Netflix has released the first trailer for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s forthcoming documentary, titled Harry & Meghan.
In September 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix, shortly after stepping down as working members of the royal family. The partnership – in collaboration with the royal couple’s production company, Archewell Productions – is set to include documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.
Harry and Meghan’s docuseries is the most highly anticipated project to be borne from the multi-year Netflix deal. However, details about the show have remained somewhat scarce.
Now, the teaser for Harry and Meghan shows several unseen photographs as the couple, as they tell their side of the story after several tumultuous years in the public eye. The trailer begins with an off-screen interviewer asking: “Why did you want to make this documentary?”
After a pause, Prince Harry responds: “No-one sees what’s happening behind closed doors.
Later in the teaser, he tells the interviewer: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.”
Meghan’s voice appears towards the end of the teaser, when she asks, “When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”
From release date to director, here is everything we know about the docuseries.
When will it be released?
Harry & Meghan will reportedly debut on Netflix Thursday, 8 December, according to royal commentator Omid Scobie. “Out December 8, six episodes will share ‘the other side’ of their love story and the challenges they faced,” he tweeted on 1 December.
If tomorrow is Prince William's Super Bowl, then here's your Halftime Show...@Netflix have released a first look at the Sussexes' docuseries: Harry & Meghan. Out December 8, six episodes will share "the other side" of their love story and the challenges they faced. pic.twitter.com/jCXN3W2F1J
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) December 1, 2022
In November 2022, it was reported the untitled docuseries would be released on Netflix in December 2022. But the streaming giant reportedly delayed its release to 2023 following backlash to The Crown season five, until now.
What is it about?
The series is described by Netflix as follows: “In an unprecedented and in-depth documentary series, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share the other side of their high-profile love story.”
“Across six episodes, the series explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution.
“With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family’s relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”
In an interview with The Cut last August, the Duchess of Sussex hinted that the docuseries may focus on her “love story” with Prince Harry. She dispelled rumours the two were filming a reality show, but maintained that there’s a difference between a “historical documentary and a reality docuseries”.
“The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story,” she said, before referencing a quote from the end of a speech she gave at her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018 – “resounding knowledge that, above all, love wins”.
“I hope that is the sentiment that people feel when they see any of the content or the projects that we are working on,” she said.
But when pressed further on whether the documentary is about their relationship, the duchess said she is “not trying to be cagey” but is unsure what she is allowed to disclose.
“When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story,” she said.
Who is the director?
The docuseries will be spearheaded by Oscar award-winning filmmaker, Liz Garbus. The director has worked on a number of documentaries about public figures, including Love, Marilyn; What Happened, Miss Simone?; and Bobby Fischer Against the World.
“I don’t read any press. So I don’t know what’s confirmed,” Meghan told The Cut. “I will tell you Liz Garbus is incredible. Liz Garbus also worked on Pearl,” she said, referencing an animated series created by Meghan for Archewell Productions, which has since been dropped by Netflix.
Garbus was reportedly a replacement for the project’s original director, Garrett Bradley.
When did it start filming?
The docuseries is said to have begun filming in September 2021. Last fall, the couple were seen during a trip to New York City with a videographer and photographer, prompting speculation that the pair were recording their work.
According to Page Six, a cameraman captured the pair before they toured the 9/11 Memorial, and during a visit to the famous Harlem soul food restaurant Melba Friday.
In May, film crews were reportedly given permission to film the couple at their home in Montecito, California, and were also spotted following Harry and Meghan in April at the Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands.
How will the British royal family be featured?
Royal commentators and fans alike have speculated the Netflix series could frame the royal institution in more hostile terms, while some reports have suggested Harry and Meghan wished to soften its portrayal of the royal family after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Sources have claimed that Harry and Meghan wanted to edit their docuseries to soften its portrayal of the royal family – specifically King Charles II, the Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, per Page Six.
“A lot of conversations are happening,” one source said. “I hear that Harry and Meghan want the series to be held until next year, they want to stall. I wonder if the show could even be dead in the water at this point, do Harry and Meghan just want to shelve this thing?”
A Netflix source added: “Netflix has been keen to have the show ready to stream for December. There’s a lot of pressure on [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos, who has the relationship with Harry and Meghan, to get this show finished.”
The pair’s decision to edit the documentary reportedly comes after spending time with the royal family in the UK after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.