth. And the media know the full truth because they’ve been in on it.

“And I think anybody else in my situation would have done exactly the same thing.”

The couple on the Netflix documentary

The couple on the Netflix documentary

Meghan appears with a towel wrapped around her hair, appearing to speak into her phone camera, saying: “H is in London and I’m here.”

She shakes her head and says: “I don’t even know where to begin.”

Footage of the couple introducing son Archie to the media then plays with Harry’s voice saying: “My job is to keep my family safe. By the nature of being born into this position and with everything else that comes with it and the level of hate that is being stirred up in the last three years especially against my wife, and my son, I’m generally concerned for the safety of my family.”

Meghan can then be seen again, towel wrapped around her hair, saying: “I just really want to get to the other side of all of this.”

There is a pause where she sits silently and then she appears emotional and says: “I don’t know what to say anymore.”

Mishal Husein refutes ‘orchestrated’ interview

Episode 3 begins with the interview by the BBC’s Mishal Husein when the couple got engaged in 2017. Meghan tells the documentary it was an “orchestrated reality show”.

In the BBC interview Meghan said the Royal family had been “so welcoming” but Meghan now says: “We weren’t allowed to tell our story because they didn’t want…”

The news broke whilst the presenter was on duty for Radio 4’s Today programme, and the claim was put to her.

Here’s the transcript.

Justin Webb: “They also say the interview they did with Mishal; was an orchestrated reality show.”

Jonny Dymond: “Bit of a blow! I don’t know who orchestrated it, maybe it was all Mishal’s evil plan, it seemed at the time, I mean I was rather new to the job, it seemed like a rather charming interview of two people quite in love and Mishal lobbing questions at them, that was an orchestrated reality show, we will find out later in this show who the puppeteers really are.”

Justin Webb: “I’ve just tried to watch a bit of it here, there is this kind of sense you get from Meghan Markle of the suffocation that she felt when she joined the family.”

Jonny Dymond: “There’s the suffocation she felt from the moment the relationship was made public, suddenly her life was not her own, that is something Prince Harry has lived with all his life, for much of his adult life he’s had that, and she experienced that, she talks about neighbours renting out their yards to put cameras up.”

Mishal Husein: “We know recollections may vary on this particular subject but my recollection is definitely very much, asked to do an interview, and do said interview.”

Justin Webb: “Right, you’ve told your truth.”

Prince Harry vs the paparazzi

Prince Harry on the social media harassment vs paparazzi: “Back in my mum’s day it was physical harassment, cameras in your face, following you, chasing you.

“Paparazzi still harass people but the harassment really exists more online now

“To see another woman in my life go through this feeding frenzy.. That’s hard. It is really the hunter vs the prey.”

The couple kiss on a dog walk - Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix

The couple kiss on a dog walk – Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix

Harry takes aim at journalists in episode three, explaining to Mandana Dayani, who is described as a “friend”, that British newspapers give journalists who report on the Royal family the title of royal correspondent to give “legitimacy” to what they write. “And they get paid for it!” he exclaimed.

He claims the royal press pack is “an extended PR arm of the Royal family,” implying that royal correspondents only ever write positive stories about the royals.

He then contradicted himself by saying that the British press believes “this family is ours to exploit. Their trauma is our story”.

Episode two of Harry & Meghan looked at some of the headlines in the UK tabloid press ahead of Kensington Palace’s statement on the media’s treatment of the Duchess of Sussex.

They included “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton”.

Meghan said: “Firstly, I’m not from Compton, I’ve never lived in Compton, so it’s factually incorrect. But why do you have to make a dig at Compton?”

Other headlines shown in the Netflix documentary are “One’s gone GangstER”, and another saying Meghan’s ancestors were a “tailor, a teacher and a cleaner in racially divided Jim Crow South”.

The Duke of Sussex said: “Eight days after the relationship became public I 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.”

In episode three the Duchess of Sussex reflected on the time leading up to their wedding in May 2018, claiming “salacious” stories were “planted” by the press.

She said: “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 Markles

Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, speaks publicly for the first time in the second episode of the documentary.

“My name is Doria and I’m Meghan’s mum. The last five years have been challenging,” she says.

“I’m ready to have my voice heard. A little bit of experience as her mum.”

She recalls meeting Prince Harry for the first time, his nice manners and how happy they were.

Speaking about the press coverage of Meghan’s background during the second episode of Harry & Meghan, her mother Doria Ragland said paparazzi would take pictures of deprived neighbourhoods in Los Angeles.

Ms Ragland told the Netflix documentary: “They would take pictures of different parts of say Skid Row and say that is where I lived and that is where she was from.”

“It was horrible,” Meghan said.

“But I continued to hold the line. Say nothing.”

Meghan claims the UK media “wanted my Mom’s side of my family to be the one that all of this drama could be stirred up with”.

She said her mother was “classy” but her father’s side were “acting differently”.

She says of her half sister Samantha: “I don’t know your middle name, I don’t know your birthday. You’re telling people that you raised me?”

She said the last time she saw her, Meghan was in her early 20s.

The Duchess of Sussex mentions her estranged father, former lighting director Thomas Markle, as she describes how she would sometimes go onto the set of the sitcom Married with Children after school.

He is pictured on screen.

In episode three, the Duke of Sussex admitted he “shouldered” the breakdown of Meghan’s relationship with her father, Thomas Markle.

The pair have been estranged since he was caught staging paparazzi photographs ahead of her wedding.

Harry said: “Of course it is incredibly sad what happened.

“She had a father before this and now she doesn’t have a father.

“And I shouldered that because if Meg wasn’t with me, then her dad would still be her dad.”

Documentary filmed before Queen’s death

In the opening scenes, Harry is shown at Heathrow airport in footage he filmed himself in March 2020 at the culmination of the Megxit crisis and as he prepared to leave the UK for the last time as a senior royal.

“This is about duty and service and I feel as though, being part of this family, it is my duty to uncover this exploitation and bribery that happens within our media,” he says.

Meghan is seen separately, filming herself in Vancouver wearing a towel on her head and saying: “Unfortunately, in us standing for something, they are destroying us.”

The series began with a written statement on a black background saying it is a “first hand account of Harry & Meghan’s story told with never before seen personal archive”.

It said all interviews were finished in August 2022 and “members of the Royal family declined to comment on the content within this series”.

Harry says: “We’ve just finished two weeks, our final push, our last stint of royal engagements.

“It’s really hard to look back on it now and go, ‘What on Earth happened?”‘

He adds: “This isn’t just about our story. This has always been so much bigger than us.

“No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth. The institution knows the full truth. And the media know the full truth because they’ve been in on it.

“And I think anybody else in my situation would have done exactly the same thing.”

Meanwhile, Meghan is seen saying: “I just really want to get to the other side of all of this.”

There is a silent pause before she appears emotional and says: “I don’t know what to say anymore.”

Meghan unaware of what royal walkabout was

In episode three, Meghan says she had no idea what a royal walkabout was, and Harry says he had no idea about how a female royal should dress for one.

He says that before the couple’s first official walkabout in Nottingham the zip on Meghan’s dress broke and they were scrambling around for a safety pin.

“I mean the whole thing was just ridiculous,” he tells viewers, though Meghan does not mention the fact that as an actress she was a veteran of dressing for red carpets moments and public appearances.

The Duke of Sussex said in the third episode of his tell-all Netflix documentary series that he believes the media see his “trauma” as their story to “control”.

Harry addressed the royal rota, which is a system where media are allocated slots to cover the members of the family.

He said: “If you’re part of the royal rota, you have priority over the story over everybody else.

“All royal news goes through the filter of all newspapers within the royal rota, most of which, apart from the Telegraph, happen to be tabloids.

“It all comes down to control, it’s like ‘This family is ours to exploit. Their trauma is our story and our story and our narrative to control’.”

The Duchess of Sussex said she found the “formality” of being in the royal family “surprising”.

Speaking in episode two of the six-part Harry & Meghan Netflix docuseries, she said: “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.

“I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger, I didn’t realise 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.

“There is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and go ‘You can relax now’, but that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.”

The love story

In part two of the couple’s tell-all Netflix documentary series, Harry and Meghan spoke about how the breakdown of their parents’ marriages had affected their approach to raising son Archie, three, and daughter Lilibet, one.

Meghan said: “There’s so much from anyone’s childhood that you bring with you into the present. Especially when you’re the product of divorce.”

Harry added: “What’s most important to the two of us is to make sure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes that perhaps our parents made.”

“I think most kids who are the product of divorced parents have a lot in common, no matter what your background is.

“Being pulled from once place to another or maybe your parents are competitive, or you’re in one place longer than you want to be or in another place less than you want to be. There’s all sorts of pieces to that.”

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