Meghan and Harry’s Netflix documentary is out today and begins with an attack on Buckingham Palace’s decision not to co-operate on the series that declares war on the Royal Family and the media.
The highly-anticipated series is being put out in two parts, with the first three episodes of the six-part docu-series now available to stream.
In episode one, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex begin by filming themselves on the day they ended their royal duties in March 2020, with Harry in the VIP lounge at Heathrow as he flew to Canada. Meghan cries with a towel on her head as she declares: ‘I don’t even know where to begin’. Viewers pointed out this footage was captured six months before their $100million deal with Netflix was signed in September 2020.
The privacy-conscious couple have given extraordinary access to the streaming giant, including a treasure trove of pictures and footage from their private lives including of their children. Meghan’s mother Doria also speaks publicly about their relationship for the first time.
Meghan and Harry share a candid shot with Doria and Archie on his birthday
Prince Harry opens the docu-series from Heathrow as he left the country and frontline royal duties
Meghan cries on her bed in Vancouver as Harry leaves the UK after Megxit
Doria Ragland has spoken about her daughter relationship with Prince Harry for the first time in their new Netflix documentary
The first three episodes also cover Harry’s birth and upbringing and he blames the media for the failure of his previous relationships. The Sussexes then describe how they get together, their engagement and then quitting as frontline royals.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex discuss Megxit, racism and their new life in California. It also begins with a pointed comment that the Royal Family declined to comment on allegations in the show and reveals it was completed in August 2022 – before the death of the Queen.
Episode one begins with Harry filming himself at Heathrow Airport in March 2020 as he finishes his final royal engagements before emigrating. His wife, in Vancouver, breaks down on her bed as she says: ‘I don’t even know where to begin’.
The show opened with words written in white on a black background which said: ‘This is a first-hand account of Harry & 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 opening scenes of the first episode show an airport with a close-up of a departures sign while piano music plays over the footage.
It then cuts to Harry and words on the screen tell viewers he is in the Windsor Suite at Heathrow Airport in March 2020.
He appears to be filming himself speaking into his phone camera and says: ‘Hi. So we’re here on Wednesday the something of March.
‘We’ve just finished our two weeks, our like final push, our last stint of royal engagements.
‘It’s really hard to look back on it now and go ‘what on earth happened’? Like, how did we end up here?’
As Harry speaks, images of the couple flash on screen, followed by newspaper headlines and broadcasters’ audio from coverage about their decision to step back from royal life.
The first episode then shifts to what appears to be phone footage, filmed vertically, showing Vancouver Island, Canada.
Meghan appears with a towel wrapped around her hair, appearing to speak into her phone camera, saying: ‘H is in London and I’m here.’
She shakes her head and says: ‘I don’t even know where to begin.’
The opening credits of the documentary feature footage of Harry and Meghan in their carriage on their wedding day and an image of the late Queen in a carriage.
They also show the King at his investiture as Prince of Wales, Harry as a child with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Meghan facing into a sea of Union flags.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are shown introducing their son, Archie, to the media, Harry as a young man, the couple looking lovingly at one another, and what appear to be photo-booth style pictures of the pair having fun.
The image of Harry and Meghan showing Archie to the Queen, watched by Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, is also included. The opening credits also show Harry and Meghan enjoying the outdoors with their children.
In the opening scenes, Harry says: ‘We’ve just finished two weeks, out final push, our list stint of royal engagements. ‘It’s really hard to look back on it now and go what on earth happened?’
The first episode, which is 56 minutes long, shared the impact of Harry’s childhood in the public eye and their secret relationship in the early days. Its Netflix tags were ‘Riveting’, ‘Investigative’, and ‘Docuseries’
Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth well over £100million, with the streaming giant and Spotify, after quitting as senior working royals in 2020 following family rifts and struggles with royal life
The ‘unprecedented and in-depth’ docuseries, directed by Oscar-nominated Liz Garbus, is billed as a Netflix global event, with Harry and Meghan sharing ‘the other side of their high-profile love story’
Footage of the couple introducing son Archie to the media then plays with Harry’s voice saying: ‘My job is to keep my family safe. By the nature of being born into this position and with everything else that comes with it and the level of hate that is being stirred up in the last three years especially against my wife, and my son, I’m generally concerned for the safety of my family.’
Meghan can then be seen again, towel wrapped around her hair, saying: ‘I just really want to get to the other side of all of this.’
There is a pause where she sits silently and then she appears emotional and says: ‘I don’t know what to say anymore.’
In the opening of the first episode, Harry says: ‘So like duty and service and I feel as though being part of this family it is my duty to uncover this exploitation and bribery that happens within our media.’
Meghan says: ‘Unfortunately, in us standing for something, they are destroying us.’
As the piano music continues to play, Harry says: ‘This isn’t just about our story. This has always been so much bigger than us.
‘No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth. The institution knows the full truth. And the media know the full truth because they’ve been in on it.
‘And I think anybody else in my situation would have done exactly the same thing.’
Episode two opens in New York in November 2021, with Harry and Meghan getting into a car as a bodyguard discusses how to avoid photographers ‘camped out’ along the road
As the couple become stuck in a traffic jam, they realise they are being followed by a photographers on a scooter, with Meghan asking, ‘Do we have that pap on a scooter again – the same guy’, to which the bodyguard replies, ‘yes’
Speaking about the press coverage of Meghan’s background during the second episode of Harry & Meghan, her mother Doria Ragland said paparazzi would take pictures of deprived neighbourhoods in Los Angeles.
Ms Ragland told the Netflix documentary: ‘They would take pictures of different parts of say Skid Row and say that is where I lived and that is where she was from.’
‘It was horrible,’ Meghan said.
‘But I continued to hold the line. Say nothing.’
The Duke of Sussex has said members of the royal family asked why the Duchess of Sussex should be ‘protected’ when they questioned newspaper headlines about her.
Speaking in episode two of Harry & Meghan, the six-part Netflix docuseries released on Thursday, he said: ‘The direction from the Palace was don’t say anything.
‘But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well.
‘So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like ‘my wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?”
‘I said “the difference here is the race element”.’
Buckingham Palace has been braced for the worst after two trailers revealed the couple claim they had no protection from royal officials and that aides actively leaked and ‘planted stories’ against them as part of a ‘dirty game’.
King Charles and Prince William are said to be ready to respond to the series if necessary.
King Charles and Prince William are said to be poised to issue a ‘swift and robust’ response to any unjust claims in Harry and Meghan’s upcoming Netflix series – but William and his wife Kate are not likely to watch it themselves, sources said.
Harry and Meghan have branded their engagement announcement in 2017 an ‘orchestrated reality show’ in episode three of their bombshell Netflix documentary
Harry and Meghan during an interview after announcing their engagement in 2017
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an appearance at the Ripple of Hope Awards in New York
Members of the Sussexes’ now defunct household are said to be ‘seething with rage’ over trailers for the six-part documentary
King Charles and Prince William (pictured with Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales) are said to be undecided about whether to respond to the show
The Royal Family believes the series will actually by slim on new revelations.
A source told The Mirror: ‘There’s a real feeling in the camp that Harry and Meghan are making a lot of noise and there isn’t much more to say.
‘But preparations are being made for all outcomes, especially if there are unjust accusations being made.’
Members of the Sussexes’ now defunct household are also said to be ‘seething with rage’ over trailers for the six-part documentary.
Officials from both Buckingham and Kensington Palace will watch the first three episodes of the series on Thursday morning.
But it is understood that the Prince and Princess of Wales will refuse to watch the first three episodes of the documentary.
An insider also told The Sun that the royals are reluctant to engage in a tit-for-tat battle over the series.
They said: ‘If there are parts which are blatantly wrong, then it is only right that they are corrected.
‘The trailers already have some glaring errors and misrepresentations, which doesn’t bode well for the full series. But the plan is to keep schtum and carry on.’
But sources told the newspaper they are unlikely to respond until the full series has been released – due next Thursday.
Aides are understood to have been briefed by the King and Prince of Wales to issue a ‘swift and robust’ response if required.
‘If there is a need to respond to anything in the upcoming series then you can be assured that response will be swift and robust.’
It is understood that Netflix offered a right of reply to senior royal to allow them the chance to respond to any allegations featured in the series.
But Buckingham and Kensington Palace both deny receiving any such approach.
Harry and Meghan, meanwhile, have vowed that it is just the ‘beginning’ and have earlier spoken of ‘sweeping down walls of oppression’.