“It’s really hard to look back on it now and go, ‘What on earth happened?’” the Duke of Sussex, 38, says in the first moments of the Harry & Meghan trailer, which was released on Monday, December 5, before later explaining, “No one knows the full truth [of what happened]. We know the full truth.”
The Invictus Games founder seemingly claims that the palace planted negative stories about him and Meghan, 41, during the height of their battle with the press. “There’s a hierarchy of the family,” Harry says. “You know, there’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories.”
He continued: “It’s a dirty game.”
In the Harry & Meghan trailer — which will chronicle the couple’s life in California with son Archie, 3, and daughter Lili, 18 months — Harry also compares the way the former Suits actress was treated by the press and the royal family to the negative attention that his late mother, Princess Diana, endured before her death in 1997. “The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution — this feeding frenzy … I was terrified,” the former military pilot says, as headlines about Diana and Princess Kate flash across the screen. “I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”
This is not the first time that Harry has drawn comparisons between the treatment his wife and mother received after joining the royal family. During the duo’s March 2021 tell-all interview with CBS, the Better Help CIO opened up about feeling “helpless” when it came to fighting against the constant coverage from the U.K. press.
“I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect,” he claimed at the time, adding this his biggest fear was “history repeating itself.”
Despite the apparent digs at the royal family in the trailer, a source told Us Weekly in October that the couple changed how Harry’s father, King Charles III, will be portrayed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September. “They’ve both agreed to reach a neutral ground by softening the parts on Charles and adding intimate details about [Queen Elizabeth II‘s] legacy,” the insider revealed at the time, explaining that Harry and Meghan wanted to share their side of the story “without crossing a line.”
The six-episode series has added to the rumored tension between Harry and his brother, Prince William, however. Netflix released the first teaser for Harry & Meghan on Thursday, December 1, shortly after the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived in Boston for an official visit.
“To drop [the trailer] as they have on the first or second day of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s trip to the U.S. for the Earthshot Prize shows just exactly how much they wanted to hijack that publicity,” royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday. “It just shows how much they will go to any end at all for as much publicity as possible. They will jump on his own brother’s trip to promote these environmental prizes in order to steal that limelight and get more attention.”
He continued: “This is really a punch to the royal family once again from [Harry and Meghan]. I think it’s pretty hard [for the royal family] not to pay attention to this. … You can’t ignore it. It’s a constant noise for them and it’s something that they’d like to go away.”
Part one of Harry & Meghan will premiere on Netflix Thursday, December 8. The second installment will follow on December 15.