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HomeNewsHarry and Meghan Netflix doco trailer exposes Prince’s brutal Queen move

Harry and Meghan Netflix doco trailer exposes Prince’s brutal Queen move

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In June this year, Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped into St Paul’s Cathedral in London for a service of thanksgiving for the then-Queen. The Duchess was dressed like the world’s chicest private detective while the Duke looking as thunderous as a man who had just found out that Cadbury’s Crème Eggs were being discontinued. But there was only one story onlookers were concerned about.

The Second Row Saga.

Despite having previously been frontline players in the royal troop, the duo were being lumped in with all the cousins, those down in the double digit wilderness in the line of succession, while live TV cameras broadcast every blink and twitch. It was an ‘ouch’ heard around the world and in this case, revenge was a dish best served via a steely-hearted seating chart.

But today we know that more was going on during the Sussexes’ five-day trip back to the UK in late May and early June, more going on than them just showing their respect and support for a world leader and Gan Gan who had made history and still remembered to send Christmas gifts to her great-grandson in California.

Looks like they might have had a job to do too.

The first trailer for the second “volume” of the Sussexes’ eponymous Netflix documentary series has landed (a ridiculous sentence in itself) and there, set to a soundtrack of sorting string music, are a series of photos which would seem to have been taken by a professional photographer during the family’s Jubilee trip.

There are two obvious possibilities here. Firstly, that Harry and Meghan have the loftiest of standards and wanted only the glossiest, high-calibre shots for their family album of their UK jaunt, which they then later decided to include in their doco.

Or secondly, that while the UK came together to celebrate the Queen’s dedication and duty (and at a time when Her Majesty was reportedly fighting bone cancer), the Sussexes were allowing a snapper on to royal lands to gather material that has found its way on to global TV screens.

You don’t have to be an ardent monarchist who owns Monday to Friday Union Jack knickers to think that it’s a bit rubbish if this is the case.

But here comes the real kicker: Harry and Meghan did all this, along with filming their six-hour attempted take-down of the royal family, with the assumption that it would come out while the Queen was alive.

Harry and Meghan, therefore, were happy for his grandmother, whom they have previously gone to great lengths to say they respect, to watch the Duchess joke about curtsying to Her Majesty for the first time; for the Queen to know that they took a photographer into her London home, reportedly without her permission; and for the sovereign to hear Meghan say that leaving the UK “gave us a chance to create that home that we had always wanted” despite the Queen having given them a grace-and-favour house along with $4.3 million to renovate it.

Here’s another more sh**ty detail. Not only do we have a series of pictures that would appear to have been taken inside and on the grounds of Frogmore Cottage, in the first “volume” of Harry & Meghan we see a photo of the Sussexes laughing while holding tea cups in a strangely small room. The eagle royal-watcher eyes of Twitter have now pegged it as being taken inside Y Bwthyn Bach, the Queen’s own childhood playhouse that now sits in the grounds of Prince Andrew’s home Royal Lodge. (The two-storey thatched playhouse was a gift from the people of Wales to the young Princess Elizabeth in 1932.)

This comes after the first episodes of Harry & Meghan included photos that appear to have been taken inside Buckingham Palace in March 2020. Last week the Telegraph reported that the couple have been accused of inviting the snapper inside that most famous of royal properties without Her Majesty’s permission, with a source describing it to the paper as a “genuine violation of the Queen’s household”.

The irony here is Harry and Meghan seem more than willing to call in the lawyers themselves at the whiff of their family privacy being breached by the media and yet they themselves appear to have been happy to breach the Queen’s private spaces.

This show was not shot and in the can with the proviso it only be screened after the nonagenarian trooper had patted her last racehorse and passed away; every barb, criticism and ‘private’ snap was included at a time when the former Queen was still on the throne.

(While there were reports after the nonagenarian’s passing that the Duke and Duchess wanted the show reworked, with Page Six reporting in October that the duo had been having “second thoughts” and that they wanted to “walk back content they themselves have provided”, a source also said at the time, “Netflix is standing by the filmmakers.”)

Moreover, don’t lose sight of the fact here that they were willing for Her Majesty to have to face this storm – and a week before Christmas.

Harry has always tried to maintain the ludicrous nation that Her Majesty and the institution she headed up were readily divisible, totally separate entities; on one side a kindly grandmother and the other a vulpine institution out to make the Sussexes’ life hell.

But that logic is both laughably flimsy and horribly condescending. In the last year of her life, the Queen’s physical health was clearly failing but there has never been any skerrick of a doubt that her mind was sharp as a tack.

Unlike other monarchs throughout history who have retreated away in the later years, surrounded only by a dwindling circle of trusted retainers, all false teeth, liver spots and a decrepit deference, the Queen was in full control until the very end. This was not a doddery, enfeebled shadow of a former monarch but a woman firmly in control right up until the very last.

How, I wonder, would the Queen have felt watching her grandson and granddaughter-in-law stage a new, six-hour global campaign taking aim at not only the monarchy but also the Commonwealth, a voluntary organisation of which she was immensely proud? How would she have felt to see a number of her properties used as a backdrop to the Sussexes’ high-sheen anti-palace offensive? How would she have felt, a week and a bit out from Christmas, as the CEO/materfamilias having to deal with the fallout from the Sussexes’ latest prime time tantie?

(Sure, she might not have actually watched – as we know, Her Majesty was a Line Of Duty fan.)

They say content is king, but in Harry and Meghan’s rush towards sharing their truth and a highly lucrative Netflix deal, where was their much-vaunted respect for the Queen?

I will leave you with this, which might be the absolute apogee of irony. At one point Harry is talking about the paparazzi deluge Meghan faced and says, without a lick of self-awareness:

“It’s amazing what people would do when offered a huge amount of money. Fifty thousand, a hundred thousand, to hand over photographs, to create a story…”

It really is. It really is.

Daniela Elser is a writer and a royal commentator with more than 15 year’s experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.

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