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Questions raised by Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series

The Sussexes (Richard Pohle/The Times/PA
The Sussexes (Richard Pohle/The Times/PA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched upon a range of issues in the first three episodes of their Netflix documentary.

Here are some questions which viewers may be left pondering over.

– Who was Harry thinking of when he said there is a temptation in the royal family to marry someone who “fits the mould”?

Harry did not mention any names but speaking in the first episode, he said: “I think for so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould as opposed to somebody who you perhaps are destined to be with.”

Queen Elizabeth II death
The royal family on the Palace balcony (Yui Mok/PA)

Viewers may wonder if he had any particular relatives in mind.

Women who have married into the royal family in modern times include the Princess of Wales, the Queen Consort and the Countess of Wessex, as well as Harry’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

– Which male members of the family challenged Harry on why Meghan should get special protection from the media?

Harry said some of his male relatives saw the media’s treatment of their wives as “a rite of passage”, but that they failed to grasp the “race element” that affected Meghan.

The Sussexes (Matt Dunham/PA)

He said: “Some of the members of the family were like ‘My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently?’ ‘Why should you get special treatment?’ ‘Why should she be protected?’

“And I said ‘the difference here is the race element’.”

– How did Harry and Meghan first meet each other?

The pair previously said they met on a blind date but Harry now said he first spotted his wife on social media.

In their 2017 engagement interview, both referred to having a “blind date”.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex Netflix documentary
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a photo booth (Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix/PA)

But Harry reveals he spotted Meghan on Instagram: “I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, it was like a Snapchat.”

An image of Meghan with the popular dog ears filter is then shown in the episode.

The Duke said: “That was the first thing. I was like ‘who is that?’”

Meghan said she went through Harry’s social media feed where she admired the “beautiful photography”.

– What happened when Meghan first met William and Kate? 

In their engagement interview in 2017, Harry said of Kate: “Catherine has been absolutely amazing”, with Meghan adding: “She’s been wonderful”, with Harry adding “as has William as well.”

Royal Foundation Forum
The Fab Four as they were dubbed at the time (Chris Jackson/PA)

But in the Netflix show, Meghan described how, at her first meeting with William and Kate, she was surprised at the “formality” of the royal family behind closed doors.

“I’ve always been a hugger, I didn’t realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits,” she said, revealing she was dressed down in ripped jeans and was barefoot.

– What will William think of the use of footage from his mother’s Panorama interview?

Midway through the first episode, clips are shown of Diana, Princess of Wales, speaking in the controversial 1995 interview, a programme that William said exacerbated his mother’s “fear, paranoia and isolation”.

A report by Lord Dyson, published in May 2021, found the BBC covered up Bashir’s deceit in obtaining the interview and “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency”.

Princess Diana – Panorama interview
Diana during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC’s Panorama (BBC/PA)

In a scathing statement issued following the publication of the report, William said: “It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.”

– Who told Harry and Meghan to start recording their experiences?

Episode one revealed Harry and Meghan filmed footage on their phones at the culmination of the Megxit crisis.

Harry said a friend told them they should document this particular chapter of their lives.

Commonwealth Day 2020
The Sussexes at their final royal public engagement in March 2020 (Phil Harris/Daily Mirror/PA)

“With all of the misinformation that was going on out there, especially about us and the departure, it seemed like a really sensible idea,” he said.

The footage now features in Netflix’s six-episode series – part of the Sussexes’ multi-million pound deal with the streaming giant.

– Who are Harry’s second family?

Harry said a “second family” in Africa brought him up.

He travelled to Lesotho in his younger days, setting up a charity there, and also spent time doing conservation work on the continent.

Prince Harry visits Africa
Harry with Prince Seeiso of Leosotho (Arthur Edwards/PA)

“I have a second family out there. A group of friends who literally brought me up,” he said.

– Why was Meghan told not to invite her niece to the royal wedding and who gave her the guidance?

Meghan claims she was given guidance that Ashleigh Hale – Samantha Markle’s biological daughter – ought not to attend the 2018 ceremony.

When Prince William, now the Prince of Wales, married Kate Middleton, his grandmother the Queen told him to rip up the official guest list and start with the people he knew first.

– Were Meghan’s relationships “managed” by the royal household?

Meghan’s niece Ashleigh Hale said: “Communication with Meg became less and less frequent.

Royal Wedding preparations
Meghan and her mother Doria Ragland ahead of the wedding (Steve Parsons/PA)

“My impression was that her relationships were being managed on some level.”

– Why were Harry and Meghan surprised there were police snipers on the roof at their wedding?

Security is always tight for large-scale royal events and snippers are often seen on duty at such occasions, which Harry would have experienced in the past.

– Were the royal family given the right to respond to the Netflix documentary?

A row has broken out with Netflix saying they were, but Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace saying not.

Coronavirus – Tue Jan 5, 2021
Buckingham Palace (PA)

A written statement of “Members of the royal family declined to comment on the content within this series” appeared on a black screen at the start of episode one.

The households say they received an email said to be from another third-party production company, and asked Archewell and Netflix to verify its authenticity, but never received a reply so could not offer a response.

– How was Harry and Meghan’s engagement interview an “orchestrated reality show”?

The pair sat down for an in depth interview with experienced BBC broadcaster Mishal Husain in November 2017, looking happy and relaxed as they chatted about how they met, fell in love and their hopes for the future.

Prince Harry engagement
The engagement interview (BBC/PA)

But Meghan said it was “rehearsed”, royal aides prepped them for questions and told them to expect to show the ring.

“My point is we weren’t allowed to tell our story,” she added.

– Will Harry and Meghan name the royal they accused of making a racist remark about her son?

Meghan told Oprah Winfrey, when she was pregnant with Archie, a member of the royal family – not the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

Three final episodes will air next Thursday, but it is thought unlikely the couple will unmask the accused royal.