Netflix releases Harry & Meghan documentary trailer amid royal race row

An emotionally charged trailer of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s forthcoming Netflix documentary series has been released, as Buckingham Palace reels from a racism incident and during a key visit to the US by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In the 1 min 12 sec “teaser”, Harry and Meghan share previously unseen intimate photographs, some showing the duchess apparently crying, with one scene showing Harry with his head tilted back as his wife appears to wipe away her tears with both hands.

As an unseen interviewer asks: “Why did you want to make this documentary?” a montage of black and white photographs flashes up. One shows Meghan curled up on a chair, head in hands on the phone and seemingly distressed. Harry says: “No one sees what is happening behind closed doors.”

The trailer then cuts to a photograph of a stern-looking Kate, with William sitting beside her, and Meghan behind, taken at the Commonwealth Day service before the Sussexes left the UK.

Further photographs show Meghan sombre in a black hat, taken at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, and another of a bank of press photographers, as Harry continues: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.” A picture shows Meghan seated in a car seemingly wiping away tears.

Meghan tells the interviewer: “When the stakes were this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”

Other, happier, personal photographs show Harry playing guitar for his wife, the couple hiking with him holding picked flowers, wading in a stream with their dogs, a pregnant Meghan in silhouette, dancing at their wedding, and sharing a kiss in their kitchen.

In an accompanying statement, Netflix described “Harry & Meghan” as a “never-before-seen look at one of the most discussed couples in history”.

The timing of the trailer is not the best for Buckingham Palace, which is still dealing with the aftermath of the resignation of Lady Susan Hussey, one of the late Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, after she questioned the charity founder Ngozi Fulani about where she was “really from” at a palace reception. The palace and William, her godson, described the comments as “deeply regrettable” and “unacceptable”.

Kensington Palace will also undoubtedly be concerned that the trailer will switch the focus to the Sussexes and away from William and Kate as they undertake the second day of engagements in Boston promoting the prince’s Earthshot environmental prize.

Netflix said in a statement: “In an unprecedented and in-depth documentary series, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex share the other side of their high-profile love story. Across six episodes, the series explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution.

“With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family’s relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”