Royal Family contradict key claim in Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary

Harry and Meghan's controversial Netflix series has finally aired. (PA/Netflix)
Harry and Meghan's controversial Netflix series has finally aired. (PA/Netflix)

The Royal Family and Netflix are at odds over a claim in Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series that the palace "declined to comment" on the controversial show.

The first three episodes of the six-part Harry & Meghan series began streaming at 8am on Monday morning.

Episode one opened with words written in white on a black background which said: “This is a first-hand account of Harry and Meghan’s story, told with never before seen personal archive.

“All interviews were completed by August 2022.

“Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series.”

The series starts by revealing that members of the royal family refused to comment on the series. (Netflix)
The series starts by revealing that members of the royal family refused to comment on the series. (Netflix)

However, Yahoo News UK understands that neither Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace nor any member of the Royal Family were directly approached for comment on the content of the series.

A source at Kensington Palace said they received an email purporting to be from a third-party production company, via a different, unknown organisation’s email address.

The palace said it contacted Archewell Productions and Netflix to attempt to verify the authenticity of the email but received no response. It added that the substance of the email did not address the entire series.

A Netflix source, meanwhile, continues to insist that King Charles and the Prince of Wales' offices were both contacted before the show was aired.

The dispute is the latest in an uncomfortable relationship between the royal household and streaming giant.

The royals are believed to have expressed dismay privately at the latest series of the Crown, which covers the period of Charles and Diana's bitter divorce.

The latest show comes just over 18 months after Harry and wife Meghan, who is the first mixed-race member of the modern monarchy, painted the institution as racist and uncaring during an interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

The Netflix show continues on that theme in parts with the couple making a series of claims about the royal family, including an allegation from Harry that members of his own family dismissed the abuse in the media aimed at Meghan, telling him: "My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any different. Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?"

Harry says he told them the difference was the "race element".

Harry and Meghan's Netflix series caused controversy before it was even released. (PA/Netflix)
Harry and Meghan's Netflix series caused controversy before it was even released. (PA/Netflix)

Meghan also claims she was banned from inviting her own niece to their wedding while Harry also said that his wife being an American actress “clouded” his family’s view of her.

The third episode of the documentary refers to an event in 2017 when Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor-style brooch which was deemed to be racist.

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.

Watch: Trailer for Harry and Meghan Netflix docuseries

“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.”

Following a year involving the death of the Queen, Charles' ascension to the throne and Andrew's legal troubles, Buckingham Palace have been steeling themselves for any uncomfortable revelations.

Charles and Harry's brother William, along with Camilla and Kate, are not expected to be personally watching the series, but royal aides will be tasked with closely monitoring the output, and considering, if at all, how to respond.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips and King Charles III during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England.  Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
King Charles (bottom) and the Prince of Wales (left) will be steeling themselves for revelations made in the docuseries. (Getty)

A friend close to the Royal Family said the situation concerns “real people” and there is a “great deal of sadness” involved.

“It’s really important to remember that these are real people. This isn’t a soap opera. They are human beings and a family and there’s a great deal of sadness,” the PA news agency quoted them as saying.

The King and the Royal Family will be carrying on with royal duties as normal on Thursday, with the documentary also coinciding with the first circulation of coins bearing Charles’s effigy in post offices around the UK – symbolic of the adjustments still continuing in the wake of the Queen's death.