7 surprising revelations from Netflix’s ‘Harry & Meghan’

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After six years – their courtship, engagement, marriage and early parenthood – spent under the watchful, often reproachful eye of the tabloid press, you can hardly blame the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for wanting to tell their side of the story.

That’s the motivating idea behind “Harry & Meghan,” the new six-part Netflix docuseries about the couple. (The first three episodes premiered Thursday; the next batch drops December 15). The series, directed by Liz Garbus, aims to correct long-held assumptions about the royal couple stepping back in 2020 to start a family in California — assumptions about their relationship with the media, for example, as well as with the Meghan’s family and Harry’s.

The episodes available for streaming now focus on the first two; royal family gossip addicts will probably have to wait until next week for the good stuff. But in the meantime, here are the most surprising “Harry & Meghan” revelations yet.

Harry and Meghan spent a week camping in Botswana after just a few dates.

As the two struggled to coordinate their busy schedules, Harry invited Meghan to join him on a trip to the African country, with which he says he has a “deep” connection. Before she left, Meghan says onscreen, she told friends she hoped she and Harry got along as well as they thought; she then remembers sleeping in a tent with the prince and waking up in the night to the sound of an elephant munching leaves just above her. Meghan later says she told Harry she trusted him to protect her in the wilderness because of his familiarity with the nation.

After the British media found out about their relationship, Meghan says Harry warned her not to interact with paparazzi, even cordially, for fear she would attract attention.

Shortly after tabloid photographers began following Meghan on a routine basis, she stopped one day to greet them and tell them to keep warm in the Toronto weather. Harry immediately told her not to do that, she says. “I was like, ‘I’m just trying to be nice. I don’t know what to do, I’ve never had to deal with this.’ He says, ‘Right, but the British media say you love it.’”

‘Harry & Meghan’ series smashes British tabloids, but spares royals – until now

Photographers stalked and harassed Meghan in Toronto (where she lived while filming the USA Network series “Suits”).

Silver Tree, a friend of Meghan’s and a producer on “Suits,” says tabloid reporters tried to buy call sheets from production crew members to find out when Meghan would be on set. “There were people breaking into the area where their trailers are, trying to take pictures of her getting in and out of her trailer,” says Tree. “I was terrified that someone would just wait for her in her trailer.”

Meghan says she alerted authorities when paparazzi were watching her home, but initially received little help. “I told the police, ‘If another woman in Toronto told you, ‘I have six grown men sleeping in their cars around my house following me everywhere I go, and I feel scared,’ would you don’t? say it was stalking?’ … And they said, ‘Yeah, but there’s really nothing we can do because of who you’re dating.’” She finally got security help, she says, after receiving death threats.

Meghan says she strategically wore mostly beige, white and black clothes while she and Harry lived in London.

Royals are not allowed to wear the same color as the Queen at group events, or even the same color as another more senior royal, Meghan says. So she opted for neutrals, both to avoid accidentally matching the Queen’s famous jewel-colored wardrobe and to blend in — because, given Meghan’s racial background and her American upbringing, there was “no version of me who came to this family and didn’t try to do everything”. I could fit in.”

Meghan is very close to Ashleigh Hale, the biological daughter of her half-sister Samantha Markle.

Meghan says in the docuseries that she barely knows Samantha, the half-sister who claims she “raised” Meghan for 12 years. Also, Hale – who was adopted as a young child by her paternal grandparents – says she was estranged from Samantha until 2007 when she also met Meghan. Despite the fact that Hale is technically Meghan’s niece, the two developed a relationship that both Hale and Meghan describe as more that of sisters.

Despite their close bond, Meghan says, she and Harry were discouraged from inviting Hale to their 2018 nuptials.

The small communications team at Kensington Palace was already thinly spread the two, as well as Prince William and Princess Catherine. Consequently, the couple says, the team was unable to explain to the public or press why Samantha would not be invited to the wedding, but Samantha’s biological daughter would. “I was in the car with H and called [Hale] and I had her on speakerphone and we talked her through what guidance we were getting and why this assessment was made,” says Meghan. “And that’s painful.” Hale says she was “hurt on some level” by the decision, but eventually understood.

Meghan says her father’s absence on the day of her and Harry’s wedding was baffling and mysterious.

At Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018, Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, was supposed to walk her down the aisle. A report surfaced days before the event that Thomas had taken money to take pictures showing him training (“shredding for the wedding”) and reading books about Britain. Meghan says she contacted her father to ask if the report was true; she says on screen that he denied it, but she didn’t believe him.

Meghan also says she found out he didn’t come from TMZ to the wedding.

After it was reported that he would miss the wedding due to poor health, Meghan says she repeatedly called and texted her father but was unable to reach him. “‘Are you okay? What hospital are you in?’ Meghan recalls asking desperately via text. Meanwhile, “The world is watching this drama play out.” When she finally got a text from his phone number, Meghan says, she doubted it was really him. “You know how people text, right? My dad used a lot of emojis, a lot of ellipses,” she says. “This was just the opposite.

“And it called me Meghan,” she adds. ‘All my friends call me Meg and my parents call me Meg. I was like, ‘That’s not my dad.’”

“It is incredibly sad what has happened. She had a father before and now she has no father,” says Harry. “I took that on my shoulders. Because if Meg wasn’t with me, her dad would still be her dad.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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