Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have denied they are working with Netflix on a reality TV show about their day-to-day lives as royals living in California and promoting worthy causes, but that doesn’t mean the Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn’t offer to participate in some kind of documentary about their dramatic departure from the royal family, according to The Daily Mail.
They did so by saying they could share home videos and other personal materials they recorded during those tumultuous months, the Daily Mail said in a new report.
While negotiating to get a reported multimillion-dollar deal, the couple’s representatives are believed to have told bosses at the streaming services about a trove of homemade videos and other material, the Daily Mail reported.
Earlier this month, the couple announced that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming with uplifting content about diversity, the environment and the “power of the human spirit.” The couple’s announcement suggested that their work with Netflix would mostly be behind the scenes.
On Monday, a spokesperson for Netflix confirmed that the couple has several projects in development, including a nature series and an animated series that celebrates inspiring women. The spokesperson, however, did not flat out deny that some kind of programming, spotlighting Harry and Meghan, was in the works.
Various reports have said the deal could earn the couple $100 million or more, an amount that would help their goal of becoming financially independent from the royal family and give them a global platform from which to promote their personal brand and philanthropic causes.
“There are suggestions the pair realized that if they wanted to make their own ‘worthy’ documentaries and still receive a big price-tag from Netflix, then they needed another project which could offer more commercial value,” the Daily Mail reported.
On Monday, The Sun reported that Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and his former TV actress wife had agreed to allow cameras to follow them around. The series would give viewers “a glimpse into their lives” and allow fans to “see the real” Meghan, The Sun reported.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan shot down the report, saying “the Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows.” Royal observers, however, noted the specificity of the wording of the statement, saying the couple could still be featured in a documentary that doesn’t fall into the definition of a “reality show.”
That Harry and Meghan would headline a documentary about themselves is not unprecedented. They famously starred in “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey,” in October 2019. The documentary was ostensibly about their royal tour of Africa, but focused less on the nonprofits they visited and more on their emotional interviews, in which they revealed their struggles to deal with the intense spotlight of royal life.
Meghan disclosed that she was having a hard time adopting the “British stiff upper lip.” She said, “It’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.”
Harry, meanwhile, appeared to confirm tabloid reports about a rift between him and his older brother, Prince William, saying “We are certainly on different paths at the moment.”
Harry and Meghan’s revelations presaged their departure from the United Kingdom the next month, initially to spend the Christmas holidays in Canada. Then came their stunning announcement in January that they wanted to step down from their duties as working members of the royal family.
If Harry and Meghan were to open up more about their disillusionment with the monarchy in another documentary it could “prove to be explosive” in terms of their still complicated relationship with the royal family, the Daily Mail said.
Royal sources earlier expressed “genuine concern” about the reality show idea, the Daily Mail said. Harry had assured the queen that the work he and Meghan planned to undertake would not embarrass the family or brazenly trade on his royal links.