Prince Harry has described the “feeding frenzy” surrounding his relationship with Meghan in the couple’s much-anticipated documentary series – with the duchess saying the press would always “find a way to destroy” her.
The first three episodes of the couple’s six-part Netflix series Harry & Meghan were released on Thursday morning, with the Royal Family no doubt braced for potential bombshell revelations as the tell-all take on royal life streams across the world.
Harry & Meghan – follow live updates as series airs around the world
Opening the series is a written statement, describing the show as a “first hand account of Harry & Meghan’s story told with never before seen personal archive”, and saying that members of the Royal Family declined to comment on its content. However, Sky News understands that no royals or palace households were approached about the documentary.
Key talking points from first three episodes:
- ‘Hunter v prey’: Harry describes media ‘feeding frenzy’
- Meghan: ‘No matter what I did, they were still going to find a way to destroy me’
- Duchess reveals death threat while living in Toronto
- ‘Rite of passage’: Royal Family allegedly dismissive of concerns
- Couple reveal relationship started on Instagram
- ‘One of biggest mistakes of my life’: Harry addresses wearing Nazi costume
- Couple’s 2017 engagement interview was like ‘orchestrated reality show’
In the second episode, the Duke of Sussex talks about paparazzi interest in their relationship and social media harassment, and refers to his mother, Diana.
“To see another woman in my life, that I love, go through this feeding frenzy, that’s hard,” he says. “It is basically the hunter versus the prey.”
Car chases and disguises
Dating Meghan “became a combination of car chases, anti-surveillance driving and disguises, which isn’t a particularly healthy way to start a relationship but we always came at it with as much humour as possible”, he says.
“Whenever we saw each other we would give each other a massive hug and try and have as much of a normal life as possible.”
Meghan also describes paparazzi following her and how she received a death threat while she was in Toronto.
“I would say to the police, if any other woman in Toronto said to you I have six grown men who are sleeping in their cars around my house who follow me everywhere that I go and I feel scared, wouldn’t you say that it was stalking?
“And they said yes, but there’s really nothing we can do because of who you’re dating. I was like, so I’m just supposed to live like this? And then I got a death threat and things changed because I needed to have security.”
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In another clip, she says she was assured the press interest would die down after the couple got married.
“At that point I was still very much believing what I was being told which was, it’ll pass, it’ll get better, it’s just what they do right at the very beginning,” she says.
“But truth be told no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I was, no matter what I did, they were still going to find a way to destroy me.”
‘The difference here is the race element’
Earlier on in the series, in the first episode, Harry speaks of his concerns for his family.
“It’s the nature of being born into [the Royal Family],” he says. “The level of hate that has been stirred up in the last three years, especially at my wife, and my son, I’m genuinely concerned for the safety of my family.”
He later speaks about the Royal Family’s response to his fears, saying some members of the family asked why the Duchess of Sussex should be “protected” when they questioned newspaper headlines about her.
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Speaking in episode two, Harry says: “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 had been put through as well.
“So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like ‘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?'”
“I said: ‘The difference here is the race element’.”
Meeting through Instagram – and Meghan doing her ‘homework’
As well as the heavier topics, the series also delves into how the couple met, and how Meghan, an actress at the time, shared the news with her family.
Her mother Doria Ragland recalls the moment she found out her daughter was dating royalty.
“She told me, ‘Mummy I’m going out with Prince Harry’, and I started whispering, ‘Oh my God’. She says, ‘you can’t tell anyone’, so from the beginning it was very sort of, ‘Oh my God, nobody can know’.”
Harry reveals they actually met through Instagram.
“I was just scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, like a Snapchat, with dog ears. That was the first thing – I was like, ‘who is THAT?!'”
Meghan says a friend emailed her to set them up, calling Harry “Prince Haz”. She did her “homework”, looking through his own Instagram feed, and was impressed by all his pictures of environmental shots and the time he spent in Africa, she says.
Earlier on in the series, Harry says they have both made sacrifices for their relationship.
“I think this love story’s just getting started,” he says. “She sacrificed everything that she ever knew, the freedom that she had, to join me in my world, and then pretty soon after that I ended up sacrificing everything that I know to join her in her world.”
‘I am my mother’s son’
Speaking about his mother and seemingly referencing her marriage to Charles, he says: “I think for so many people in the family, especially the men, there could be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould as opposed to someone you are destined to be with.
“The difference between making a decision with your head or your heart. And my mum certainly made most of her decisions if not all of them from her heart. And I am my mother’s son.”
Harry also addresses the time he wore a Nazi costume to a private party in 2005. “It was probably 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 learnt from that.”
Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth more than £100 million, with Netflix and Spotify, after quitting as senior working royals in 2020 following family rifts and struggles with royal life.
Following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, this docuseries, directed by Oscar-nominated Liz Garbus, is billed as a Netflix global event, with Harry and Meghan sharing “the other side of their high-profile love story”.
However, the couple faced criticism even before the episodes were released as it emerged a photo and footage shown in two preview trailers, apparently to illustrate hounding by the paparazzi, were from events they were not associated with.
The first trailer included a photograph actually taken at a Harry Potter premiere, while the second included video footage from a Katie Price court hearing.