The first part of the Harry and Meghan show on Netflix was something of a let down. Over three tedious hours, there was a lot of sentiment and half-veiled digs at the rest of Britain’s royal family, as well as some philosophizing about racism and Brexit, but millions of viewers got to the end of the third hour and sighed as one: “Is that it?”
Expectations were not high that the second installment, coming to Netflix this Thursday, was going to live up to the advance hype. But it appears a nasty surprise is in store, at least for the royal family. Much of the explosive material that has been teased to viewers for months is now, finally, going to be let out into the open. It looks every bit as dramatic as watchers of this particular saga might have wished for.
Today’s trailer has almost too many shocking and revelatory moments to list, but a few key moments stand out. The first is Harry angrily saying:
“They were happy to lie to protect my brother, but they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”
As if it wasn’t clear already, it seems hard to see how the relationship between Harry and his brother William can be rebuilt. After the Queen’s death, Harry, Meghan, William and Kate were pictured on a walkabout in Windsor; Harry’s comments on Netflix suggest that, despite the appearance of a reconciliation, all is not well between the two siblings.
Meghan’s fury over their security detail being “pulled” is another moment that gives an insight into just how acrimonious the family breakdown has been. The Duchess of Sussex claims she was “being fed to the wolves” before she left Britain with her husband.
“Everyone in the world knew where we were,” she says of the concerns she and Harry had about their safety.
If we were in any doubt that Harry and Meghan were building up to a full-frontal attack on the royal family and those around it — and many of us were — this has now been dispelled. It makes everything that has gone before — even the notorious Oprah interview — look polite and diplomatic.
The question is what happens next. For all of the hoopla and hype after the first three episodes — including the Daily Mail running more than a dozen pages on it — there was a general sense that it was neither wildly interesting or especially damaging to the royal family. Most of the gripes and grievances of the dynamic duo have long since been priced in, and there was little expectation that anyone was likely to have been really shocked by it.
But if this minute-long teaser is anything to go by, these episodes could not only represent the most shocking moment in the British royal family’s media involvement since Princess Diana unburdened herself to Martin Bashir, but could lead to the most tumultuous battle yet between the Sussexes and the rest of their family.
Still, one thing is for certain. The King’s Speech this year will be entirely unmissable.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.