LONDON — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are expected to unleash their grievances against the British monarchy on Thursday, when Netflix premieres the final episodes of a series about the couple’s decision to step back from royal duties and start anew. in United States.
After the first three installments of “Harry & Meghan” focused on British media coverage of the couple and how it was influenced by racism, California-based streaming giant Netflix promoted the latest episodes with a trailer in which Harry alleges that the couple was the victim of “institutional incitement.”
“They were happy to lie to protect my brother,” Harry says in the trailer, referring to Prince William, the heir to the throne. “They were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”
While it’s unclear who “they” are, the trailer suggests that a combination of the media and palace officials are the most likely alleged culprits. The quote is delivered over a shot of Buckingham Palace and a video of William and Harry walking side by side during the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip, in April 2021.
The potentially explosive new episodes come at a crucial time for the monarchy as King Charles III tries to show that the institution is still alive and vibrant after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose personal popularity dampened criticism of the crown during her reign. 70 years old. Charles argues that the House of Windsor can help unite an increasingly diverse nation by meeting face-to-face with representatives of the ethnic groups and religions that make up modern Britain, trying to show that, whatever the charges against them, the reality is different.
Pauline Maclaran, author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture,” said the royal family is likely to be looking forward to the final three episodes with “great anticipation” after the first three contained few direct attacks on the institution.
“It’s very provocative and it feels like some kind of war is being declared,” he said before the launch. “But let’s wait and see.”
Harry’s 2018 marriage to the former Meghan Markle, a biracial American actress, was once seen as a public relations coup for the royal family, boosting the monarchy’s effort to enter the 21st century by making it more representative of a multicultural nation. But the fairy tale, interrupted by a horse-drawn carriage ride and a mass wedding at Windsor Castle, soon fell apart amid relentless media attention, including accusations that Meghan was self-centered and bullying her staff.
“They weren’t throwing me to the wolves, they were feeding me to the wolves,” Meghan says in a clip included in the trailer.
The series is the latest effort by Harry and Meghan to tell their own story after the couple stepped away from royal life in early 2020 and moved to the wealthy southern California enclave of Montecito. His life in a property overlooking the Pacific Ocean has been financed in part by lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify.
The first three episodes included extensive commentary from Harry and Meghan, along with interviews with friends and allies, as well as experts on race and racism in British society. There were no comments from the aforementioned newspapers.
Race became a central issue for the monarchy following Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. Meghan alleged that before her first child was born, a member of the royal family commented on how dark race could be. baby skin.
Prince William defended the royal family after the interview, telling reporters: “We are not a racist family at all.”
Buckingham Palace faced fresh accusations of racism earlier this month when a black advocate for survivors of domestic abuse said a senior member of the royal household questioned her about her origins during a reception at the palace. Coverage of the issue filled the British media, dwarfing the long-awaited visit of William and his wife Kate to Boston, which the palace hoped would highlight their environmental credentials.
The Netflix series is problematic for the palace because Harry and Meghan appeal to the same younger, culturally diverse demographic that William and Kate are trying to win over, Maclaran said.
“I think it has to be concerning for the royal family in terms of their future, because they really need to have this young generation on their side, to some degree, if they’re going to survive,” he said. “They’re going to have to make a lot of effort to appear more diverse, and I think we see that happen a little bit, but not enough.”