Netflix’s ‘Harry & Meghan’: Were The Royal Family Given Prior Sight Of The Doc?

Harry & Meghan
Harry & Meghan Netflix

Netflix’s Harry & Meghan doc series is officially here and debate is already raging over whether the Royal Family were shown the series prior to launch, and how or if they will respond.

The family claim they were not asked for comment on the hotly-anticipated six-parter, BBC Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond told the BBC’s Today this morning, but the first episode, which dropped at 8 a.m. GMT (12 a.m. PST), starts with the disclaimer: “Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series.”

It adds: “This is a first-hand account of Harry and Meghan’s story told with never before seen personal archive. All interviews were completed by August 2022.”

Rumors were swirling this week over whether the Royal Family had seen the show following the release of two trailers, in which Harry spoke of “the pain and suffering of women” marrying into the Royal Family and said he would tell the full truth behind the couple’s relationship with the Royal Family. The trailer has been criticized for showing misleading images and clips of paparazzi and the ‘press pack’.

No immediate allegations surfaced from the show’s opening episodes of the Archewell-produced series although the Duke of Sussex at one point claims: “The institution knows the full truth [about what happened to us] and the media knows the full truth, because they were in on it.”

Deadline understands British public broadcasters the BBC and Channel 4 have no policy to show the Royal Family documentaries about them prior to launch, although few are as sensitive as this one.

The row has shades of that over The Princes and the Press, a BBC doc partly about Harry’s relationship with William hosted by Amol Rajan that led the Royals to reportedly threaten to boycott the BBC. William was reported to have criticized the BBC for failing to give the Royals right of reply.

If the Palace does eventually respond to any allegations made, it could take a little while. When Harry and Meghan used a bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview last year to claim son Archie was subject to racism from an unidentified Royal, the Queen didn’t respond for a fortnight, before stating she was concerned but “recollections may vary.” The line made multiple front pages at the time. The Palace has been embroiled in a separate race row this week, when Prince William’s godmother Lady Hussey had to step down from her aide role after repeatedly questioning a Black guest at a Buckingham Palace party over “where she was from.”

Episodes four to six of Harry & Meghan will drop next Thursday and, by then, it is hard to imagine the extent to which this documentary will have placed the ex-Royal couple in the spotlight.

Netflix declined to comment. Deadline has also reached out to Archewell and Buckingham Palace for comment.

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