On Thursday, Netflix released a first look at the forthcoming series, Harry & Meghan. The six-episode docuseries is expected to air on 8 December and will “share the other side” of the couple’s story.
In the trailer, it begins with an off-screen interviewer asking the couple: “Why did you want to make this documentary?” In response, Harry says: “No one sees what’s happening behind closed doors,” before adding: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.”
Later on in the trailer, which includes never-before-seen photos of the royal couple, Meghan offers her own response to the question.
“When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?” she asks.
Although it’s been reported that the couple’s highly anticipated docuseries would be airing in December, the timing of the first trailer is poignant. It comes as the royal family has found itself embroiled in a racism row over comments made by longtime royal aide Lady Susan Hussey.
Lady Susan, the former Queen’s lady-in-waiting and a godmother to Prince William, made the “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” to a Black charity advocate for survivors of domestic abuse during a reception at Buckingham Palace. She later apologised and resigned from her role.
“Harry and Meghan’s documentary trailer coming out just as the royal family has another racism scandal, slay,” one person tweeted, while another said: “The timing of Meghan and Harry’s documentary is just… chef’s kiss.”
“When I say timing is forever on Harry and Meghan’s side,” someone else added.
The duke and duchess have spoken frequently about the racism Meghan is said to have encountered during her time as a working member of the royal family. The couple told Oprah Winfrey during their tell-all interview that a member of the royal family made a racist comment about their son Archie prior to his birth.
However, others felt the trailer’s timing was “petty” because it also coincides with the Prince and Princess of Wales’ first trip to the United States in eight years. The couple landed in Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday for a three-day tour that will conclude with the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony on Friday evening.
“The fact that @netflix dropped this Harry and Meghan documentary trailer when Catherine and William are visiting the US in Boston… oof,” one person wrote. “Seems like the timing was intentional. @NetflixUK likely makes those decisions but still, oof.”
Another person said: “Why on this day of all days did Netflix, Harry and Meghan decide to release this ad. The Earthshot program is very important for our planet. To try and take attention away from it is petty.”
According to someone else, the decision to release the trailer a day after Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Boston was an “attempt to steal the spotlight”.
“The Prince and Princess of Wales travelled a great distance and this should be their day of publicity,” they added.
Despite the criticisms, many came to Meghan and Harry’s defence. Royal fans pointed out that Netflix released the trailer, not the duke and duchess, and that the couple does not “have to put their lives or projects on hold for that family”.
“Petty is bringing your vanity project to the US (a non-Commonwealth country) because your brother lives there now and you’re trying to compete with him,” one person alleged.
Another claimed that they enjoy the “pettiness” of the timing.
“The petty is top tier and the only kind that I enjoy being served. What is worth doing is worth doing well. @netflix BRING IT. Harry and Meghan I expect no holds barred!” they wrote.
As for whether William and Kate will see Harry and Meghan during their trip to the United States, it is not expected that the royal couples will reunite. However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who currently reside in California, will make a trip of their own to the East Coast on 6 December to receive the Robert F Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award at a New York City gala.
The Independent has contacted Netflix, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and a spokesperson for the Prince and Prince of Wales for comment.