Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Rep Speaks Out Amid Netflix Doc Criticism

The couple's rep denied claims that they stepped back from royal duties for privacy.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry didn't leave the royal family in an effort to gain privacy. In a statement to ET, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Global Press Secretary addresses criticism of their Netflix docuseries, which largely stems from the couple's decision to put themselves in the spotlight with the show after leaving the high-profile royal family.

"The Duke and Duchess have never cited privacy as the reason for stepping back," the statement reads. "This distorted narrative was intended to trap the couple into silence. In fact, their statement announcing their decision to step back mentions nothing of privacy and reiterates their desire to continue their roles and public duties. Any suggestion otherwise speaks to a key point of this series."

Indeed, in Harry and Meghan's January 2020 statement announcing their decision to step back from royal duties, privacy is not mentioned as a reason for their choice. Instead, the couple said that they hoped "to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution."

In the 2020 statement, Harry and Meghan said that they planned to "work to become financially independent" and would split their time between the U.K. and North America, all while supporting the queen.

"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity," the statement read of the now 3-year-old Archie. The couple has since welcomed a daughter, Lilibet, who's now 1.

With Harry & Meghan, the couple's Global Press Secretary says, "They are choosing to share their story, on their terms." 

"The tabloid media has created an entirely untrue narrative that permeates press coverage and public opinion," the statement continues. "The facts are right in front of them."

The royal family has yet to speak out about the docuseries, a decision that royal expert Katie Nicholl explained in an interview with ET.

"I've spoken to senior palace aides who said they are reluctant to comment unless there is anything damaging, untrue or defamatory. In this docuseries, they really don't want to be drawn into it for the simple fact that they don't want to give an already much-hyped docuseries even more oxygen or publicity," Nicholl said. "So, I think if they can ride this out without being drawn into it, then that's probably the strategy. I'm told by a senior palace aide, it's a case of keep calm and carry on, and let's not get too distracted by this."

Volume I of Harry & Meghan is currently streaming on Netflix. Volume II will be released on Dec. 15.