Harry and Meghan Admit Engagement Was 'Orchestrated Reality Show' – The Daily Beast

The first history-making episodes of “Harry & Meghan” are finally here. Strap in.
Royalist Correspondent
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Meghan Markle says the interview that the couple gave to announce their engagement was an “orchestrated reality show.”
Her description of the BBC sitdown comes in the third episode of their new Netflix series Harry & Meghan, which dropped early Thursday after weeks of building anxiety in the British royal family about what new allegations the Sussexes might make.
Meghan says the 2017 engagement interview was “rehearsed.” The Netflix documentary then shows footage of King Charles—then Prince Charles—saying he was “thrilled” about Harry and Meghan’s engagement, before shots of Camilla and Kate Middleton using the same word to describe their own feelings in separate encounters with the media.
“We weren’t allowed to tell our story because they didn’t want…” Meghan says, before Harry interjects: “We’ve never been able to tell our story.” Meghan laughs that that has been consistent throughout their time together. “Until now,” she says.
In the first episode, Harry explains that a friend suggested he and Meghan Markle make the series to counter “misinformation” about their departure from frontline royal duties.
Harry reveals that he met Meghan “over Instagram.” “I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, like a Snapchat.”
One of Meghan’s friends, Lindsay Jill Roth, says that in the summer of 2016, when she met Harry, Meghan had a number of “different trips planned” and she was “just going to be free.”
Meghan says, “I was really intent on being single,” adding that she only aimed to have “fun girl time.”
“I had my career, I had my path… and then came H. I mean he literally… talk about a plot twist,” says Meghan. She adds that a friend of hers offered to introduce her to another single friend. When Meghan asked who it was, the friend replied: “It’s Prince Haz.”
Meghan has previously said she didn’t Google Harry before meeting him, and reiterates that in the show. However she says that she asked for access to his social feed, and says, “That’s your homework. Let me see what they’re about in their feed… Not what someone else says about them but what they are putting out about themselves.”
The series also shows Harry talking about how he had to perform a public role showing “no emotion” after his mother’s death, and talks about how the “expectation to see myself and William out and about was really hard for the two of us.” He even appeared to take a shot at his father for not supporting him after the death of Diana, saying, “I was trying to balance the whole experience of being a young boy, who was trying to deal with the loss of his mum, without much support or help or guidance. It didn’t seem right. It didn’t seem fair.”
Harry addresses the famous Panorama interview in which Diana accused her husband of conducting an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles throughout much of their marriage. William has previously called for the interview never to be screened again, but a clip is included in Harry & Meghan.
Harry says, “I think we all now know she was deceived into giving that interview, but at the same time she spoke the truth of her experience.”
Harry said he didn’t have many early memories of his mother, speculating that he had “blocked them out,” but said he always remembered her “cheeky laugh.” Harry confirmed a long standing story that his mother used to say to him, “You can get in trouble, but don’t get caught.” He added, “I’ll always be that cheeky person inside.”
“The majority of my [childhood] memories are of being swarmed by paparazzi,” Harry said.
He added that they “rarely” had a holiday without a photographer “jumping out of a bush” and that the advice given within the family was, “Don’t react, don’t feed into it.”
Harry said, “There was always public pressure, with its fair share of drama, stress and also tears. And also witnessing those tears. I always see it on my mum’s face. And I guess those are the moments when I thought, ‘Hang on a little. What am I? Who am I? What am I part of?’”
In the episode covering Harry and Meghan’s engagement, the series also dives into the history of the royal family’s links to the British empire and slavery.
David Olusoga, author of Black and British, asks: “Who dreamed that Britain would have a Black princess? Who could have conceived that? It was a conclusion to a history that was so improbable as to be astonishing.” Author Afua Hirsch adds: “The first ever commercial slave voyage conducted by Britain was personally financed by Queen Elizabeth I and it continued to be financed by kings and queens right up until its abolition.”
Prince Harry also addresses his previous claims about the prevalence of “unconscious bias” and he addresses the notorious 2005 incident in which he decided to dress as a Nazi at a party—a decision which he says was “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.” “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 got on and ignored it and made the same mistakes over and over in my life, but I learnt from that.”
Trailers for the series saw Harry lamenting the “pain and suffering of women” marrying into the royal family along with clips of his late mother, Princess Diana, being hounded by photographers. “I was terrified,” Harry says. “I didn’t want history to repeat itself.” He also accused his family of playing a “dirty game” through leaking and planting stories in the press.
The clips also showed a tearful Meghan spliced in with shots of frenzied paparazzi. “I realized: ‘They’re never going to protect you,’” Meghan says.
Footage of their son Archie is included in the film. In one scene, he is shown riding a suitcase around the house as Harry says, “As a dad, and as parents, I think consent is a really key piece to this. That is you have children it should be your consent as to what you share.”
In another clip, Archie is seen admiring a sunset and says in an American accent, “It's all done beautiful.”
A senior official source at Buckingham Palace directly refuted a statement made at the outset of the new Netflix show Harry & Meghan suggesting that the royal family was invited to comment on the show.
In the opening credits a statement appeared on screen saying: “Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series.” However, a senior source at the palace said that while they would “be making no comment on the series” neither Buckingham Palace, nor Kensington Palace nor any members of the royal family were “approached for comment on the content of the series.”
Asked to clarify that the statement published by Netflix at the outset of the show was misleading, the source said that was “correct,” reiterating that the palace was “not aware” of any request for comment.


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