Within the first minute of episode one of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix series, a grim-faced Duke of Sussex pops up on screen in a video diary, with the words “Windsor Suite, London Heathrow Airport, 2020” below him.
“Hi, so we’re here, on Wednesday the something of March, um, we’ve just finished our two weeks, our 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?” he says.
“ … No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth. The institution knows the full truth. And the media knows the full truth, because they’ve been in on it.”
At apparently around the same time, across the ocean and in a luxurious property on Canada’s Vancouver Island, a makeup-free Meghan records similar footage.
“H is in London, and I’m here. I don’t even know where to begin. I just really want to get to the other side of all of this … They are destroying us,” she says with tears in her eyes.
It’s raw, and powerful, and a never-before-seen insight into Harry and Meghan’s personal thoughts at the moment of impact, when the world was reeling from news of their resignation from the Royal Family.
Given that their rumoured $183 million dollar Netflix deal is all about telling their story, it’s extremely fortunate that this footage exists of the literal day that Harry left his homeland.
But … isn’t that a bit odd?
By all accounts, their own included, both Harry and Meghan were emotionally bruised and battered by the time they finally escaped to Canada, where they stayed before moving permanently to the US. Self-preservation and healing were on their minds, as they waded through the deluge of bad publicity to find sanctuary and peace on the other side.
They have said publicly that they never intended for their lives to turn out this way, that they’d had every intention of working within the Royal Family before things became untenable.
It was almost a full year after they left before reports of their mega Netflix deal even began circulating.
Yet from the very start, they’d been compiling footage – the very sort that would be needed for exactly the show they’ve produced.
Perhaps pre-empting this very observation, Harry tells the interviewer that “a friend” had suggested they “document” themselves “through this period of time”.
“With all of the misinformation that was going on out there, especially about us and our departure, it seemed like a really sensible idea,” he said.
But this isn’t evidence being compiled for a court of law. We’re talking about emotional video diaries with no specific facts or figures, just footage that provides the kind of colour that would be needed for, say … a broadcast deal.
Harry and Meghan have copped plenty of flak over their decision to quit the Royal Family in order to carve out new lives for themselves in the US. After being financially supported by the institution (and his father), a huge part of that is, of course, finding ways to earn a living – and that $183 million Netflix cheque should cover some bills.
But fairly or not, the issue many seem to have with the couple is their relaxed attitude toward the truth. As the Palace so politely put it last year: “Recollections may vary.”
A great example is the many disputed revelations in their bombshell Oprah Winfrey tell-all, including Meghan’s claim they were privately married before their 2018 royal wedding (which was quickly dispelled) and that she’d had her passport taken from her (pictures of her on numerous international jaunts easily contradicted this).
These small but significant details have added up and seen the Sussex’s credibility erode over the years.
And now, once more, question marks have been raised over the truth they’re telling us, and the reality of the situation.
They’ve offered a rather surprising level of preparedness for a Netflix deal which, by their own accounts, only crossed their minds well after they quit royal duties.
There’s no crime in them selling access to their lives to the highest bidder – plenty of others have profited off them, so why not? – but it seems only fair that if they’re going to tell their “truth”, they not just highlight the parts they want us to hear.
Story Credit: news.com.au