“Harry & Meghan” documentary dives into couple’s dramatic split from British royal family

Mark Jones from Stradishall, Newmarket, suffolk, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Netflix hit “Harry & Meghan” tells the story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and their controversial split from the British crown in early 2020. The two-part docuseries, composed of six, one-hour long episodes, explores the couple’s meeting, marriage and controversy with both the royal family and the British press.

Vol. 1 of the series, which includes three one-hour long episodes, opened how any story of a couple would — with their first meeting and falling in love. The three episodes, while touching on the relentlessness of the British press and the drama circulating Markle’s family leading up to the pair’s wedding, were sappy and focused a great deal on the couple’s love for one another — a bit that left many feeling unsatisfied and like victims of clickbait.

It cannot be denied that vol. 1 of the series includes nothing more than what was given in the couple’s tell-all with Oprah Winfrey. It is well-known that the Duke and Duchess have an estranged relationship with the royal family and they made sure not to hold back their opinions on the decade-long traditions of the crown. Viewers of the series have similar opinions that Markle’s comments on the family were at times unnecessary and insensitive.

The first two episodes’ plotlines mirror one another. Episode one touches on the couple’s meeting and Prince Harry’s upbringing, while the second episode dives into Markle’s childhood and when their relationship became public.

The first episode focused greatly on Prince Harry’s upbringing, his time in the military and his charitable work before Markle. He then touches on the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and how her death changed his view on the royal family.

Showing the prince’s dislike for the institution before meeting Markle was an obvious tactic to squash the widespread opinion that Markle forced her husband into leaving the crown. While obviously painting the well-known prince in the best light, many found the episode boring and a recount of information already known by the public — at least, by those who follow the Duke and Duchess.

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Episodes two and three dive into Markle’s upbringing with interviews from her mother, as well as her rise to fame as an actor on the legal drama TV show, “Suits.” Later in the episodes, we learn in detail the falling out between Markle and her father, who she was once close with. Most importantly, the later episodes of vol. 1 begin the endless criticism from the royal couple on the British press’s “obsession” with Markle, touching on racism in the United Kingdom and how that ultimately led to the couple leaving the crown.

Vol. 2 of the series, composed of the final three episodes, finally includes details of the couple’s sudden and public separation from Prince Harry’s family that viewers were promised. Possibly the most intriguing part of the second half of the series were the allegations made by the Duke and Duchess: Prince William screaming at Prince Harry over the couple leaving the family and King Charles III leaking the story of the Prince and Markle moving to Canada. Allegations like these are why the Daily Mail is calling the docuseries “an all out war on William and Charles.”

While many intimate details were revealed in the couple’s tell-all of sorts, some viewers noted that they simply found the series “annoying” and “whiny.” Critics found the pair, specifically Markle, to be self-absorbed as they publicly bashed the institution they left behind.

Regardless of opinions on the couple, it is clear that they have faced a great deal of unfairness by the British press in publication and by the royal family in a lack of doing anything about it. The stark differences between the reporting on Markle and the reporting on the Princess of Wales for doing the same or similar things cannot be denied and was outright unfair.

It is additionally obvious that the pair’s relationship is strong and full of love. Their family is heartwarming and seemingly peaceful residing in Los Angeles. Regardless of your opinions on the royal family or Markle, it can be appreciated that, to viewers of “Harry & Meghan,” the couple seems happy with their distance from the royal family and the British press.

“Harry & Meghan,” while dragged-out and completely one-sided, brings even more controversy to an already controversial couple. The series is a clear indicator of the vast intrigue the Duke and Duchess have across the globe, especially in America, where such strong opinions have never been held on the royal family — at least since the death of Princess Diana.