Royal fairytale turns to fiction in new Netflix docuseries

By Clara Faulkner, Operations Managing Editor

Prince Harry’s shocking separation from the royal family on Mar. 31 shook the world, and the new Netflix documentary answers all questions in a dignified, educational manner that leaves the audience questioning the truth behind the story they tell. 

Netflix’s new limited documentary series “Harry & Meghan” includes shocking details and even more shocking confessions from the former royal family members themselves through six one-hour episodes. 

The show follows the inseparable couples’ romance over the course of seven years. Ever since their relationship was publicly revealed in 2016, the two have been the focus of UK press coverage.

The documentary shared distressing details, such as how the former prince said the press’s assaults on Meghan—due to her ethnicity and career in acting—were a major determinant in his choice to leave the royal family.

Harry then withdrew from royal responsibilities and relocated to California, citing racist harassment directed towards Meghan by the British tabloid press.

The documentary places a relentless emphasis on when The Daily Mail published a private letter between Meghan and her estranged father, prompting the British media to further delve into her personal relationships. 

Throughout the series, fans get a detailed look into the world of the royal newcomer. Meghan is most notably known for being in the hit drama “Suits,” a Northwestern alum, an avid human rights advocate, and a divorcee before joining the royal family in 2018.

The documentary focuses on Harry’s experiences with Meghan’s exploited private life and how they parallel his mother Diana’s history of being harassed by the media and the cameras.

Princess Diana was riding in a paparazzi-swarmed car in Paris with a driver and bodyguard when it collided with a concrete pillar. 

Harry reveals specifics about Diana’s death, including the media’s involvement in her car crash and his fear of repeating the traumatic event with Meghan and his two children if they continued their royal duties. He has since fought to keep his family safe from the press after his separation from the monarchy.

Harry praises his wife, claiming that she is just as “compassionate” and “warm” as Diana was, and that she is a “wonderful” mother.

The bulk of the early episodes were challenging to watch with the details of the traumatic events. 

The earlier episodes were the story of Diana’s rise and fall, and the influence it had on Harry as he grew up and began looking for a spouse. He has shown a willingness to confront the media in every manner possible if it means keeping his family safe so as not to repeat history.

In the series, Harry states that he hopes to discourage the media from criticizing Meghan by confronting them and correcting misinformation about their romance.

As aforementioned, the docuseries spends a lot of time delving into Meghan’s parallels to Diana. Meghan entered into a relationship with Prince Harry as a non-royal, similar to the former princess. 

Diana and Meghan both admitted that they knew almost nothing about the royal family or what it took to be a working royal, but they would put their best foot forward towards their duties and responsibilities. 

“Harry & Meghan” proves one thing: royalty is definitely not without rehearsal. 

Media scrutiny and the mythical standard of perfection surrounding the royal fairy tale make the monarchy’s vulnerability and humanity easy to forget. 

Included in Meghan’s national attention was the announcement of her engagement and the couple’s impending marriage. The royal etiquette of engagement includes a taped conversation about their future.

The actress recalls their engagement interview as an “orchestrated reality show.”

During the viral 2017 BBC interview, the two revealed the ring the monarch used to propose, as well as what Princess Diana would have made of their engagement.

Upon seeing the series, following the release of the interview, Meghan and Harry’s newfound calm and laid-back demeanor after escaping the criticism of the press and having freedom over their own lives is evident.

This freedom is the result of breaking apart from royal etiquette.

Meghan had to self-teach royal etiquette and protocol due to her royal commitments and inadequate training, which contradicted the media’s portrayal of the “perfect royal life,” and “The Princess Diaries” portrayal of entering royalty.

Harry and Meghan are willing to tell their own tale rather than the one that has been created for them. Seeing a side of the royal family that the public had never seen before in the documentary felt like the palace gates finally opening.