Harry and Meghan - as it happened: Duke of Sussex reveals he has internally ‘blocked out’ early memories of Diana

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received mixed reactions over their new Netflix documentary series, Harry and Meghan, which dropped on Thursday (8 December).

Parts of the much-hyped programme, which has been split into “Volume I” and “Volume II”, were described as “moving”, but the first three episodes did not deliver any new explosive allegations against the royal family - who will no doubt be relieved by the lack of revelations.

The Independent’s Arts Editor Jessie Thompson wrote in her review of the series: “There are no major revelations here, nothing so incendiary that it will cancel King Charles’s coronation next year; in fact, certain quotes are becoming a bit pat.”

Meanwhile, the Sussexes’ staunchest critics wasted no time in excoriating the couple for some of the claims made in the show. Piers Morgan accused Harry and Meghan of trying to “brand Britain as a racist country”, while the BBC’s veteran royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell dismissed Meghan’s claims that the media wanted to “destroy” her as “absurd”.

Meanwhile, neither Palace officials nor members of the royal family were approached for comment over the content of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new Netflix docuseries, it has been alleged.

It was suggested that representatives for Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace, as well as the royals themselves, were not offered the opportunity to reply to the accusations lodged by the couple during the first three episodes of their highly anticipated series.

The second part of Harry and Meghan’s docuseries will begin streaming on 15 December.

Key Points

  • Harry says he has internally blocked out early memories of Diana

  • Palace officials ‘weren’t contacted for comment’ over new Netflix series

  • MP planning legislation to strip Harry and Meghan of royal titles

  • Meghan Markle says her race was only ever ‘made an issue’ when she came to UK

  • Prince Harry attacks ‘huge level of unconscious bias’ in the royal family

  • Meghan discovered her father was not attending her wedding ‘through tabloid’

Review: Intimate, self-aggrandising and wildly entertaining

Thursday 8 December 2022 14:03 , Emily Atkinson

At some points, it’s hard to tell if the couple are naïve or disingenuous. But, at other times, the couple are endearing or deeply sympathetic. Read this review by Jessie Thompson:

Harry and Meghan is intimate, self-aggrandising, and wildly entertaining – review

Meghan Markle shares Archie’s sweet reaction to photo of Princess Diana: ‘That’s grandma’

09:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Meghan Markle shared a sweet moment of her and Prince Harry’s son, Archie, reacting to a photo of Princess Diana in the royal couple’s new Netflix documentary series.

In the first episode of Harry & Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex is seen holding her son when he was still a baby and looking at a black and white photo of Diana on the wall.

While Archie continued babbling at the photo, his mother asked: “Who is that?” He then reached his hand out and placed it on the picture frame.

Read the full story by Amber Raiken here:

Meghan Markle shares Archie’s sweet reaction to photo of Princess Diana

Viewers criticise ‘biased’ Nicholas Witchell for calling Harry and Meghan’s claims ‘absurd’

08:42 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Long-time royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has been dressed down by viewers after he branded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s claims in their new Netflix docuseries as “absurd”.

The first three episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s highly anticipated programme, in which they promised to tell “the full truth” about the “other side” of their story, were released on Thursday (8 December).

Witchell, who appeared on BBC News at Six to report on the series, said that ”Volume I” of Harry and Meghan” was “relatively benign”, but added that the royal couple’s show “suggests there is what amounts to a conspiracy between [Buckingham] Palace and the press”.

“That is where I think credibility is really stretched beyond what is reasonable,” the veteran journalist continued.

Read the full story by Kate Ng here:

Viewers criticise ‘biased’ Nicholas Witchell for calling Harry and Meghan ‘absurd’

08:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

If you are looking for a rundown of the biggest moments from the first three episodes of the couple’s Netflix docuseries, you can find one by Ellie Harrison below.

The 6 biggest talking points from Harry and Meghan on Netflix

Harry and Meghan viewers share reminder to critics while watching Netflix docuseries

08:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Meghan Markle has opened up about her experiences of racism, in the new Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan.

Speaking in the second episode of the programme, which arrived on the platform on Thursday 8 December, Markle reflected on the first time she heard the n word in the US. She also talked about how, when she came to the UK, she experienced much more racism.

Read the full story by Meredith Clark here:

Harry and Meghan viewers share reminder to critics while watching Netflix docuseries

08:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

The first three episodes also saw Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland speak out for the first time.

In the new series, Ragland, 66, is seen discussing Meghan’s childhood and her belief that Meghan’s race was a factor in negative press reports, while noting that she is “ready to have [her] voice heard”.

The appearance of the duchess’s mother in the documentary has been met with praise from viewers, with many happy to hear from Ragland.

Harry and Meghan viewers are celebrating ‘Mama Doria’ finally getting her voice heard

Viewers criticise ‘disrespectful’ curtsy scene in Harry and Meghan docuseries: ‘Is that meant to be funny?’

07:40 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have divided fans with a scene in their new Netflix docuseries, in which the Duchess of Sussex joked about having to curtsy to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

In the second episode of the Netflix docuseries titled Harry & Meghan, Meghan recalled her first meeting with Prince Harry’s grandmother shortly after they began dating in 2016.

The duchess said she wasn’t prepared for the introduction to the British ruler and didn’t know she was going to be meeting the Queen until just “moments before”.

Read the full story by Chelsea Ritschel here:

Viewers criticise ‘disrespectful’ curtsy scene in Harry and Meghan Netflix series

ICYMI: Meghan Markle says her race was only ever ‘made an issue’ when she came to UK

07:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Meghan Markle has opened up about her experiences of racism, in the new Netflix documentary Harry and Meghan.

Speaking in the second episode of the programme, which arrived on the platform on Thursday 8 December, Markle reflected on the first time she heard the n word in the US. She also talked about how, when she came to the UK, she experienced much more racism.

Read the full story by Ellie Harrison here:

Meghan Markle says her race was only ever ‘made an issue’ when she came to UK

MP planning legislation to strip Harry and Meghan of royal titles

07:07 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Bob Seely, a conservative MP, has said he is planning to bring forward legislation that will strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their royal titles.

Mr Seely was quoted as saying by the Press Association that “there is a political issue. As well as trashing his family and monetising his misery for public consumption, he is also attacking some important institutions in this country.”

He said that he was considering proposing a private member’s bill even before the recent controversy over Netflix documentary.

After all the hype, was the Harry and Meghan documentary worth it?

07:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

As members of the royal family reportedly braced themselves for the revelations promised in Meghan and Harry, viewers were eager to see what the “full truth” as promised by the Duke of Sussexwould entail.

Would the couple finally address their allegations from their 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview, in which Meghan claimed a member of the royal family raised concerns over “how dark” her son Archie’s skin would be before he was born? Would they set the record straight on bullying claims made against the duchess by Palace staff? Would Harry reveal the current state of his relationship with his father and brother?

Alas, as the first three episodes dropped, it quickly became clear that “Volume I” of Harry and Meghan, at least, contained little that the public were not already aware of.

Read the full piece by Kate Ng here:

After all the hype, was the Harry and Meghan documentary worth it?

Harry and Meghan had final ‘fun grenade’ with Princess Eugenie before romance was exposed

06:40 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have shared details from their final date before their romance went public.

In the first episode of their new docuseries Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recalled their last night of freedom before news of their relationship broke to the world. In October 2016, Prince William and Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, had informed them that a tabloid was about to pick up a story about their under-the-radar romance.

The eve before the news broke, the pair decided to “pull the pin on the fun grenade” and go out in costumes to a Halloween party in Toronto with Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, her then-boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, and Meghan’s friend, Marcus.

Read the full story by Meredith Clark here:

Harry and Meghan had final ‘fun grenade’ with Princess Eugenie before romance exposed

06:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

In another emotional moment, Prince Harry revealed that he has internally “blocked” out early memories of his mother.

Princess Diana died in a car crash when Harry was just 12, but the duke, in his and Meghan’s new Netflix documentary, said he still remembers her “cheeky laugh”.

Harry says he has internally blocked out early memories of Diana

Harry and Meghan: Viewers are celebrating ‘Mama Doria’ finally getting her voice heard

06:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The Harry and Meghan documentary has dropped on Netflix, and many fans have been obsessing over Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland.

In the new series, Ragland, 66, is seen discussing Meghan’s childhood and her belief that Meghan’s race was a factor in negative press reports.

You can follow The Independent’s live blog here for the latest updates.

As Ragland is introduced in the show, she says: “I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure.”

Fans have been sending a lot of love to “Mama Doria” on Twitter after watching the first three episodes of the series, which were released on Thursday 8 December.

Read the full stoy by Ellie Harrison here:

Harry and Meghan viewers are celebrating ‘Mama Doria’ finally getting her voice heard

ICYMI: ‘I felt so ashamed’: Prince Harry opens up about one of the ‘biggest mistakes of his life’ in Netflix documentary

05:40 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Prince Harry has described his choice to dress up in a Nazi uniform as “probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life”.

In January 2005, the Duke of Sussex attended a friend’s fancy dress-themed birthday party in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband.

The royal, who was 20 at the time, later apologised, saying that he was “very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone”, adding: “It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.”

Harry was widely criticised at the time, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews commenting on his “ill-judged actions”.

Read the full story by Isobel Lewis here:

Prince Harry opens up about one of the ‘biggest mistakes of his life’

05:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

In what was a surprising moment from the docuseries, the Duke of Sussex defied his brother, the Prince of Wales’s wish for their mother’s controversial Panorama interview to never be aired again.

Segments from the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir, were shown in the first three episodes, with Prince Harry addressing the interview directly.

“I think she had a lived experience of how she was struggling living that life. She felt compelled to talk about it. Especially in that Panorama interview. I think we all now know that she was deceived into giving the interview. But at the same time she spoke the truth of her experience,” Harry said.

Prince Harry goes against stern request made by William in Netflix documentary

Harry and Meghan viewers amused after learning role Snapchat dog filter played in couple’s relationship

05:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Royal fans have expressed their amusement over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “millennial love story” after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they met via Instagram after he saw her in a Snapchat-filtered video.

The duke and duchess shared the sweet insight into their relationship during the first episode of their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.

In the scene, Harry recalled that he and Meghan were introduced in 2016 after he saw her in a video posted on Instagram by a mutual friend while he was scrolling through his “feed”. The couple says the video in question saw Meghan using a spotted dog Snapchat filter, which left her with dog ears, a dog nose and a floppy tongue.

Read the full story by Chelsea Ritschel here:

How Harry and Meghan met

04:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

As Prince Harry reflected on the similiarities between his mother and Meghan, the duke defended the decisions he has made to protect his family.

“I accept that there’ll be people around the world who fundamentally disagree with what I’ve done and how I’ve done it, but I knew that I had to do everything I could to protect my family,” he said. “Especially after what happened to my mum. You know, I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”

Prince Harry goes against stern request made by William in Netflix documentary

04:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The Duke of Sussex has defied his brother, the Prince of Wales’s wish for their mother’s controversial Panorama interview to never be aired again.

In his and the Duchess of Sussex’s new Netflix documentary series,Harry and Meghan, segments from the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s interview with the BBC journalist Martin Bashir, were shown.

Footage of Diana talking about the public and press scrutiny on her life first aired in the 1995 interview, which Prince William said made his mother’s sense of “fear, paranoia and isolation” worse.

Read the full story by Kate Ng here:

Prince Harry goes against stern request made by William in Netflix documentary

04:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

According to Prince Harry, he sees a lot of his late mother Princess Diana in Meghan.

The Duke of Sussex compared the two women in the first episode of the series, in which he pointed out the similarities in their personalities.

“So much of what Meghan is, and how she is, is so similar to my mum,” he said. “She has the same compassion, she has the same empathy, she has the same confidence. She has this warmth about her.”

Harry shares three reasons Meghan is ‘very similar’ to Princess Diana

ICYMI: King Charles wishes volunteers and public ‘Happy Christmas’ as Harry and Meghan documentary drops

03:38 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The King wished volunteers and members of the public a “Happy Christmas” ahead of attending an advent service in central London, as royal fans tuned into the Netflix documentary Harry and Meghan.

Charles met with representatives and beneficiaries of local initiatives before unveiling a plaque at the King’s House community hub in King’s Cross on Thursday morning.

Read the full story Rebecca Speare-Cole here:

King Charles wishes volunteers and public ‘Happy Christmas’

03:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

Elsewhere in volume one of the series, Prince Harry spoke of the frequent reports that Meghan had broken royal protocol.

According to the duke, the claims were often false, as he alleged “there were a lot of invented protocols”.

However, Meghan did acknowledge that it was difficult learning what was expected of her as a member of the royal family.

“There’s no class [where] some person goes, ‘Sit like this, cross your legs like this, use this fork, don’t do this, curtsy then, wear this kind of hat,’” she said. “It doesn’t happen. So I needed to learn a lot.”

Prince Harry says claims Meghan Markle ‘broke royal protocol’ were often false

02:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

The docuseries also sees the couple delve into more serious topics, such Meghan’s experiences with racism.

According to the duchess, when her and Prince Harry’s relationship first became public knowledge, her mother warned her that the criticism she would receive would all be about her race.

Meghan said that, up until that point, “most people didn’t treat me ‘like a Black woman’”.

“It’s very different to be a minority but not be treated as a minority off the bat. Obviously now, people are very aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK. Before that, most people didn’t treat me ‘like a Black woman’. So that talk didn’t have to happen for me [as a child],” she said.

Meghan Markle says her race was only ever ‘made an issue’ when she came to UK

02:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

While reflecting on her first Christmas with the royal family, Meghan also recalled forming a relationship with Prince Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip.

“At dinner, I was sat next to H’s grandfather and I just thought it was so wonderful. I was like: ‘Oh, we chatted and it was so great and I talked about this and talked about this,’” she remembered.

01:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

Despite the royal protocol learning curve, Meghan said her first Christmas with the royal family was “amazing”.

The celebration at the Sandringham Estate took place a month after the couple announced their engagement, with Meghan recalling how she’d called her mom to tell her: “It’s just like a big family like I always wanted.”

Meghan Markle recalls ‘amazing’ first Christmas with royal family

00:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

Meghan faced criticism over the scene in the Netflix series in which she recalled her first time curtsying to the late monarch, after she compared the royal protocol to attending Medieval Times restaurant.

The duchess then reenacted the exaggerated curtsy she performed for the Queen, with some viewers describing the scene as “disrespectful”.

Viewers criticise ‘disrespectful’ curtsy scene in Harry and Meghan Netflix series

00:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

The Duchess of Sussex also recalled her surprise upon learning that she would be expected to curtsy to the Queen.

According to Meghan, Prince Harry asked if she knew how to curtsy while they were on their way to meet his grandmother for the first time. She said she assumed the question was a “joke”.

Thursday 8 December 2022 23:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

Meghan also speaks candidly about her experiences meeting senior members of the royal family, including the late Queen and Prince Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

According to the Duchess of Sussex, who recalled how she’d been wearing ripped jeans the first time she met the Prince and Princess of Wales, she was “surprised” at the “formality” of the couple, even behind closed doors.

Meghan Markle reveals what surprised her about the royal family

Thursday 8 December 2022 22:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

However, before sharing their relationship with the world, the couple recalled how they’d had one last night of fun with Prince Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her then-boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, at a costume party.

“He said: ‘Well, if it’s gonna come out tomorrow, let’s go have fun tonight,’” Meghan recalled.

Harry and Meghan had final ‘fun grenade’ with Princess Eugenie before romance exposed

Thursday 8 December 2022 22:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

During the early days of the couple’s relationship, Meghan also revealed the important rule that she and Harry followed: that they had to see each other at least once every two weeks.

According to Harry, during this time, it was easier for Meghan to visit him. “It made much more sense for her to come to me so that then she can come and stay with me on Kensington Palace grounds,” he recalled, adding that the couple would take walks together around Frogmore.

The couple ultimately announced their engagement in November 2017.

You can read more about Meghan’s thoughts on their engagement interview, which she described as a “orchestrated reality show,” below.

Meghan Markle calls engagement announcement an ‘orchestrated reality show’

Thursday 8 December 2022 21:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

In another scene, the couple fondly looks back on their first dates, and the week they spent together in Botswana in 2016.

The pair embarked on the trip after having only met twice before, with Prince Harry revealing that he was “astonished” Meghan said yes.

“This woman, that I’ve really met twice, she’s coming to Botswana and we’re gonna be living in a tent for five days,” he recalled, before noting how important that time together was. “We had to get to know each other before the rest of the world, before the media sort of, you know, joined it,” he added.

In 2019, the couple shared a never-before-seen photo of a trip they took to Botswana together, in which they could be seen working together to place a satellite collar on a bull elephant.

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Thursday 8 December 2022 20:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

The docuseries also contains many sweet moments, including footage of Meghan showing the couple’s son Archie a photo of his grandmother, Princess Diana.

Meghan Markle shares Archie’s sweet reaction to photo of Princess Diana

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:20 , Chelsea Ritschel

As for the reaction to Meghan and Harry’s Netflix docuseries so far, fans were divided, with some grateful to see the insight into the early days of the couple’s relationship, while others found the first three episodes “boring”.

From Meghan’s shock upon realising the “formality” of the royal family, even behind closed doors, to the couple’s first date, these are some of the biggest talking points.

The 6 biggest talking points from Harry and Meghan on Netflix

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:00 , Chelsea Ritschel

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex covered a lot of ground in the first three episodes of their Netflix docuseries, however, more is yet to come, as the last three episodes are set to be released on 15 December.

As for what we can expect from the couple in volume two, Kate Ng reports below.

What to expect in Harry and Meghan’s second volume on Netflix

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:40 , Chelsea Ritschel

During the candid docuseries, Meghan also opened up about the conversations about her family that took place in the lead-up to her and Prince Harry’s royal wedding in 2018.

According to the duchess, she was told by Palace aides not to invite her niece, who she described as being like a “little sister,” to the weddding because of her tense relationship with her niece’s mother, Samantha Markle.

Details about the Palace’s guidance, and her niece’s reaction, can be found below.

Meghan Markle reveals Palace aides told her not to invite niece to royal wedding

What were Harry and Meghan paid for their Netflix documentary

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

This is the first project to emerge from the multi-year deal the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed with Netflix in 2020, made shortly after they stepped down as working members of the royal family.

So how much are Meghan and Harry getting paid? Peony Hirwani reports.

How much did Harry and Meghan get paid for Netflix documentary?

‘She has this warmth about her’: Harry compares Meghan to Princess Diana

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Prince Harry said that Meghan Markle has the “same compassion”, “empathy”, and “confidence” as Diana, as he opened up about how he wanted to “protect” his family from his mother’s tragic fate.

Kate Ng has more of what the prince revealed in his Netflix docuseries.

Meghan is very similar to Princess Diana, says Harry

Harry recalls ‘panicking’ after turning up 30 minutes late to first date with Meghan

Thursday 8 December 2022 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

In their Netflix docuseries the couple recalled their first date in 2016 after being set up by a mutual friend.

Kate Ng has the details.

Prince Harry recalls ‘panicking’ ahead of first date with Meghan at Soho House

Who’s who in Meghan Markle’s family?

Thursday 8 December 2022 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Aside from what we know about her husband and in-laws including King Charles III, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who are Meghan Markle’s own family?

Everything you need to know about Meghan Markle’s family

Royal men ‘marry someone who fits in the mould’ over love, says Harry

Thursday 8 December 2022 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

In the first episode of the Netflix docuseries, Prince Harry said: “For so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or urge to marry someone who fits in the mould, as opposed to somebody who you are perhaps destined to be with.”

Kate Ng reports.

Harry says royal men tend to ‘marry someone who fits in the mould’

Meghan shares Archie’s sweet reaction to photo of Princess Diana

Thursday 8 December 2022 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Meghan Markle shared a sweet moment of her and Prince Harry’s son, Archie, reacting to a photo of Princess Diana in the royal couple’s new Netflix documentary series.

In the first episode of Harry & Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex is seen holding her son when he was still a baby and looking at a black and white photo of Diana on the wall.

Amber Raiken has the story.

Meghan Markle shares Archie’s sweet reaction to photo of Princess Diana

Royals dismissed concerns about press coverage of Meghan as ‘rite of passage'

Thursday 8 December 2022 17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

“As far as the family was concerned, everything she was being put through they’d been put through as well, so it was almost like a rite of passage,” Prince Harry recalls in the docuseries. “Some of the members of the family were like, ‘My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated differently?’ And I said, ‘The difference here is the race element.’”

Ellie Harrison reports on Meghan’s experience of race in the UK.

Meghan Markle says her race was only ever ‘made an issue’ when she came to UK