In the first episode of their new docuseries Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recalled their last night of freedom before news of their relationship broke to the world. In October 2016, Prince William and Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, had informed them that a tabloid was about to pick up a story about their under-the-radar romance.
The eve before the news broke, the pair decided to “pull the pin on the fun grenade” and go out in costumes to a Halloween party in Toronto with Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, her then-boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, and Meghan’s friend, Marcus.
“We’d been dating secretly since July,” Harry explained in the documentary, with Meghan by his side.
“We’d been so petrified of when it would break and H tried to prepare me for what that might be like, knowing what he’d experienced in the past,” Meghan added.
When Knauf called Harry to let him know that their secret relationship was “scooped by a tabloid,” the then 32-year-old prince decided to go all out on their last night of fun before being hounded by the press.
“He said, ‘Well, if it’s gonna come out tomorrow, let’s go have fun tonight,’” Meghan recalled.
The couple shared pictures and selfies detailing their partying on their last night of freedom. In one image, Harry and Meghan posed for the camera dressed in their disguises – Harry in a full ski mask with goggles, and Meghan wearing a trapper hat and camo tank top.
One snap from the evening showed the duchess and Princess Eugenie taking a selfie in their costumes, while another saw the princess dressed in steampunk attire. Before going out, the friends all took a picture together with their heads all in a circle.
“We went to this Halloween party together where we could be completely dressed up and no one would know,” Harry said. “I had a bandana and goggles.”
“You borrowed a great costume,” Meghan chimed in. “And we were like well this might be our last shot to just go out and have fun out in the world.”
Harry exclaimed: “Pull the pin on the fun grenade, which we did!”
Meghan Markle previously revealed she and Prince Harry “snuck out” for an incognito date night before going public with their relationship during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2021.
“The four of us snuck out in Halloween costumes to have one fun night on the town before it was out in the world that we were a couple,” she told DeGeneres. “It was a post-apocalypse theme so we had all this very bizarre costuming on, and we were able to have one final fun night out.”
Throughout the first three episodes of their Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan – which were released on Thursday, 8 December – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared insights into the early days of their relationship, including how they met on Instagram and their first date.
In the first episode, Harry recalled that he first came across Meghan on Instagram after seeing her in a video posted by a mutual friend while he was scrolling through his “feed” back in 2016. The couple said the video in question saw Meghan using a spotted dog Snapchat filter, which left her with dog ears, a dog nose and a floppy tongue.
The couple’s Netflix docuseries follows the duke and duchess’ “early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution.”
The next three episodes of Harry and Meghan will be released on Thursday 15 December.