Harry & Meghan: Everything we know about Netflix documentary as trailer drops
The first three episodes of the highly anticipated Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan will be released on 8 December.
The streaming giant unveiled a second trailer on Monday, giving a tantalising insight into some of the potentially explosive revelations the six-part show will contain.
It followed the first-look trailer last Thursday, which used private photos of the couple to give insight into the difference between their public selves and what goes on behind closed doors. It also showed Meghan looking tearful and tense in some of the shots.
"When the stakes are this high", she says, "doesn't it make more sense to hear our story from us"?
It seems the couple have viewed the documentary series as an opportunity to get across their version of events about their time as working royals — and their now infamous exit from royal life.
Netflix has said the couple's "friends and family" who haven't spoken publicly before will provide insight "into what they witnessed". Other context will be provided by historians, who will discuss "the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family’s relationship with the press".
The media seems likely to be a major focus of the upcoming series, based on the snapshots shared so far in the trailer.
Watch: Full trailer for Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary
Harry discusses what he calls a "feeding frenzy" of women who marry into the Royal Family, and draws parallels to the press' treatment of his mother Diana.
He also talks about the the Royal Family's hierarchy and connects it to the "leaking [and] also planting of stories" calling it a "dirty game".
The racism Meghan has experienced will also likely be a big topic in the series. Christopher Bouzy — who runs Bot Sentinel and has published research about the online targeting of the duchess — says in trailer "it's about hatred. It's about race". Another commentator claims "there was a war against Meghan to suit other people's agendas".
The context for these comments will be revealed when the series drops, but for now it seems the couple won't be holding back.
As the release date quickly approaches, here is everything else we know about the documentary.
What have Harry and Meghan said about it?
The couple has stayed pretty tight-lipped about the documentary, as have Netflix themselves. Other than refuting through a spokesperson that what they were filming was a reality show, the only other glimpses from the couple themselves came from a recent interview with The Cut, during which Meghan offered some insight into what would be included.
"The piece of my life I haven't been able to share, that people haven't been able to see is our love story."
Meghan added: "I'm not trying to be cagey," but said that Liz Garbus, the director attached to the project, "is incredible".
Meghan also said: "When the media has shaped the story around you, it's really nice to be able to tell your own."
Since the beginning of their relationship, Meghan and Harry have worried their story has often been one distorted — or at least influenced — by the media.
In 2020, the couple wrote to the editors of four major UK newspapers saying that they would refuse to respond to requests from journalists in the future and would pursue an approach of zero engagement – except when they would instruct lawyers to right any wrongful reporting.
Last June, the Sussexes accused the BBC of libel over a report about the naming of their daughter Lilibet.
So it seems that it is the media the couple are more likely to target in any Netflix show, rather than their extended family – particularly after the recent loss of Queen Elizabeth.
Now, as reported in The Telegraph, they have an opportunity to show "where they have come from, what they've been through and where they are. I think it will explain a lot about the decisions they've had to make and how they've ended up here."
What was the deal Meghan and Harry made with Netflix?
The multi-million deal that Harry and Meghan made with Netflix in 2020 to produce content with the streaming giant has been the subject of much speculation since the moment it was struck.
It was announced that as one of their initial ventures on their journey to financial independence, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had signed a multi-year deal to produce content with the streaming giant.
Archewell Productions — the Sussexes' media production company — would create content for Netflix that included "documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming", according to the New York Times.
This included Heart of Invictus a docu-series about competitors taking part in the Invictus Games and an animated show for children called Pearl, which has already been scrapped.
"There's not much you can do when a company and a division changes their slate," Meghan said to The Cut about Pearl. "And there's also not much you can do when, even if they think the project is great, the media will report it as though it was my only project."
The deal was reported to worth anywhere from $50m to £100m.
Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals, told GB News said that: "If you're going to get into bed with Netflix, Spotify, with the big publishing companies, and sign these multi-million pound deals, they are going to want their pound of flesh."
What's going on with Harry's book?
Harry's memoir will be released on 10 January 2023. While there was some speculation that revisions were made following his grandmother's death in an attempt to tone down anything that could deepen the family rifts within the House of Windsor, the Telegraph has reported that was more to do with "clarifying tenses" and to ensure the text "makes sense".