The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ revelatory Netflix documentary series has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.
Harry & Meghan is up for the best streaming non-fiction series at the Hollywood Critics Awards (HCA).
The six-part series, released in December, is the only show the couple have so far produced since signing a multi-year deal with Netflix, rumoured to be worth $100 million (£77 million), in September 2020.
The nomination will come as welcome news to the Sussexes, who announced last month that their $20 million Spotify deal had come to a premature end after just one series of Meghan’s 12-part Archetypes podcast and a short “holiday special”.
It prompted speculation about the longevity of their Netflix deal and questions about whether they could produce successful content about anything other than themselves.
They came under fire from industry figures who said they were “underwhelmed” by the couple’s productivity and claimed they had struggled to come up with ideas and were inexperienced as producers.
A source close to the Duke and Duchess told The Telegraph that it was proving “tough” for the couple to move forwards with Netflix projects in development due to a Hollywood writers’ strike, which has brought much of US film and television production to a crashing halt.
However, Harry & Meghan proved a huge success. Netflix announced in January that the explosive series had become its second-highest-ranked documentary ever.
Released on Dec 8 in the lead-up to the publication of the Duke’s controversial memoir Spare, it saw a string of damaging claims levelled at the Royal family.
Prince Harry alleged in the series that the Prince of Wales had left him terrified after screaming and shouting at him during the Sandringham summit – a meeting held between senior aides and members of the family to discuss the Sussexes’ future.
He also accused King Charles of lying during the tense crisis meeting in January 2020.
Harry alleged on camera that Kensington Palace had “lied” to protect his brother when it issued a statement denying that William had bullied him out of the Royal family.
He also likened Meghan to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, as he suggested that her popularity and her domination of newspaper front pages at the expense of more senior members of the family had caused jealousy that directly contributed to the rift with his brother and father.
The claim was roundly rejected by royal sources, who said the Sussexes had “fundamentally misconstrued” the institution’s understanding of the media.
In the UK, the Netflix series became the most-watched subscription television series of the year so far, figures released in December showed.
The first episode was seen by an average of 4.5 million people in the seven days after its release – more than 1.5 million higher than the equivalent figure for episode one of the new series of The Crown, which was released a few weeks earlier on Nov 9.
Harry & Megan has been shortlisted for the HCA alongside Prehistoric Planet 2, Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss, Rennervations, The 1619 Project and The Reluctant Traveller with Eugene Levy.
The 2023 HCA TV Awards Ceremony for Streaming will be held on Sunday, Aug 13, the day after the awards for broadcast and cable television.
Last year, The Beatles: Get Back won the prize for the best streaming docuseries or non-fiction series.