There’s a lot of excitement ahead of the release of the Harry and Meghan documentary on Netflix. But at least the first three episodes are not yet a personal agreement with the British royal family. But that doesn’t make the series any less explosive.
The preliminary whirlwind around the Netflix documentation, in which Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan want to reveal the “whole truth” about their life in and with the British royal family, could hardly be stronger. It said that Harry’s brother William or his father Charles would be in awe of the revelations. Or: After the death of the Queen, some episodes were redone with a hot needle. And of course, the trailers have also caused quite a stir as they seem to be too generous with some inaccuracies for sensationalism.
The start of the documentary has been repeatedly postponed. But now she is here. At least the first three of the six episodes. The missing episodes should be added on Thursday in a week.
In general, the work traces a chronology that should extend from the moment the British prince and the American actress met to the present day. The third episode stops ahead of the couple’s supposed dream wedding on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle. But even before that, the chronological sequence of events is repeatedly interrupted by forward and backward references to the events surrounding the lives of the two main characters. Then there is a jump back to Harry and Meghan’s childhood days, as well as a fast-forward to the present, in terms of which “the whole truth” is then eventually revealed.
Therapy session with Harry
Sometimes it’s confusing. And just like in the trailers, at one point or another you can be criticized for some catch in terms of dramaturgy. Then, for example, if it needs to be proven that Meghan was subjected to racist hostility immediately after her relationship with Harry was revealed in October 2016, with tweets that only became apparent weeks later.
By breaking it down to the bare essentials, you can filter out the three central motives of documentation. First, it’s a bit like an extended therapy session with Harry. The early accidental death of his mother, and so clearly he still hasn’t fully recovered. And this, too, becomes clear: Harry sees himself like no other, in the tradition of Princess Diana. “My mother made most, if not all, of her decisions with her heart, and I am her son,” you can hear him say, for example. But hearty decisions are not the prerogative of the British royal family, where etiquette reigns.
More than anything, constant outbursts ruined Harry’s life for his mother. And not only her: even at a young age, he and his brother could not avoid the photographers who were always hiding everywhere. “It was never fair,” accuses Harry of the paparazzi, who never had enough fun and continued to follow the family’s every move even after lengthy photo shoots. Diana’s death did not change anything, on the contrary. “Britain considered us their own children,” he recalls, mourning the loss of his mother but still forced to function non-stop in his role as royalty. “Since then, what happened to our mother has happened to us,” he continues.
“It’s all about control”
After all, the older he gets, the more paparazzi and gossipers prey on him. “Not every story was wrong. But a lot has been exaggerated and rephrased multiple times,” Harry laments about his own experience, before later launching into a documentary about the overall media settlement. “It’s all about control. We can exploit this family. Their trauma is our story and we control the story,” he says in terms of influential UK tabloids.
At this point, Meghan becomes a kind of Diana 2.0 for Harry. “I have seen and experienced a lot of suffering for women who are married in this institution,” he draws a direct line from her to his mother to say openly elsewhere: “Meghan is so much like my mom in so many ways. Ultimately, he concludes from all this, the only thing left for him was to break away from the royal family and flee England: “I understand that there are many people who do not agree with what and how I did it. But I knew I had to do everything I could to protect my family, especially after what happened to my mom. It can’t happen again.”
Secondly, the documentary highlights the inner workings of the relationship between the prince and the actress. The tale of “Megxit” that she initiated in particular must be clarified, the couple presented as equals, and the scratched image of the Duchess polished off. “The bubble in the bubble he grew up in” burst before he knew his future wife, Harry assures. The experience of dating was, in turn, an experience of pure infatuation on both sides, the documentary clears up any bad rumors that she was intentionally catching him. Last but not least, these two join their hearts for charity – one bigger than the other.
Harry and Meghan as the victim
Former elementary school teachers, friends or former co-stars of Meghan on the set of Suits naturally only have good things to say about the 41-year-old girl. This is not surprising since the Netflix documentary is specifically designed to tell Harry and Meghan “our version of the story.” “The Royal Family has declined to comment on the content of the series,” it says at the very beginning of the first episode. But even the palace officials, who then complained with alarming frequency about the imaginary manners and mannerisms of the American, have no say. The subject remains – at least in the first three episodes of the documentary – forgotten and thus certainly the gateway to all critics of the Duchess.
Ultimately, the series focuses on Meghan’s difficult relationship with her family. However, she does not speak to her father Thomas or her half-sister Samantha, who is only too happy to publicly taunt her, but only about them. For this, Samantha’s daughter Ashley, who maintains a friendly relationship with her step-aunt, can say that she thinks (good) about Meghan and (badly) about her mother.
In short – and this leads to the third central point of the series: Harry and Meghan are far from any kind of self-criticism. Their version is the version where they are the victims. Victims of their royal role, victims of the media and victims of racism. The allegation, which the pair have already made in their interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey and thus generated perhaps the biggest murmur in the audience, is also the focus of the Netflix documentary. However, again, without naming the horse and rider, against whom the accusation was personally directed in the circle of high-ranking members of the royal family.
“It’s About Racing”
“My family at the time felt what Meg was going through, what everyone else was going through. It was almost like an initiation. this is? I said, “The difference is that it’s about race,” Harry vaguely laments Meghan’s lack of support from his family. Elsewhere, the famous scandal involving Princess Michael of Kent at a Christmas dinner at Buckingham Palace in 2017 is discussed. The wife of one of the Queen’s cousins appeared at the meal with the so-called “Blackamoor” brooch, a racist relic of slave and colonial times. Also, however, contrary to what many may have suspected or even hoped for, no names are mentioned in the first episodes of the documentary.
Which doesn’t mean Netflix production isn’t explosive anymore. Instead of getting personal, Harry and Meghan, along with her, laid the ax on the entire monarchy. In any case, Queen Elizabeth II would certainly not have been amused if her insistence on the Commonwealth had been contrasted with explanations of the history of slavery in the former colonies. The Prince and Duchess take out large cutlery to show how legal racism is in the British royal family. And not only there: the xenophobic climate in British society is also being discussed – also and especially during Brexit, which coincided with Meghan’s arrival in the royal family.
“The argument in favor of monarchy is always the Commonwealth.” Harry and Meghan prefer to have an expert say this line in their documentary and also in this one: “If you look closely, you will say that there is a family that has been chosen by God to speak about this country and other countries around the world. . rule the world, it will be a difficult discussion. For this organization to survive, it must be modernized.” In a historical review one could hardly find a contradiction for these statements. However, the fact that the Prince and Princess of Sussex casually let them spill their “whole truth” is definitely explosive. The promotional drum for the next three episodes should be pretty excited.