“Rattled” Netflix Delays Harry And Meghan Documentary Until 2023 Following Attacks Undermining ‘The Crown’

EXCLUSIVE: Rattled after attacks on Season 5 of The Crown, Netflix has decided to postpone its documentary series featuring Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, until next year.

The documentary had been unofficially slated to stream on Netflix in December following the November 9 launch of The Crown.

However, over the weekend Netflix came under fire from former UK Prime Minister John Major, who complained about a plot line in episode one of Season 5 suggesting that in 1991 Prince Charles, now King Charles III, summoned Major to moan about having to wait to take over the throne.

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Titled “Queen Victoria Syndrome,” so-called because of Queen Victoria’s 63 years on the throne, the installment is based on an actual poll that ran in the UK Sunday Times which argued that the monarchy was dated and that Queen Elizabeth should abdicate in favor of Charles. The drama features scenes of Charles, portrayed by Dominic West, privately agreeing with a passage in the Sunday Times, from back in 1991, that ”an ageing monarch, too long on the throne whose remoteness from the modern world has led people to grow tired not just of her but of the monarchy itself.”

Charles then has a clandestine meeting with Major where the royal relates the story of how Edward VII was ”kept waiting in the wings” for decades due to the longevity of Queen Victoria’s rule.

Major has insisted that no such conversation about a plot to overthrow the late Queen took place and described it as ”malicious nonsense.” Other establishment figures spent the weekend savaging a show that they’ve yet to see, often relying on inaccurate reports of what the Season 5 episodes are said to contain.

But following days of negative front-page stories, executives at Netflix felt that it would be foolhardy to stream The Crown in November followed by the Harry and Meghan documentary in December.

“They’re rattled at Netflix and they blinked first and decided to postpone the documentary,” a source told Deadline.

The untitled documentary series produced by Netflix and Archewell Productions did not set an official broadcast date. However, officials at Netflix had stated several times earlier this year that they’d wanted to do a royal double-whammy, with The Crown to run first, to be followed a few weeks later by the docuseries, some of which was filmed at Harry and Meghan’s Montecito estate.

Both Netflix and Buckingham Palace have been ultra-sensitive about both The Crown and the docuseries since Queen Elizabeth’s death September 8, which is when Charles ascended to the throne. It may well suit the Duke and Duchess to have the documentary delayed while they reconsider its content.

There’s also anxiety about the filming next week of the scenes that led to Princess Diana’s death in Paris. Netflix has stipulated that the crash-impact scenes will not be shown.

Netflix said Monday that ”there’s never been any documentary from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed.” Deadline has reached out to Archewell for comment.

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