Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Netflix Docuseries Drops 3 Episodes With Disclaimer About Royal Family
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's six-episode Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, released its first three episodes early Thursday morning. The docuseries features footage from their private archive, which shows their side "of their high-profile love story." In a disclaimer at the start of the series, it's noted that all interviews were conducted by August 2022, which is significant as Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept. 8, 2022.
It's also noted in a disclaimer that members of the royal family declined to comment on the content of the series.
Despite this, a source close to the royal family tells ET, “That is incorrect. Neither Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace nor any members of the royal family were approached for comment on the content of the series," adding "[The Palace] is not aware of any such approach for comment."
Each of the three episodes is about an hour in length. The description for the first reads, "As Harry shares the impact of a childhood in the public eye, he and Meghan reflect on the secret, early days of their unexpected romance."
The second episode's description reads, "In 2016, the relationship becomes public -- and public scrutiny begins. Meghan remembers school, family life, and acting and activism before Harry."
As for episode three, that description reads, "The couple's 2017 engagement sparks both cynicism and hope. As Meghan grapples with royal protocols, tabloid headlines behind to involve her family."
The description for the series previously read, "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."
Netflix announced the series will be released in volume I and volume II, with the first dropping Thursday and the second on Dec. 15.
"It's really hard to look back on it now and go, 'What on earth happened?'" Harry says in a trailer for the docuseries, adding that within the royal family stories are both leaked and planted.
"The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution, this feeding frenzy," Harry says as image of headlines surrounding Meghan, Harry's mother, Princess Diana, and Harry's sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, flash across the screen.
"I realized they're never going to protect you," Meghan says.
Harry also assures viewers, "No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth."
Another teaser-trailer for the docuseries also featured never-before-seen photos of the pair's early romance.
"No one sees what's happening behind closed doors," Harry says in the teaser. "I did everything I could to protect my family."
"When the stakes are this high, does it make more sense to hear our story from us?" Meghan ponders in her own interview.
In both trailers, Meghan is seen wiping away tears as Harry tilts his head back in frustration.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed a multimillion-dollar production deal with Netflix in September 2020.
Here's a look at everything ET knows about Harry & Meghan so far.
The six-episode docuseries will follow the couple's love story from their point of view. It will be split into volume I and volume II.
"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," the description reads. "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."
When asked about the unnamed project during an August interview with The Cut, Meghan replied, "The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story."
She went on to quote the end of a speech she gave at her 2018 wedding to Harry, saying she took comfort in the "resounding knowing that, above all, love wins," adding, "I hope that is the sentiment that people feel when they see any of the content or the projects that we are working on."
Page Six also reported that the project was originally titled Chapters.
The six-episode docuseries will be released in two parts -- volume I on Dec. 8 and volume II on Dec. 15.
The original director rumored to be tied to the project was Garrett Bradley, who was at the helm of the Netflix three-part docuseries Naomi Osaka, about the famed tennis champion. Page Six later reported that the Sussexes and Bradley couldn't see eye-to-eye on the direction of the project.
“Garrett wanted Harry and Meghan to film at home and they were not comfortable doing that," one industry insider told the outlet. “There were a few sticky moments between them, and Garrett left the project. Harry and Meghan’s own production company captured as much footage as they could before Liz Garbus was hired.”
Garbus, who worked with Meghan on the previously axed animated Netflix series Pearl, has now been confirmed as the director on the project by the duchess herself. Garbus is a two-time Oscar-nominated director, who has directed episodes of The Handmaid's Tale and the 2015 documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? about the life of singer Nina Simone.
Everything Meghan Markle Has Said About It
When asked about Garbus' docuseries during a Variety cover story released in October, Meghan replied, "It’s nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I’ve long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it. But that’s not why we’re telling it. We’re trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens."
She also expressed excitement for returning to the entertainment industry after stepping away when she joined the royal family.
"My husband has never worked in this industry before. For me, having worked on Suits, it’s so amazing to be around so much creative energy and to see how people work together and share their own points of view," she added. "That’s been really fun."
Meghan also briefly touched on the project during her August cover story in The Cut, saying, "When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story."
She avoided speaking about the project but did call director Garbus "incredible," but wouldn't answer more, saying, "I don't know what's confirmed."
Harry & Meghan Volume I is currently streaming on Netflix. Volume II will premiere on Dec. 15.
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