Netflix vs. Buckingham Palace: Spat Intensifies Over ‘Harry & Meghan’


The spat between Buckingham Palace and the producers behind the Netflix docuseries ‘Harry & Meghan’ has intensified after it emerged that palace officials not only had an opportunity to comment on the Sussexes’ claims on the show, but also attempted to obtain footage.

The war of words broke out last Thursday, shortly after ‘Harry & Meghan’ hit Netflix at 8am UK time. The series opens with a set of title cards that read, “This is a first-hand account of Harry and Meghan’s story, told with never-before-seen personal archive. All interviews were completed by August 2022. Members of the royal family declined to comment on the content of this series.”

By late morning, sources at Buckingham Palace appeared to have informed royal reporters that the royal family had not been approached for comment. The Daily Mail’s royal editor, Rebecca English, tweeted at 12pm: “Contrary to the claims made by the creators of the Netflix documentary, I understand that neither Buckingham or Kensington Palace nor members of the royal family have been approached for comment. on the content of the series. I do not expect any comment from the royal households for the time being.”

Roya Nikkhah, royal editor of The Sunday Times, tweeted at 12:02am: “NEW senior royal sources say this claim in #HarryandMeghanonNetflix that members of the royal family declined to comment is false. Sources say they are not aware of any approach from Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace or any member of the family about the contents or for comment[.]”

However, a Netflix source immediately refuted the palace’s claim, saying that both Harry’s father, King Charles, and brother, Prince William, had been contacted for comment via their communications secretaries and were given a chance to reply.

In the series, Harry claims that his older brother “yelped and screamed” at him after telling them that he and wife Meghan planned to “step back” from the royal family, and that William effectively kicked him out of the family had “bullied”. He also claimed that his father had “said things that weren’t true” and that both men – or at least their offices – had leaked stories about Harry and Meghan to the press.

By late afternoon, sources at Buckingham Palace had changed their tune, according to British news reports, and confirmed they had received a request for comment from an “external production company”, which they had tried to verify with both Netflix and the UK. production company Archewell of Sussex. Having received no response from either party, they did not respond further to the request.

At 4:26pm Nikkhah tweeted, “An @KensingtonRoyal source has clarified that an email was received ‘supposedly’ from an outside production company on the #HarryandMeghan document from an unknown company’s email address. KP [Kensington Palace] contacted @netflix and Archwell to try to verify but got no response[.]”

“I understand that a similar approach to an unauthenticated email has also been made to Buckingham Palace and BP [Buckingham Palace] also unsuccessfully attempted verification,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Sources say neither email contained substantial information about the series for enough entitlement to reply[.]”

As Variety confirmed earlier today that that third party was Story Syndicate, the production company co-founded by “Harry & Meghan” director Liz Garbus. Story Syndicate co-produced the series with Archewell Productions.

It has now emerged that not only did William’s communications secretary Lee Thompson acknowledge receiving the email from Story Syndicate, but in a Nov. 30 response, he asked the company to share footage of the series with him before it was due to hit Netflix. a source for Story Syndicate confirmed Variety. Once Story Syndicate told him they couldn’t share footage beforehand — but asked him again to respond to the series’ claims, which they repeated in the email — Thompson didn’t respond further.

That has confirmed the source of Story Syndicate Variety that a request for comment has also been sent directly to Tobyn Andreae, Director of Communications for the Royal Household and spokesman for King Charles. That email was sent to Andrae’s inbox rather than a general Buckingham Palace email address and did not return.

On the same day, Story Syndicate also emailed Jason Knauf (Prince William and Harry’s former joint communications secretary), containing the allegations about him in ‘Harry & Meghan’. A source close to the docuseries pointed it out Variety that unlike the royal communications team, Knauf did not question the veracity of the email or production company involvement and responded to Story Syndicate’s question with a comment that was subsequently incorporated into the series.

Buzzfeed News, which was the first to break the news about Thompson’s request, reported that an Archewell aide received an email from the royal communications team regarding Story Syndicate’s question, but it was sent after the deadline had passed. passed for an answer to be included in the docuseries. Buzzfeed News added that Netflix had not seen any correspondence from the royals regarding the docuseries, but such a request may have been sent to “an obscure account”.

A source independently confirmed Archewell’s correspondence with the palace Variety.

Buzzfeed News also claimed that Thompson and Andreae were the “royal sources” who briefed Nikkhah and Engels and sent them information through a WhatsApp group.

Variety has asked all parties for comment.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
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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