A present from Dad? Prince Harry is seen relaxing on a wooden swing just like the one the Cambridges were gifted by King Charles
- Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary was released at 8am today
- Footage shows a relaxed Harry on swing similar to one owned by Prince William
- Prince Harry also explained he ‘doesn’t have many early memories’ of Diana
- Harry and Meghan live: Latest Royal updates after shocking Netflix show airs
It is a documentary full of tense emotion and revelations. But one lighter moment is when Prince Harry is seen relaxed on a wooden swing.
In the first episode of the Netflix series, the Duke of Sussex is seen swinging high on the rope swing – attached to a large tree.
The wooden swing was first seen when the couple touched down and set up their new home in California.
And it is similar to the ones seen by the Cambridges – meaning it was perhaps a gift from King Charles to both of his sons.
Prince Harry was seen enjoying the wooden swing in what is presumably part of his garden
The swing was first seen as Harry and Meghan first moved to Santa Barbara in 2020, with their private jet touching down.
A member of the team was seen carrying it alongside other luggage, such as a small toy scooter.
But a similar version has been seen in the Cambridge household.
In 2016, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son Prince George was seen playfully enjoying a wooden swing set that bore his parents’ names William and Catherine.
The wooden roped-set was a wedding present from Prince Charles to the couple and was installed in their countryside home in Norfolk.
It was a moment of relaxed calm in the documentary which is filled with tension and high emotions
Prince George standing on a swing, pictured at the family home in Norfolk back in 2016. The swing has the engravings of the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge’s names William and Catherine
It is one of the many intimate details of Harry and Meghan’s private life shared in the documentary.
Another was when the couple’s son cooing over a photo of his late grandmother, Princess Diana.
The emotional footage, shown in the opening episode of the new £100 million series today, sees Archie, now three, as a baby touching a black and white portrait of Princess Diana.
Meghan is seen pointing to the picture of Diana on the wall of their Montecito home to a baby Archie saying: ‘That’s grandma Diana.’
The couple say that they’re determined to keep the late royal’s memory alive for their children – as Harry also reveals in the first episode how he felt the British public ‘swept him up’ following his mother’s untimely death in August 1997, and says Meghan is ‘so similar’ to his late mother.
However, while the Duke of Sussex says his own childhood was ‘filled with laughter, filled with happiness and filled with adventure’, he admits that he’s bereft of memories of his mother.
He told series makers: ‘I don’t have many early memories of my mum. It was almost like internally I’ve blocked them out. But I always remember her laugh, her cheeky laugh.
‘And she always said to me, if you get into trouble just don’t get caught. And I’ll always be that cheeky person inside.’
In the first three episodes of the series, which was released globally at 8am this morning, Prince Harry talks frequently of his late mother, saying the royal, who was killed in 1997, is ‘so similar’ to his wife.
He told the series: ‘So much of who Meghan is, is so similar to my mum.
‘She has the same compassion, empathy and confidence – she has this warmth about her.’
In a surprise revelation, Prince Harry explained how he ‘doesn’t have many early memories of his mother Diana, telling the Netflix series, he thinks he may have ‘blocked’ them out
Speaking in the first episode of the new £100 million series today, The Duke of Sussex said his childhood was ‘filled with laughter, filled with happiness and filled with adventure’
The royal also spoke about his ‘private’ grief for his mother, saying that he mourned her loss in private and had to be ‘stoic’ and claimed he had to ‘wear two hats’ after her untimely death in 1997 when he was aged 12.
He added: “The UK literally swept me and William up as their children.
But he said: “The expectation to see me and William out and about was really hard for the two of us.”
The Duke lifted the lid on his own initial fears about marrying, saying he feared history would repeat itself.
Harry revealed he was ‘scared of Meghan getting driven away by the press’ and that many of his relationships didn’t last more than a few months.
Expectation: Prince Harry explained how he he had to wear ‘two hats’ following the death of his mother, saying it was difficult to meet the public while mourning the loss of his mother (Pictured in 1997 at Kensington Palace following their mother’s tragic death)
Sharing details of the early days of the relationship saying: ‘You can see the suffering of the women who marry into this institution, when I got to meet M I didn’t want her to be driven away, so at the beginning I knew to make this work I had to keep it as quiet as possible’
Meghan went on to say: ‘At the beginning our relationship was a treasure, it was relaxed and easy’.
A royal commentator on the programme claims that there is still ‘lots of incentive’ for the press to get unauthorized snaps of the royal family.
The scenes then cut to footage of the infamous BBC Martin Bashir interview in 1995, where Diana candidly spoke about her troubles with bulimia and the pressures of royal life.
The couple had been reported to have tried to push back the release of the series to 2023 despite the streaming giant paying them a rumoured $100million (£88million) for the fly-on-the-wall series.
There have been mixed reports, with the royals reportedly ‘at odds’ with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries because the ‘panicked’ couple want to make ‘such extensive edits’ that the team believe the project could be ‘shelved indefinitely’.
King Charles and Prince William are poised to issue a ‘swift and robust’ response to any unjust claims in Harry and Meghan’s series – but William and his wife Kate are not likely to watch it themselves, sources have said.
Senior royals are said to be bracing for the worst and will be prepared to address any unfounded accusations as the new series dropped on the streaming service at 8am.
In the bombshell documentary:
- Harry claims he was ‘brought up by friends in Africa’ in fresh attack on Charles
- Meghan and Harry shared pictures from Archie’s first birthday party
- The couple revealed what really happened on their first date
- The Sussexes shared unseen photos with their beloved dogs
- Meghan lifts the lid on her ‘amazing’ first Christmas at Sandringham
- Netflix show is branded a ‘TV bomb’ for the royal family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already made a number of claims in two trailers released by Netflix in recent days, saying they had no protection from the Palace and accused aides of actively leaking and ‘planting’ stories against them as part of a ‘dirty game’.
But the Royal Family believe the series will actually by slim on new revelations.
A source told The Mirror: ‘There’s a real feeling in the camp that Harry and Meghan are making a lot of noise and there isn’t much more to say.
‘But preparations are being made for all outcomes, especially if there are unjust accusations being made.’
Members of the Sussexes’ now defunct household are also said to be ‘seething with rage’ over trailers for the six-part documentary.
Officials from both Buckingham and Kensington Palace will watch the first three episodes of the series this morning.
But it is understood that the Prince and Princess of Wales will refuse to watch the first three episodes of the documentary.
An insider also told The Sun that the royals are reluctant to engage in a tit-for-tat battle over the series.
They said: ‘If there are parts which are blatantly wrong, then it is only right that they are corrected.
‘The trailers already have some glaring errors and misrepresentations, which doesn’t bode well for the full series. But the plan is to keep schtum and carry on.”
But sources told the newspaper they are unlikely to respond until the full series has been released – due next Thursday.
Meghan: ‘I had to Google God Save The Queen!’
Aides are understood to have been briefed by the King and Prince of Wales to issue a ‘swift and robust’ response if required.
‘If there is a need to respond to anything in the upcoming series then you can be assured that response will be swift and robust.’
It is understood that Netflix offered a right of reply to senior royal to allow them the chance to respond to any allegations featured in the series.
But Buckingham and Kensington Palace both deny receiving any such approach.
Harry and Meghan, meanwhile, have vowed that it is just the ‘beginning’ and have earlier spoken of ‘sweeping down walls of oppression’.
But Netflix’s use of ‘misleading’ footage in two trailers for the series would not have been tolerated by British broadcasters, according to producers.
Former BBC and Channel 4 commissioning editor Peter Grimsdale said lawyers would have intervened before the trailer was relased.
He told The Times: ‘It’s almost hard-wired into us to make sure we know where every shot comes from because that’s the sort of thing that if there was complaints about it, you would be in real trouble.
‘There’s a certain duty of care. I think people working for Sky would feel the same way. It’s partly a function of regulations just being different in America.’
Mr Grimsdale added: ‘99.9 per cent of the time this doesn’t happen because every one checks.’
It comes after the Sussexes faced an awkward grilling from journalists about their explosive documentary in New York.
Harry and Meghan were asked if they were putting money before family as they graced a star-studded gala hosted by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation, where they received an award for fighting racism in the Royal Family.
The pair did not give a direct response, but the duke could be heard saying ‘so many questions’ before they were escorted inside.
Earlier, they told the ceremony that their war against ‘oppression’ has only just begun.
Harry and Meghan delivered the politically charged pre-taped remarks after being honoured with an award for fighting racism in the Royal Family by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, a prize that counts Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton among its former recipients.
Meghan also talked about her struggle with suicidal thoughts since becoming a member of the Royal Family, telling the audience she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ and revealing that the decision not to end her life ‘wasn’t easy’, in remarks echoing those made during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In a speech praising the late RFK, the Duke of Sussex told the star-studded Ripple of Hope Gala: ‘As we all face a complete and challenging time in the world, we choose the path of optimism of care for each other and our communities.
‘We understand this honour, not about the culmination of a life’s work, but instead and in many ways for us, a beginning.’
He said: ‘Bobby Kennedy said, ”Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”’
His wife said: ‘The enduring dream of RFK of a just and peaceful world is so much more than a simple hope. It’s a direct ask, a specific challenge, a call to action, a test of individual courage and collective spirit. And his appeal to humanity is as relevant today as it was in 1966 when he stood before the University of Cape Town, a place we’ve visited and hold close to our hearts. And he delivered a vision for the common good of society.
‘He also said those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance’.
The timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell documentary series
September 2020 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s production company, Archewell Productions, signed a reported $100million deal with the streaming giant.
July 2021 – Meghan announces first project with Netflix – an animated series called Pearl. She was taking on the roles of ‘creator and executive producer’ – marking the first time the former actress and Suits star would work in the position of EP.
September – Spotted filming in New York at the Global Citizen Live event
April 2022 – Spotted filming at the Invictus Games in the Hague
May – Reports emerge Netflix are hoping for an ‘at-home with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex-style’ docuseries
Meghan’s animated series Pearl is dropped by Netflix as part of a wave of cutbacks prompted by the streaming service’s drop in subscribers.
June – Couple were told they wouldn’t be able to film while attending Jubilee celebrations
August – Meghan hints that the documentary could focus on their ‘love story
September – The Queen dies. Reports emerge the the couple want to ‘downplay’ what they’ve said about the royal family in the documentary
October – It was reported how the Duke and Duchess were ‘at odds’ with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries because the ‘panicked’ couple wanted to make ‘such extensive edits’ that the team believe the project could be ‘shelved indefinitely’.
Meghan then appears to try to distance herself from the project during an interview.
She suggested that its direction was in the hands of left-leaning filmmaker Liz Garbus ‘even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it’.
At the end of the month, it’s announced Prince Harry’s memoir will be released on January 10 and will be called Spare.
November – It was reported Prince Harry was trying to get Netflix to postpone the documentary until after Christmas so it was released at around the same time as his bombshell memoir.
It is claimed Prince Harry and Meghan first hired Oscar-nominated director Garrett Bradley for the series – before they had a falling out and she left.
Meanwhile Netflix face heavy backlash over the fifth series of The Crown, and reports suggest the streaming platform might push back the release date of Harry and Meghan’s series in response.
However, it is then revealed the couple will release the documentary on December 8.
December 1 – First trailer is released, showcasing a number of highly personal images
December 8 – Part one of the documentary is released
December 15 – Part two of the documentary is set to be released
January 10 2023 – Prince Harry’s memoir Spare is due to be released
Just six months after the couple set up home in California in March 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced a shiny new deal with Netflix, saying they wanted to provide ‘hope and inspiration’ by teaming up with the streaming goliath.
The Duke and Duchess said their company, unnamed at the time but now known as Archewell Productions, would make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.
In a statement, the Sussexes said: ‘Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.’
They added that Netflix’s ‘unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.’
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer and co-chief exec, said at the time: ‘We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.’
After putting ink to paper on the deal, the Sussexes were said to have welcomed cameras into their luxury Montecito mansion for a reality-type documentary, Page Six reported.
While it’s unclear on exactly how much of their home life the couple were prepared to share, they certainly did let Netflix cameras trail them on public appearances in 2021 and 2022.
When Harry and Meghan jetted to the Global Citizen Live event in New York in late September 2021, a camera crew accompanied them.
And just over six months later in the Hague, in April this year, the Duke and Duchess were filmed at the Invictus Games, hugging Team United Kingdom competitor Lisa Johnston and meeting competitors and chatting to the crowds.
One of the organisers at the event said the Netflix team arrived in six people carriers with caseloads of equipment.
The film crew were given maroon bibs to help them stand out from the dozens of photographers covering the games and given exclusive access to the couple with behind close door meeting with the athletes.
However, when it came to the Queen’s Jubilee in June – just a few months before the late Monarch died on September 8th, the couple were firmly told they wouldn’t be able to film while attending the celebrations.
Indeed, Meghan and Harry took a low key role in the national event, missing out on key moments on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, which only senior roles were allowed to attend.
Even before it’s release, the show has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic and it is expected to cause fresh turmoil for the Royal Family. Harry also has his memoirs, named ‘Spare’, on the way.
Royal experts have claimed in recent weeks that these two bombshell projects will further set back any prospect of a meaningful reconciliation between the couple, who live in a $14.65million Montecito mansion with their two children, Archie, three, and Lilibet, one, with King Charles and Prince William.
This summer, Meghan hinted that the documentary could focus on their ‘love story’.
Speaking in an interview with The Cut, the Duchess said her five-year-long romance with Prince Harry is one of the ‘pieces of her life’ that she has not yet been able to share with the public.
The Duchess continued: ‘The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story.’
But after the Queen’s death the Sussexes were said to have wanted to ‘downplay much of what they have said about Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales’ in their documentary series, according to a previous report.
It was then reported how the Duke and Duchess were ‘at odds’ with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries because the ‘panicked’ couple wanted to make ‘such extensive edits’ that the team believe the project could be ‘shelved indefinitely’.
One Hollywood industry source said the couple were facing doubts about the series following the Queen’s death.
They said: ‘A lot of conversations are happening.
‘I hear that Harry and Meghan want the series to be held until next year, they want to stall.
‘I wonder if the show could even be dead in the water at this point, do Harry and Meghan just want to shelve this thing?,’ they added.
A Netflix insider also claimed: ‘Netflix has been keen to have the show ready to stream for December. There’s a lot of pressure on (Netflix CEO) Ted Sarandos, who has the relationship with Harry and Meghan, to get this show finished.’
However the source added that the streaming platform was ‘standing by the filmmakers’ who want to keep the content in the project, and that it will still be ‘going forward.’
Insiders reportedly told US website Page Six earlier this year that the couple were ‘having second thoughts’ on the project.
‘Harry and Meghan are panicked about trying to tone down even the most basic language.
‘But it’s their story, from their own mouths,’ one Netflix source told the website last month.
Another said: ‘They’ve made significant requests to walk back content they themselves have provided’.
And Prince Harry faced claims that he was trying to get Netflix to postpone his controversial fly-on-the-wall documentary until after Christmas so it was released at around the same time as his bombshell memoir.
Hollywood news website Deadline previously said that ‘rattled’ Netflix bosses ‘blinked first’ and decided to push back the original December release date after the US company came under heavy criticism over its bombshell fifth series of royal drama The Crown.
Meghan even appeared to distance herself and Harry from their upcoming and controversial Netflix documentary around a month after Her Majesty’s death.
The Duchess of Sussex suggested that its direction is now in the hands of Left-leaning filmmaker Liz Garbus ‘even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it’.
Harry and Meghan were asked if they were putting money before family as they graced a star-studded gala
She said in a magazine interview: ‘It’s nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I’ve long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it. But that’s not why we’re telling it. We’re trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens.
‘It’s interesting. My husband has never worked in this industry before.
‘For me, having worked on Suits, it’s so amazing to be around so much creative energy and to see how people work together and share their own points of view. That’s been really fun.’
Garbus, who was also due to work on the Duchess’ series Pearl before it was scrapped by Netflix, is a documentarian and filmmaker and also helmed the last season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2021.
The TV drama is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, which became an instant feminist classic following the story of a woman named Offred, who is forced to live as ‘handmaid’ producing children against her will in a totalitarian North America.
Garbus has been involved in a host of other TV and film projects about oppressed women, notably including Girlhood, which follows two female inmates – victims of horrific violence and tragedy – who are serving time in a juvenile detention centre.
She has also had control over a documentary about the life and legend of singer, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone as well as a film called Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech.
Meanwhile the director’s Instagram page is openly political, with recent posts urging for women’s abortion rights and comments about ‘brilliant’ Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
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