5 juiciest tidbits from ‘Harry & Meghan’ Netflix documentary

After months of anticipation, Harry & Meghan, the documentaries about Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has finally landed on Netflix.

The first three episodes of a total of six arrived on Thursday and offered a glimpse into the private world of the notorious ex-royals – and enough provocations to have ardent monarchists reaching for their pearls.

Directed by Liz Garbus, an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker whose credits include ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ and ‘The Fourth Estate’, and featuring commentary from friends, family and a host of British culture experts, sets the series on Harry and Meghan’s intimate love story in a broader context about the tabloids, the royal family and the racist history of the British Empire.

The first three episodes cover Meghan and Harry’s early romance – kept secret from the press for a seemingly blissful few months in the summer and early fall of 2016 – the press frenzy that began when their relationship became public, their engagement a year later and the frantic preparations for their wedding in May 2018.

Garbus gives a clear arc to both protagonists, Harry and Meghan: we hear how Harry’s childhood in the spotlight tainted his view of the press, particularly after his mother’s death in 1997, and how military service helped shape him as a youngster to ground adults. We hear how, as a light-skinned multiracial woman, Meghan rarely faced the same kind of overt racism as her mother and prided herself on being smart and socially conscious rather than pretty, but later struggled to find rewarding roles as an actress. Garbus uses a rich treasure trove of material, including archive footage, home videos, cell phone videos, personal photos, social media posts, and even text messages, to visually bring the story to life.

Harry & Meghan is the first TV project to come to fruition since the Sussexes signed a lucrative deal with Netflix two years ago (it’s also one of five TV shows called Harry & Meghan currently on IMDb It follows Meghan’s Archetypes podcast, which debuted in August amid a spate of glossy magazine profiles and ahead of the release of Harry’s memoir Spare next month. It’s unclear if public curiosity about the couple is high enough to sustain such a massive media rush: As of Thursday afternoon, “Harry & Meghan” has yet to crack the Netflix top 10.

Still, the series pulls back the curtain on royal life far enough to keep viewers intrigued (and perhaps inspire a future episode of The Crown).

Here’s a roundup of the juiciest tidbits yet:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Prince Harry (left) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during their blockbuster interview with Oprah Winfrey last year.

(Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)

Harry and Meghan met on Instagram.

Harry & Meghan reveals the couple met in a very contemporary way: when Harry slipped into their DMs.

Well, something like that.

Harry, who appears to have had a private, anonymous account on Instagram, recalls scrolling through his feed when he saw a video with Meghan featuring a friend (who is not named in the series). Harry was intrigued, even though Meghan’s face was mostly obscured by a dog filter.

The friend then reached out to Meghan to see if she would like to meet “Prince Haz”. Meghan was impressed with his feed, which was “just beautiful photography and all these environmental shots and he was spending that time in Africa,” she says on the series.

Harry and Meghan call themselves “H” and “M”.

In perhaps the series’ most disturbing revelation, the Sussexes refer to each other as ‘H’ and ‘M’ in conversation and almost never seem to call each other by their full first names. As in, “I met H while I was in London for Wimbledon.” Or “M flew in from Toronto for the weekend.”

Also, their friends know them as “Haz and Meg,” and Harry is on Meghan’s phone as “Haz.”

The royal family doesn’t like hugs.

Haz and Meg don’t overtly badmouth Prince William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the show, but there is one moment that could be seen as a bit dodgy. Meghan recalls first meeting Kate when William and Kate stopped by for dinner. Barefoot and in ripped jeans, she apparently greeted her future in-laws with a hug. “I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize it was really irritating for a lot of Brits,” she says of footage of Kate politely shaking hands at a formal engagement. “I began to understand very quickly that the outer formality prevailed on the inside… and that came as a surprise to me.”

Meghan compares curtseys to the Queen with a visit to the Middle Ages.

Meghan recalls the absurdity of meeting Queen Elizabeth II for the first time without any prior notice or protocol advice from Harry. (Pull yourself together, Haz!) In their narrative, they were going to lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor when Harry casually mentioned that his grandmother would be in attendance. She hadn’t been taught how to curtsey, so she encouraged it.

“Americans will understand. We have Medieval Times, Dinner and Tournament,” she says, breaking out in giggles as she reenacts a dramatic curtsy reminiscent of an overzealous Ren Faire performer. “‘It is a pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty!’ It was so intense.”

But Harry says the family were initially impressed by Meghan and more importantly surprised “that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman”.

meghan did invite her father to her wedding.

Episode 3 delves into Meghan’s complicated relationship with the father’s side of the family, which became even more strained in the months leading up to her marriage to Harry in 2018. We meet her niece Ashleigh Hale, Meghan’s half-sister’s biological daughter. Samantha Markle, but was raised by her paternal grandparents. Though Meghan says she was never close to Samantha, she and Ashleigh grew close as adults. But when Samantha Markle started speaking to the press about not being invited to the royal wedding, Harry and Meghan had to make the difficult decision to uninvite Ashleigh.

But Meghan says her father, Tom Markle, was always invited to the celebrations and she was told he wouldn’t be coming from TMZ. Despite calling him repeatedly to clear the air and find out what was going on, she only heard from him via text messages, including a message that seemed suspicious because he used her full name “Meghan,” despite always calling her Meg .

“I thought that’s not my father,” she says. “We knew his phone had been compromised.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-12-08/harry-meghan-netflix-sussex-royal-family-doc 5 juiciest tidbits from ‘Harry & Meghan’ Netflix documentary

Sarah Ridley

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