What We Learned About Prince Harry And His Wife Meghan Markle Through Their New Documentary
Since their marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been known to be fiercely protective of their private lives—especially after the birth of their newborn son, baby Archie. In fact, Prince Harry and Meghan's strained relationship with the media reached a tipping point when the couple announced that they were filing lawsuits against tabloids the Mail, the Sun, and the Daily Mirror for breaching their privacy.
Hence, it came as a surprise when it was revealed that their official tour to Africa—with son Archie—was going to be recorded in ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. Aired in the United Kingdom on October 20 at 9pm, the hour-long film offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes look in the lives of the royal couple, along with intimate interviews conducted by news anchor Tom Bradby, who is also Harry's long-time friend.
From the release of teaser snippets to its premiere, Harry and Meghan, who have been ridden with negative publicity in recent years, are starting to win over hearts again, with royal fans seeing them in a new light. Here's what we've learned about the royal couple.
1/5 Meghan was warned not to marry Harry
Speaking to Tom Bradby in the documentary, Meghan revealed that her British friends has warned her not to marry Harry. “I don't think anybody could understand that, but in all fairness, I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand ... but when I first met my now-husband my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, ‘I'm sure he's great but you shouldn't do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life’.”
She added that she “very naively” thought it did not make any sense. “I'm not in tabloids. I didn't get it, so it's been complicated.”
2/5 It has been challenging for Meghan
In a powerful snippet that was released before the documentary aired, Meghan shared in an emotional interview about her struggles as a part of the royal family.
“Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” she said. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it's a lot. So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed.”
She added, “Thank you for asking. Not many people have asked if I'm OK, but it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.” Asked further if it really has been a struggle, Meghan said “yes” while seeming to hold back tears.
(Related: 5 Things We Learned About Meghan Markle From British Vogue's September Issue)
3/5 Harry is still very affected by Princess Diana’s death
Retracing Diana’s footsteps in Africa—including the former minefield in Angola the late princess had visited months before her fatal car crash—Harry said his mother’s death is “a wound that festers”.
“I think being part of this family—in this role, in this job—every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back,” Harry said. “In that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.”
“And now I have a family to protect, so everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day and that is not me being paranoid. That is just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”
4/5 Why Harry is so protective of Meghan from the media
It was also during the Africa tour that Meghan filed a lawsuit against British tabloid Mail for releasing a private letter she wrote to her father, and Harry, against the owners of newspapers the Sun and the Daily Mirror for allegedly hacking his phone—both of which will be privately funded.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences—a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry wrote in an official statement.
Addressing their strained relationship with the press in the documentary, Harry said: “Part of this job ... means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of this stuff. All we need to do is focus on being real, and focus on being the people that we are and standing up for what we believe in. I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum.”
(Related: It’s Instagram-Official: Prince Harry And Meghan Have Split From Prince William And Kate)
5/5 What Harry thinks about the alleged fallout with William
Asked about the alleged rift with older brother William, Harry laughed, but didn’t deny or affirm the reports. Rumours about their fallout emerged after the Sussex royals parted ways with the Cambridges' charity organisation and later moved their office out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace. The charity organisation, originally named "The Royal Foundation", was founded in 2009 by the brothers.
“Part of this role, and part of this job, and this family being under the pressure that it’s under… inevitably stuff happens. But look, we’re brothers. We will always be brothers. We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me,” he said.
“We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly, and the majority of the stuff is created out of nothing. But, as brothers, you have good days, you have bad days.”