Briefing

The biggest revelations from Netflix's Harry & Meghan documentary

The second part of Netflix's 'Harry & Meghan' series has dropped. Here's everything you need to know.

The final three episodes of Netflix's highly anticipated documentary about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Harry & Meghan, were released Dec. 15. Here are the biggest revelations from the series:

Harry and Meghan met over Instagram

Much of the first episode of Harry & Meghan focuses on the start of their relationship, and it reveals they met thanks to Instagram. 

"I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, like a Snapchat [of Meghan] with [a] doggy ears [filter]," Harry explains. "That was the first thing. I was like, 'Who is that?'"

The friend, Meghan says, emailed her saying that a "friend of mine asked about you" and "maybe you'd like to meet him." Meghan then asked if she could see Harry's Instagram feed. 

"So that's the thing," Meghan says. "When people say, 'Did you Google him?' No, but that's your homework. You're like, 'Hm, look, let me see what they're about in their feed. Not what someone else says about them, but what they are putting out about themselves.'"

Harry was late for their first date 

Harry and Meghan say they got each other's numbers and were "constantly in touch" until they met in London and got drinks while she was there for Wimbledon. 

"You were late!" Meghan tells Harry. "And I couldn't understand why he would be late."

Harry was apparently texting Meghan the whole time apologizing that he was stuck in traffic, but Meghan initially wasn't sure if he was making her wait intentionally. But then, "when I walked in a hot, sweaty, red ball of mess, she was like, 'Oh, that's not what you are,'" Harry adds, noting he was "panicking" and "freaking out." 

Meghan's mom speaks out

The Netflix documentary reveals the first ever on-camera interview with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, who provides commentary throughout the second and third episodes.

"The last five years has been challenging," Ragland says. "I'm ready to have my voice heard."

Ragland speaks out about her ex-husband, Thomas Markle, staging photos to sell to the paparazzi in 2018, saying she was "stunned" he would "become part of this circus." 

Ragland also says she regrets not having a "real conversation" with Meghan when she was growing up about "how the world sees you" because she is mixed race, and Meghan says that before she came to the U.K., "most people didn't treat me like a Black woman." But Ragland recalls telling Meghan, after her relationship with Harry became public, "This is about race. … You may not want to hear it, but this is what's coming down the pike." 

Ragland describes Meghan as a "very empathic child," who once told her she felt like her "older, controlling sister" rather than her mother. 

Meghan claims paparazzi paid neighbors to set up a live stream in her backyard

A major focus of the first three episodes of Meghan & Harry is the intrusive nature of the paparazzi in the couple's lives. At one point, Meghan describes how it "felt like all of the U.K. media descended upon Toronto" after her relationship with Harry was revealed, and her house was "surrounded" by "men sitting in their cars all the time" waiting for her. 

Meghan claims "they had paid certain neighbors to put a live stream camera into my backyard," though she doesn't provide details. 

Meghan also recalls going to the police in Toronto and saying that "if any other woman" told them she has "six grown men who are sleeping in their cars around my house and following me everywhere," this would be called "stalking." But she claims police told her, "Yes, but there's really nothing we can do because of who you're dating." 

Meghan's first meeting with William and Kate 

Meghan describes a jarring first meeting with Prince William and Kate Middleton in the second episode of the Netflix series. 

They came over for dinner, Meghan recounts, and "I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot." She recalls going in for a hug because "I'm a hugger," only to realize "that is really jarring for a lot of Brits."

"I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside," she says, noting this was "surprising to me." 

Royals allegedly thought the relationship wouldn't last

Harry says that while the royal family was "incredibly impressed" when they met Meghan, they also thought the relationship was fleeting. 

"The fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning," Harry says. "'Oh, she's an American actress. This won't last.'"

Meghan chimes in that "funnily enough," the "actress thing was the biggest problem" because it was "easy for them" to "typecast" her based on their perceptions of Hollywood. 

Meghan dishes on engagement interview 

When asked about their 2017 BBC interview about their engagement, Meghan immediately shoots back, "Orchestrated reality show, yep."

It "was rehearsed," she continues, including in the sense that she was told ahead of time about how "there'll be a moment when they'll want to see the ring, so show the ring." But until now, she claims, "We weren't allowed to tell our story because they didn't want [us to]." 

Harry takes aim at 'royal experts'

Harry lays into British tabloids all throughout the Netflix documentary, but perhaps his most pointed comments come in the third episode. Meghan asks if "people can just call themselves royal experts" in the media, and Harry opines that "anyone can be a royal expert," a title that's intended to "lend legitimacy" to news articles.

"That press pack of royal correspondents is essentially just an extended PR arm of the royal family," he alleges. "So it's been an agreement that's been there for over 30 years." 

Meghan speaks out against her estranged sister

In the third episode, Meghan discusses her relationship with her estranged half-sister Samantha Markle, who slammed her in the tabloids and wrote a tell-all book titled The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister Part 1.  

Calling Samantha "my half-sister who I hadn't seen for over a decade, and that was only for a day-and-a-half," Meghan says, "I don't know [her] middle name. I don't know [her] birthday." She also says she and Samantha never had a "fallout" because "we didn't have a closeness to be able to have that." 

Meghan was given 'painful' guidance to not invite niece to her wedding 

Meghan did, however, develop a close relationship with Samantha's daughter, Ashleigh. She appears in the Harry & Meghan documentary, and Meghan says they "hit it off," while Ashleigh describes Meghan as a sister and best friend. Ashleigh suggests there was "resentment" toward Meghan on her mother's part. 

But in the third episode, Ashleigh notes that communication between her and Meghan eventually became "less and less frequent," and Meghan claims she was given "guidance" not to invite Ashleigh to the royal wedding because "how do we explain that this half-sister isn't invited to the wedding but that the half-sister's daughter is?" 

Meghan calls this "painful," while Ashleigh says she was "hurt" but "understood where it was coming from." But Ashleigh chokes up saying it's "hard" that because of her mother, this "important" relationship with Meghan was "taken away." 

Harry addresses his Nazi uniform

While discussing his own unconscious biases when it comes to race, Harry addresses wearing a Nazi uniform to a party in 2005, when he was 20. 

"It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life," he says. "I felt so ashamed afterwards. All I wanted to do was make it right." He continues that while he could have ignored the controversy and "made the same mistakes over and over again in my life," he instead "learned from that." 

Harry says Meghan 'doesn't have a father' anymore

The end of the third episode delves into Meghan's falling out with her father, Thomas Markle, and allegations that he staged photos to sell to the paparazzi. (He later admitted this was true.)

Meghan says she confronted her father about this, and though he denied the claims, she didn't believe him. Later, TMZ reported that Thomas wouldn't be attending Harry and Meghan's wedding after suffering a heart attack, and Meghan says she found this out through the media. While trying to get in touch with her father, Meghan says she suspected his phone was "compromised" after getting "really weird" texts that didn't seem to be written by him. "That's not my dad," she recalls thinking. 

Ultimately, Harry concludes that Meghan "had a father before this, and now she doesn't have a father," and he blames himself. "If Meg wasn't with me, then her dad would still be her dad."

Harry suggests royals were upset over Meghan 'stealing the limelight'

The documentary posits that the large amount of media attention Meghan received after joining the royal family created issues at Buckingham Palace. After a trip to Australia, "[Harry and Meghan] were so popular with the public, the internals at the palace were incredibly threatened by that," Meghan's friend Lucy Fraser claims.

Harry also suggests it upset his family that Meghan began "stealing the limelight" and "doing the job better" than people who were "born to do this." As an example, he recalled an instance where the entire royal family attended an event, but The Telegraph's front page was only about Meghan. 

"You've been led to believe that the only way your charities can succeed, and the only way that your reputation can be grown or improved, is if you're on the front page of those newspapers," he says. 

Harry 'hates' himself over how he dealt with Meghan's suicidal thoughts

The documentary also expands on Meghan's previous revelation that she had suicidal thoughts after joining the royal family. "It was like, all of this will stop if I'm not here," she says. 

Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, confirms Meghan told her that she "wanted to take her own life," while Harry admits he didn't "deal with" this "particularly well."

"I dealt with it as institutional Harry, as opposed to husband Harry," he says. "And what took over my feelings was my royal role. I had been trained to worry more about, 'What are people going to think if we don't go to this event, we're going to be late.' Looking back on it now, I hate myself for it." 

Harry suggests William's communications office worked against his

The second part of the documentary puts a target on Prince William's back pretty quickly. In the fourth episode, Harry suggests William's office would work against his, including by planting stories about him and Meghan.

"If the comms team wants to be able to remove a negative story about their principle, they will trade and give you something about someone else's principle," he alleges. "So the offices end up working against each other." 

Harry implies he's specifically referring to William's office, going on to say he and his brother "both saw what happened in our dad's office and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen to our office," noting, "I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game or this business of trading." 

But Harry suggests William violated this agreement. "To see my brother's office copy the very same thing that we promised the two of us would never, ever do, that was heartbreaking," he says. 

Harry alleges the palace leaked other stories about him and Meghan 

Harry also alleges other instances where the palace allegedly leaked stories about him and Meghan. For one, he describes a plan for them to move to South Africa, noting the palace signed off on this, and the offices of his father, brother, and grandmother knew about it. "No one else knew," but it was leaked, so the plan had to be "scrapped," Harry says.

Harry says he then began speaking to his father about the possibility of moving to Canada, and Charles asked him to put that in writing. Harry says he was reluctant given the previous leak, but he did so, sending his father emails about it; one of the emails allegedly said that he and Meghan would be "willing to relinquish our Sussex titles." Soon, though, all of this leaked again. 

"It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to be moving back to Canada, and the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles," Harry says. "That was the giveaway." 

Their decision to step back from the royal family came not long after that, Harry says. 

Attorney Jenny Afia also alleges, "I've certainly seen evidence that there was negative briefing from the palace against Harry and Meghan to suit other people's agendas." 

Harry was allegedly blocked from seeing the queen 

While discussing plans to move away from the U.K., Harry describes trying to meet with the queen before allegedly being blocked from doing so, with the palace telling him she was busy after she told him she was free. 

"I rang her and I said, 'I'm now told that you're busy,'" Harry recalls. "She goes, 'Yes, I didn't know that I'm busy. I've been told that I'm busy. I've actually been told that I'm busy all week.' I was like, 'Wow.'" 

Harry alleges the royals planned 2020 meeting around not inviting Meghan

After the 2020 announcement that Harry and Meghan planned to step back from the royal family, a meeting of the royal family was held at Sandringham to discuss the situation. Harry suggests this meeting was planned around making sure Meghan, who had left for Canada, wouldn't be there. 

"Imagine a conversation, a roundtable discussion, about the future of your life, when the stakes are this high, and you as the mom and the wife and the target in many regards aren't invited to have a seat at the table."

Harry adds, "It was clear to me that they planned it so that [Meghan wasn't] in the room." 

Harry alleges William screamed and shouted at him  

But Harry did attend this Sandringham summit, during which he alleges his brother berated him. "It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren't true," he claims, adding that the queen "quietly" sat there to "take it all in." 

Harry also says he was given "five options" during this meeting ranging from being "all in" or "all out" of the royal family. He chose option three, which would involve being "half in" and "half out" by having their own jobs but continuing to work to support the queen. But he says it soon became clear this was "not up for discussion or debate."

Harry claims the palace put out a statement with his name on it without permission 

After that Sandringham meeting, a joint statement was put out in Harry and William's names denying a story that William bullied Harry out of the family. But even though Harry's name was attached to this statement, he claims it was released without his approval or knowledge. 

"I couldn't believe it," Harry says. "No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that. ... Within four hours, they were happy to lie to protect my brother, and yet for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us." 

It was at this point that Harry says it became clear there was "no other option," and he told Meghan, "We need to get out of here." 

Harry says Meghan 'never asked' to leave the royal family 

Harry slams the British press for blaming Meghan for their royal exit, noting, "In fact, it was my decision. She never asked to leave." 

Harry admits reuniting with his family 'felt cold'

Harry and Meghan discuss their last official engagement as working royals in 2020, when they attended a Commonwealth Day ceremony. "The first time that we saw the other members of the family was in public at Westminster Abbey," Meghan says. 

Harry recalls they were "nervous" seeing the family, which felt like "living through a soap opera," and he admits, "I felt really distant from the rest of my family … It looked cold, but it also felt cold." 

Harry blames British tabloid for Meghan's miscarriage 

In the documentary's final episode, Harry directly blames the Mail on Sunday for Meghan suffering a miscarriage in 2020. Meghan and Harry were battling publisher Associated Newspapers at the time, following the Mail on Sunday publishing portions of a private letter Meghan wrote to her estranged father. 

"I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did," Harry says. "I watched the whole thing. Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was caused by that? Of course we don't. But bearing in mind the stress that that caused, the lack of sleep, and the timing of the pregnancy, how many weeks in she was, I can say from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her."

William texted Harry after the Oprah interview — and Beyoncé texted Meghan

The aftermath of Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey is explored in the documentary, with Meghan noting she expected the "biggest takeaway" would be her opening up about her suicidal thoughts rather than allegations of racism in the royal family. 

Sometime after the interivew airs, we see Harry show Meghan his phone, and she notes he "just got a text from his brother," though Harry doesn't share what William wrote with viewers.

Meghan, meanwhile, reveals she received a text from Beyoncé after the interview aired telling her she "admires and respects my bravery" and believes she was "selected to break generational curses that need to be healed." 

William was accused of authorizing former aide's witness statement

The final section of the documentary focuses heavily on Meghan and Harry's lawsuit against Associated Newspapers. At one point, they voice frustration over the role of Jason Knauf, a former adviser to Prince William. In 2021, Knauf gave a witness statement and provided texts suggesting Meghan wrote the letter to her father at the center of the lawsuit with the "understanding that it could be leaked." The documentary alleges William himself authorized Knauf to do this.

"There's just no way he could have done that without the authority of his bosses," attorney Jenny Afia claims.

We see Meghan and Harry reacting to this, with Meghan clearly frustrated. "It's your brother, I'm not going to say anything about your brother, but it's so obvious," Meghan tells Harry. Harry also says it's "obvious that they'll try and cover it up," adding that this is "why I'm now living in a different country." 

In a statement to Netflix, a representative for Knauf called Harry and Meghan's allegations "entirely false," adding he was "asked to provide evidence by both The Duchess of Sussex and Associated Newspapers." Meghan's attorney disputed this, claiming he "was not asked to provide a witness statement by The Duchess or her team."

Update Dec. 15: This piece has been updated to include details pertaining to the second part of the documentary.

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