The overwhelming feeling suffusing the final three episodes of Netflix is sadness. Sadness that the same paparazzi that chased Princess Diana to her death have learned nothing, and sadness that royal brothers William and Harry will probably never have the same close relationship they once had. Bridges have been burned, and it’s hard to see a way back.on
It’s tough, of course, to feel too sorry for either side, both of which will be cushioned by money and extravagant homes and any material things they’ll ever want. But anyone who’s had a family feud erupt in their lives knows the helplessness felt when families pick sides. Money can’t tape up those broken relationships.
The first three episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s series, like how Meghan calls Harry “H” and sometimes “Haz.” Those episodes came up to the eve of the couple’s 2018 royal wedding. These three episodes move them through that famous day and try to explain how the couple ended up moving, first to Canada, then to California. Revelations from the final three shows are much more personal. Here’s a look at some of them.
- Charles and the queen requested Meghan’s infamous letter
A large part of the final three episodes focuses on a five-page letter Meghan wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, essentially begging him to stop talking to the press about her. It sounds as if Meghan was savvy enough from the start to know the letter would be leaked, but she wrote it anyway. She says in the series that King Charles III (then Prince Charles) and the queen herself wanted Meghan to send the letter, which was sent to an agent of Meghan’s in California and then on to Meghan’s dad in Mexico, for fear it would be intercepted along the way.
Big chunks of the letter ended up being published by Mail Online, leading to a lawsuit won by Meghan. That’s much discussed in the series. But this revelation makes viewers wonder if the queen and Charles ever had any regrets about insisting Meghan put her feelings on paper.
2. Wedding details
For royal wedding lovers, the first of the three new episodes is the best. There’s plenty of never-before-seen images from the wedding reception, showing Meghan and Harry boogieing down on the dance floor. Harry cut their wedding cake with a sword, Elton John performed, and the couple’s first dance was to Wilson Pickett’s version of Land of 1000 Dances. Gotta wonder if the queen and Prince Philip noticed risque lyrics like, “Roll over on your back, I like it like that.”
But the wedding coverage is odd in other ways. There’s no discussion of the wedding gown design, and zero mention of the fight between Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan over bridesmaid dresses. Meghan said in the famed Oprah Winfrey interview that Kate made her cry and later sent flowers as an apology. But the exact focus of the fight, which many have speculated is about either the fit of Princess Charlotte’s dress or whether the little girl attendants should wear tights, apparently will remain private.
3. Sweet moments with the queen
The queen herself is never really disparaged in the show, thank heavens, because who needs a second US-UK war? In fact, clips are shown of Meghan making the queen laugh heartily on their first engagement together, and Meghan reveals the queen smoothed a blanket over her granddaughter-in-law’s legs while on a cold car ride together. Aww…
4. Meghan headlines vs. Kate headlines
This has been discussed before, but the series showed how differently the British tabloids covered Kate and Meghan. Kate was praised for cradling her pregnant belly, Meghan was mocked for doing it too much. Kate wore an off-shoulder gown to much fashion acclaim, while Meghan wore one and was criticized for it. No one from the tabloids, of course, ever offers any kind of explanation.
5. Leaks from inside the palace
The show is kind of all over the place with how it explains things, but essentially, Harry and Meghan say people in the palace would put out bad news stories about them so that the press would hold off on writing bad things about other members of the royals family.
A sad note comes when Harry says he and William had seen this happen, the pitting of two different palace camps against each other, and had vowed never to do it. And now, he claims it’s sad for him “to see my brother’s office copy the very same thing that we promised we’d never do.”
6. Baby photocall
Royal parents famously pose with their newborns on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, showing him or her off for photographs. William, Harry, and all three of William’s children were born there.
Yet, Meghan delivered Archie at London’s Portland Hospital. She didn’t come out within hours of the birth with the baby in arms, and in the series, says this was because the hospital didn’t have the same kind of safe viewing area as St. Mary’s. (But didn’t Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew take those kind of photos at Portland Hospital when Eugenie and Beatrice were born? That’s never addressed.)
Anyway, Meghan and Harry did show off Archie a few days later, but according to the series, the press wasn’t happy because of the two-day wait, and cranked out all kinds of headlines about how spoiled the new parents were, daring to want to call the shots about their own newborn.
7. Racism toward Meghan
Racism toward Meghan’s mixed-race background played a major role in the couple leaving for North America.
One horrific example came after Archie was born, when one social-media user shared a photo of a couple holding the hands of a dressed-up chimpanzee, captioning it as if it were Meghan, Harry and Archie.
That person (it’s not anyone famous) later apologized saying they didn’t think of the racist angle of calling the child of a woman with African roots a monkey, and claiming they were only referring to the formal dress of the couple and chimp. (Either way, what in the hell, social-media user?)
But the one unexploded bomb left by the Oprah interview was never set off. In that interview, Meghan said someone in the royal family asked how dark her baby’s skin would be.
Harry later vowed never to reveal who said it, leading many to speculate it was a royal very, very close to Harry himself. (He did say it wasn’t either the queen or Prince Philip.) That topic isn’t brought up, as true to his word, Harry seems to intend to keep that royal name to himself.
8. Battle over the departure
There’s a lot of back-and-forth about Harry and Meghan deciding to move to Canada and then to the US. Apparently there was a family meeting during which Harry was presented five options, with No. 1 being “no change” and No. 5 meaning the couple was completely out of royal duties. He tried to pick No. 3, he says, half-in, half-out, and the couple even volunteered to pay their own expenses but still make appearances on the queen’s behalf. They were then told, apparently, that only options 1 and 5 could be chosen. It’s at this meeting where things broke down.
“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in,” Harry said.
When stories began to emerge saying William had bullied Harry out of the country, a supposed joint statement from the brothers came out saying that wasn’t true. But some “joint statement” that was — Harry says in the show he knew nothing about it until he saw his name on it after the press picked it up.
9. Meghan’s miscarriage
Between having Archie in 2019 and Lilibet in 2021, Meghan became pregnant again but miscarried. She’s written about this for The New York Times, it’s no secret. But in the series, Harry blames the miscarriage on the events stemming from The Mail publishing her letter to her father.
“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what The Mail did,” he said. “I watched the whole thing. Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was created, caused by that? Course we don’t,” he said, citing stress and lack of sleep from worrying about the lawsuit as contributing to the loss.
“I can say, from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her,” he said.
10. Life in California today
The couple seem very happy in Montecito, California, with Harry exalting about how he can do things with his family there that he’d never have been able to do in his homeland.
In one scene shot in Big Sur, the couple find their way to a deserted beach. In another, his cousin Eugenie visits, and she and Harry attend the Super Bowl. Meghan even has reunited with Ashleigh, the daughter of her half-sister, Samantha Markle, despite Meghan and Samantha’s estrangement.
They hide Easter eggs for their children to find, and Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, is a constant, loving, grandmotherly part of their life. Harry drives himself around town in a black Audi SUV. They own two dogs. They’re friends with Tyler Perry (who let them live in his mansion for a while) and at least acquaintances with Beyonce. (Even Harry, as famous as he’s always been, is floored when the singer sends a supportive text after the Oprah interview.)
But Harry says he misses the big traditional gatherings with the extended royal family, and the couple call out one of William’s staffers for acting against them. (The staffer denies being anything but neutral toward the couple in a statement shown in the final seconds of the last episode.)
For as little as William’s name is mentioned, it seems clear that the brothers are still divided into warring camps, and it’s unclear how or if they’ll ever reconcile. Diana might have celebrated Harry’s move to the US, as he says she herself wanted to do. But she’d likely be heartbroken that her two boys, once so close, are now an ocean away, physically and otherwise.