Here’s everything we know about Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary


Emma Mackenzie

·Yahoo UK royal reporter

Wed, 12 October 2022 at 2:06 pm

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending a reception, hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence, celebrating the forthcoming Invictus Games, at Nations Home, Invictus Games Park (Zuiderpark), in The Hague. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Meghan and Harry at a reception celebrating the Invictus Games in the Netherlands. (Getty Images)

The multi-million deal that Harry and Meghan struck with Netflix in 2020 to produce content with the streaming giant has been the subject of much speculation since the moment it was struck. Would their first offering be an at-home, Kardashian-style reality show — as reported earlier in year — or a more traditional documentary focussed on their philanthropic work?

More recently, conflicting reports have surfaced as to whether their maiden programme — and the Duke of Sussex’s much anticipated memoir — is undergoing a series of severe edits in light of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

As its release approaches, here is everything we know about the upcoming documentary.

Will it be changed in light of the Queen’s death?

Reports in the US entertainment outlet Page Six recently claimed that the couple “are making a dramatic u-turn on their upcoming projects in the wake of the Queen’s death” and later that, according to an anonymous Netflix source, “they’ve made significant requests to walk back content they themselves have provided”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look on as the State Gun Carriage carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Wellington Arch during the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Meghan and Harry mourn with the rest of the Royal Family during the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin through London. (Getty Images)

Despite these alleged requests, the source added “Netflix are standing by the filmmakers”. Equally the source believed if the edit requests were “granted, it will effectively shelve the project”.

“Harry and Meghan are panicked,” the report quoted another source as saying, and “trying to tone down even the most basic language. But it’s their story from their own mouths.”

However, other sources have offered a somewhat contradictory perspective to The Telegraph.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk as procession with the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace for her lying in state on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where she will lay in state until the early morning of her funeral. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan and Harry in Westminster Hall during a service to mark the beginning of the Queen’s lying-in-state. (Getty Images)

“There seems to be a big misconception that they need or want to turn the project on its head. There are always edits being made, but that’s how it works — people give notes, sometimes edits are made if there’s time before a deadline.”

Given that Harry and Meghan have always spoken very highly of his grandmother the Queen, the reports in the Telegraph that these are normal edits seem perhaps more realistic.

The Telegraph did report however that there has been “back and forth” about the proposed release date of the project, with a source admitting that “the timing isn’t ideal” given the recent death of the Queen.

What have Harry and Meghan said about it?

The couple has stayed pretty tight-lipped about the documentary, as have Netflix themselves. Other than refuting through a spokesperson that what they were filming was a reality show, the only other glimpses from the couple themselves came from a recent interview with The Cut, during which Meghan offered some insight into what would be included.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 03, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.  on June 03, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage,)
Harry and Meghan attend the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. (Getty Images)

“The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see is our love story.”

Meghan added: “I’m not trying to be cagey,” but said that Liz Garbus, the director attached to the project, “is incredible”.

Meghan also said: “When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own.”

Since the beginning of their relationship, Meghan and Harry have worried their story has often been one distorted — or at least influenced — by the media.

In 2020, the couple wrote to the editors of four major UK newspapers saying that they would refuse to respond to requests from journalists in the future and would pursue an approach of zero engagement – except when they would instruct lawyers to right any wrongful reporting.

Last June, the Sussexes accused the BBC of libel over a report about the naming of their daughter Lilibet.

So it seems that it is the media the couple are more likely to take umbrage with in any Netflix show, rather than their extended family – particularly after the recent loss of Queen Elizabeth.

Now, as reported in The Telegraph, they have an opportunity to show “where they have come from, what they’ve been through and where they are. I think it will explain a lot about the decisions they’ve had to make and how they’ve ended up here.”

What was the deal Meghan and Harry made with Netflix?

In 2020, it was announced that as one of their initial ventures on their journey to financial independence, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had signed a multi-year deal to produce content with the streaming giant.

Archewell Productions — the Sussexes media production company — would create content for Netflix that included: “documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming”, according to the New York Times.

This included Heart of Invictus a docu-series about competitors taking part in the Invictus Games and an animated show for children called Pearl, which has already been scrapped.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the athletics event during the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark on April 17, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. They reportedly also filmed for their upcoming Netflix documentary 'Heart of Invictus' while they were there. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Harry and Meghan attend the Invictus Games – one of the topics they are producing documentary content for Netflix on – in the Netherlands earlier this year. (Getty Images)

“There’s not much you can do when a company and a division changes their slate,” Meghan said to The Cut about Pearl, “And there’s also not much you can do when, even if they think the project is great, the media will report it as though it was my only project.”

The deal was reported to worth anywhere from $50m to £100m.

Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals, told GB News said that: “If you’re going to get into bed with Netflix, Spotify, with the big publishing companies, and sign these multi-million pound deals, they are going to want their pound of flesh.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. The 100th birthday of the RAF, which was founded on on 1 April 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new Queen's Colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan watch a flypast with the late Queen from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in April 2018. (Getty Images)

What’s going on with Harry’s memoir?

No release date has been confirmed for Harry’s memoir, yet. The rumour mill is spinning that the Duke of Sussex wants to rewrite some of the draft since his grandmother’s death.

While some speculation is that these alleged revisions are an attempt to tone down anything that could deepen the family rifts within the House of Windsor, the Telegraph has reported it is more to do with “clarifying tenses” and to ensure the text “makes sense”.

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