In a recent episode of the adult animated series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the royal couple are lampooned with a series of jokes referencing events from the last few years.
Viewers have branded the episode “brutal”, and it was reported on Tuesday (21 February), that Markle herself was left “upset” by its content.
A representative for the couple denied reports that they were considering a lawsuit, calling the speculation “nonsense”.
Still, the episode, in true South Park form, doesn’t hold back. Here are the references you might have missed.
The social media candle furore
The writers drew from Queen Elizabeth’s II’s funeral for one small joke featured early in the episode.
The characters based on Harry and Meghan attend the funeral of the Canadian Queen, and as they arrive, they walk past a candle identical to the one that became the source of social media discussions back in September.
Following the televised broadcast of the Queen’s funeral, unverified claims suggested that the royal family intentionally sat Markle behind a candle; many viewers said all they could see of Markle during the broadcast was her black hat.
If anything, the candle’s appearance in South Park was designed to send up the social media furore as opposed to Markle.
Perhaps an obvious one – the book Harry is promoting in the episode is titled WAAAGH, which is a nod to his memoir Spare, which was published in January.
In the book, which The Independent said “sets fire to the royal family”, Harry spoke of his hatred of the press, his strained relationship with his brother William and grappling with loneliness, trauma and PTSD.
At one stage in the episode, South Park characte Kyle tells his friends: “They have this huge jet parked in front of my house and they keep on wanting me to buy their book.”
In the episode, the characters based on Harry and Meghan meet with a brand manager, who labels Meghan as a “sorority girl, actress, influencer and victim”. Meanwhile, Harry is described as “royal prince, millionaire, world traveller victim”.
Meghan’s profile is also shown, and eagle-eyed viewers have noticed the phrases “Lawyer Pretending” and “First Lady Botherer” among her list of hobbies., The former is a nod to Meghan’s role in legal drama Suits, while the latter references quotes made by royal expert Tom Bower in Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors.
Bower claims that Obama was “alarmed” following a series of meetings with Markle, who was allegedly unsure how to find her place within the royal family. He claimed that Obama told Markle: “Take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything.”
Harry and Meghan’s several TV appearances, including a sitdown with Oprah Winfrey and appearance on ITV News, were sent up in the episode. The characters based on the pair appear on Good Morning Canada to insist they want privacy – however, it’s pointed out by the host that Meghan is holding a sign reading: “Do not look at us.” Harry’s sign states: “We do not want privacy.”
When the host asks the prince if he “hates journalists”, he replies: “That’s right. We just want to be normal people – all this attention is so hard.”
They end up walking off the show.
Their move to California
In the episode, the royal couple give up their duties to move to South Park, with the character based on Meghan exclaiming: “If we moved here, people would think we’re really serious about wanting to be normal.”
This is a direct reference to the couple’s move to California after announcing they would step down as senior royals in 2020.
Their move to South Park angers the lead characters, with Kyle telling accusing the prince’s wife of “bossing” him around, adding: “I’m sick of hearing about them! I can’t get away from them! They are in my f***ing face!”
Harry’s frost-bitten penis
After moving to South Park, the Harry and Meghan characters are furious after realising photos of their new home have been leaked to the media.
When Kyle clashes with the couple, his new neighbours, the Meghan character accused him of “victiminsing” her, with Harry stepping in to defend his wife, by saying: “This is an outrage – we will just see how he deals with my blue penis.”
This is a reference to Harry’s revelation in his memoir that he was suffering from a frostbitten penis at his brother William’s wedding to Kate Middleton, following a 200-mile expedition to the North Pole in March 2011.
Meghan’s GQ magazine cover
In a tiny moment featured in the episode, several magazine covers appear on the screen, many of which sends up Meghan’s interviews with Vogue and The Cut.
However, it’s her GQ one, published in 2018, that is raising eyebrows. Written on the actual cover of the magazine was “Meghan’s annus mirabilis”, which, translated from Latin, means “Meghan’s wonderful year”.
The Latin phrasing itself was a nod to a speech given by the Queen in 1992, referred to as her “annus horribilis”. The speech, which featured in the most recent season of The Crown, came after a particulary bad year for the monarchy.
Parker and Stone eyed an opportunity, and instead of “annus mirabilis”, used the phrase “Princess Anus” on the fictional version of the magazine cover.
South Park is available to stream in the UK on Paramount Plus.