Almost two years after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped away from their positions as senior members of the British royal family, the couple have very much stepped back into the spotlight with their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.
Directed by Liz Garbus, the new six-part show explores the pair's early lives, the blossoming of their relationship and subsequent marriage, and their split from the rest of royal clan.
Read about the most shocking and revealing moments from Harry & Meghan — all six episodes of which are now available to stream — below.
Courtesy of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex 'Harry and Meghan'
Prince Harry remembers the tears of his mother, Princess Diana
In the opening episode of the series, Harry recalls as a child recognizing the stress and pressure placed upon his mother, the late Princess Diana, and other royal family members by the media.
"Rarely do we have a holiday without someone with a camera, you know, jumping out of a bush or something," he says. "Within the family, within the system, the advice that's always given is, 'Don't react, don't feed into it.' There was always public pressure with its fair share of drama, stress, and also tears, and witnessing those tears. You could always see it on my mum's face, and I guess those are the moments when I thought, 'Hang on, what am I? Who am I? What am I part of?'"
Meghan Markle recalls being scared by media attention in early days of the relationship
In episode 2, Markle remembers being pursued by members of the media in Toronto, where she shot the legal drama Suits, after news broke of her relationship with Harry.
"It felt like all the U.K. media descended upon Toronto," she says. "My house was just surrounded. Just men sitting in their cars all the time, waiting for me to do anything... My neighbors texted me saying, 'They're knocking on everyone's doors, they're trying to find you.' They had paid certain neighbors to put like a livestream camera into my backyard. Suddenly, it was like everything about my life was just getting so much more insular, like all the curtains were pulled, all the blinds were pulled. It was scary."
Prince Harry was advised not to react to negative media coverage of their relationship
The British media often covered the biracial Markle in ways that were, to say the least, unenlightened.
"Within that first week that [the relationship] became public knowledge, the first story was, 'Harry's new girl (almost) straight outta Compton,'" says Harry in episode 2. "I was like, whoa."
The Duke of Wessex continues, "The direction from the Palace was, 'Don't say anything.' But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they'd been put through as well. So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family [were] like, 'Right, but my wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently, why should you get special treatment, why should she be protected?' And I said, 'The difference here is the race element.'"
Meghan Markle is a big hugger (compared to the rest of the royal family)
In episode 2, Markle reveals that her informal habits could be shocking even to members of the royal family who were her own age.
"When Will and Kate came over... for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot," she says. "Like, I was a hugger, always been a hugger, I didn't realize that that is jarring for a lot of Brits."
She also didn't realize that the royal family's rules of etiquette were not only to be observed in public. "I guess I'd start to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside, carried through on the inside," she shares. "There is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and you relax now." Or so she thought. "But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me."
Meghan Markle says she didn't believe she was required to curtsy the first time she met Queen Elizabeth
Episode 2 also finds the pair recalling the first time that Markle met Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
"My grandmother was the first senior member of the family that Meghan met," says Harry. "She had no idea what it all consisted of, so it was a bit of a shock to the system for her."
"I mean, it's surreal," says Markle. "There wasn't like some big moment of, like, and now you're going to meet my grandmother. I didn't know I was going to meet her until moments before. We were in the car... and he's like, 'Oh, my grandmother's here, she's going to be there after church,' and he's like, 'You know how to curtsy, right?' And I just thought it was a joke."
"How do you explain that to people?" adds Harry. "How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you will need to curtsy, especially to an American? Like, that's weird!"
Prince Harry calls wearing a Nazi uniform 'one of the biggest mistakes' of his life
When he was 20 years old, the Prince caused a scandal when he attended a party wearing a Nazi uniform. Harry addresses the incident in episode 3 of the docuseries.
"It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life," he says. "I felt so ashamed afterwards. All I wanted to do was make it right. I sat down and spoke to the Chief Rabbi in London, which had a profound impact on me. I went to Berlin and spoke to a Holocaust survivor. I could have just ignored it and got on and probably made the same mistakes over and over again in my life. But I learned from that."
Prince Harry says his brother William 'screamed' at him during summit meeting to decide the couple's future
In January, 2020, Harry attended a meeting of royal family members — including Prince Charles, Prince William, and Queen Elizabeth — to talk about the future of the couple, who were becoming increasingly disillusioned with life within the regal clan.
"I was given five options," Harry says in episode 5 of the show. "'One' being all in, no change; 'five' being all out. I chose option three in the meeting: half in, half out. Have our own jobs, but also work in support of the Queen. But it became very clear, very quickly, that that goal was not up for discussion or debate. It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren't true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in."
Tyler Perry invited Harry and Meghan to stay at his house before he even met them
It's good to have friends, or even just long-distance acquaintances. Say, for example, Tyler Perry.
Episode 6 reveals that the actor-writer-director offered for the titular royal couple to stay at his Los Angeles house in the spring of 2020 before he even met them. At the time, Harry and Markle were looking to relocate with their young son Archie from where they had been staying in Canada because the media had discovered the location and their security detail had been removed after the pair announced they were stepping back from their positions as senior royal family members.
"This was like a week before COVID," says Harry in the series, "and we'd been stuck at this house where everyone in the world knew where we were, unprotected, no security."
Perry had sent a note to Markle ahead of her and Harry's 2018 wedding after media reports depicted a schism between the onetime Suits actress and her dad, Thomas Markle.
Says Markle, "I'd never met him before. He sent me a letter before the wedding, saying he was praying for me, and that if I ever need anything, he would be there."
She eventually decided to take Perry up on his offer.
"Months and months and months went by," she continues, "and then one day, when we were in Canada I had called him, finally, after years at that point, first time we ever spoke, and I was just a wreck. I was just crying and crying. Like, sometimes, it's easier to just open up to someone who knows nothing at all, and that was that moment with me and Tyler."
Perry invited the couple to stay at his mansion in Los Angeles.
"He's like, 'My house is safe, and I'll make sure you have security, and you take your time,'" recalls Markle.
In the docuseries, Harry describes their temporary home as "just bliss because no one knew we were there… We were there for six weeks, and no one knew. My family still thought I was in Canada."
The couple blame the Daily Mail for Markle's 2020 miscarriage
In August, 2018, Markle sued Associated Newspapers Limited, the owner of the Daily Mail's weekend newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, over five articles that reproduced parts of a private letter she had written to her father. The legal action was still ongoing in the summer of 2020 when she miscarried.
"I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did," says Harry in episode 6. "Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was caused by that? [Of] course we don't. But bearing in mind the stress that that caused, the lack of sleep, and the timing of the pregnancy — how many weeks she was — I can say, from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her."
Markle received a congratulatory text from Beyoncé after the couple's Oprah Winfrey interview
In episode 6, Markle is seen receiving a text from the singer after the special screened on CBS in March 2021.
"I still can't believe she knows who I am," Markle tells Harry, going on to summarize Beyoncé's message.
"She wants me to feel safe and protected," says Markle. "She admires and respects my bravery and vulnerability, and she thinks I was selected to break generational curses that need to be healed."
All six episodes of Harry & Meghan are now available to stream on Netflix.
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