Royal expert reacts to ‘Harry & Meghan’ Netflix series

The official engagement photo of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle. (Photo: Kensington Palace / Twitter)

(CBS) — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, offered a sweeping indictment of Britain’s media and the racism they believe has fueled coverage of their relationship in a Netflix documentary series that promises to tell the “full story” of the couple’s estrangement from the royal family.

The first three episodes of “Harry & Meghan” dissect the close relationship between tabloid newspapers and the royal family while discussing the history of racism in the British Empire and how it continues to pervade society.

“It is a masterclass in self-promotion,” reacted Nick Bullen, co-founder and editor in chief of True Royalty TV. “Without, it strikes me, a scintilla of self-awareness. So I’m stunned by it. And it’s interesting to say, well, there don’t seem to be too many big brickbats being thrown against the royal family. I mean, there are some jibes, but there’s not sort of big brickbats.”

The series comes at a crucial moment for the monarchy as King Charles III tries to show that the institution still has a role to play after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose personal popularity dampened criticism of the crown during her 70-year reign.

“There’s no great claims made against the (royal family),” said Bullen of the show. “I think quite rightly, the royal family will just see this as just another bump in the Harry and Meghan road, and they’ll carry on doing what they’re doing. To be frank, they’ll just ignore the noise and keep doing what they’re doing. And this is this is exactly that. It is just noise.”

Whatever the series ultimately reveals, palace officials hope to deflect the storm by portraying William and Kate as forward-looking young royals who are tackling difficult issues such as climate change and early childhood education, in contrast to Harry and Meghan, who are described by critics as merely celebrities selling their story to the media.

The BBC and the Daily Telegraph, one of Britain’s most influential newspapers, picked up on this theme in their coverage of William and Kate’s three-day trip to Boston, where they handed out environmental prizes, met with anti-violence campaigners and went to a basketball game.

“While Prince Harry and Meghan continued to paint themselves as victims, heads in hands, tearing their hair out at the unfairness of it all, the Prince and Princess were simply getting on with the job,” the Telegraph wrote.

“I think a lot of people in the U.K. probably just won’t watch it,” echoed Bullen. “I think a lot of people in the U.K. have heard enough. They’re fed up with the whining, they’re fed up with the complaining, they’re fed up with the moaning. So I think, you know, the audiences in the U.K. will be smaller. I’m sure the U.S. audiences will be enormous. And I’m sure that in America there will be an awful lot of support.”

 

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