From hearing about the Break My Soul singer’s personal support to going to war with Harry’s brother, the second half of this supposed documentary series descends into full-blown reality TV
'The feud is apparently still ongoing’ … Princes William and Harry. Photograph: RT/Newspix International
Previously on Harry & Meghan … Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet, fall in love then spend three full hours exclusively complaining about press intrusion. On Thursday, the dramatic conclusion to Harry & Meghan dropped on Netflix. Spoiler alert: it is three hours of exactly the same thing. As with last week’s release, it is a gussied-up reality show that most people will never get round to watching – so here’s everything we learned from Volume 2.
1. Again, Harry does well
Like last week, Harry comes out of the documentary looking like someone who has done a lot of work on himself. Whenever he has slipped up in the past, he seems more than ready to hold his hands up and admit it. Here, he admits that his initial reaction to Meghan’s suicidal impulses was to protect the institution of the royal family and not his wife. Which is a big, brave thing to say aloud. A bit more of this level of reflection from the other participants would have made the series look less like an indulgent, painfully long publicity opportunity.
2. Prince William is the baddie
The expectation last week was that, since the first three episodes were such a snooze, all the good stuff about the royal family was being saved for this week. That does seem to be the case, with Harry singling out Prince William for a lot of the blame. Megxit happened, it is implied, because someone from William’s press team leaked Harry’s private plans to the press. When Megxit was announced, William apparently “screamed” at Harry. William put out a joint statement from the brothers without consulting Harry first. William grew a twirly moustache and tied a helpless villager to some train tracks. William invented Covid. William exists on nothing but a diet of fresh orphan blood. It’s not exactly complimentary. And the feud is apparently still ongoing, which might explain why the show used so much footage of William’s disastrous Jamaican tour.
3. The Queen, on the other hand, was amazing
Nobody has a single bad word to say about the Queen, who is presented as nothing more than a sweet little old lady. Which is weird, since this is explicitly a show about Harry and Meghan’s anger at the suffocating palace culture that was built up on the Queen’s watch. It wrecked their lives and almost caused Meghan to kill herself, but the couple resoundingly refuse to say a bad word about her. Probably smart, because that would be the quickest way to enrage the general public and receive a job lot of poisoned Paddington toys.
4. Beyoncé texts
At some point around the Oprah interview, Harry & Meghan becomes a full-blown reality show, trading archive footage for footage of the couple at home and what basically amounts to Diary Room confessions. This all feels a little icky – at one point it is a TV show about an interview, which in turn is about a podcast – but at least it captures the moment where Beyoncé texts Meghan. “She thinks I was selected to break generational curses that need to be healed”, Meghan reads, adding a little “Aw” at the end. Famous people are wild.
5. Meghan read her wedding speech from a phone
The final episode ends with Meghan reading the speech from her phone (a truly bizarre thing for anyone to do, by the way), and a beautiful montage of Harry and Meghan luxuriating in their new life away from the UK and the royal family. And, to be fair, it looks absolutely idyllic. There is sunshine. There are beaches. There is an undiluted image of freedom and love. And then there is a stern white-on-black legal disclaimer where someone from the royal household disputes the truth of what they said.
6. And now they are free
It is done. Lines have been drawn within the royal family and there is no going back. With Harry & Meghan, the couple have finally been able to definitively put the past behind them. The trauma of the past few years is nothing more than a rapidly fading memory, and the future is unwritten. Now, unburdened by whatever may have happened to them, they are able to move ahead into a bold and optimistic new future. They never have to tell this story again. Although Prince Harry’s book, which tells this entire story all over again, comes out in 26 days.