There’s been a lot of talk around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix deal. A lot of that talk is about the royal family’s disapproval of the deal. There could be a number of reasons why the family isn’t thrilled that Harry and Meghan will be producing titles for the streaming giant, of course. It’s not a typical thing for royals to do.
That said, Harry and Meghan have given up a lot to have the freedom to make such deals. They no longer use their HRH styles. Harry gave up all military titles and honors. They bid farewell to their Sussex Royal endeavors and even paid back the renovation costs on Frogmore Cottage.
The Daily Beast cites a source close to royal courtiers as saying Prince William and Kate Middleton have been trying to work through the hurt of the Sussexes’ initial plans to step back as senior royals. They are struggling because they feel the two have made several choices since then that have been to the detriment of the larger royal family.
They feel the Netflix deal is exemplary of just that. Apparently, the family feels affronted that Harry and Meghan would make a deal with the same company responsible for The Crown.
It’s worth noting that the royal family didn’t seem very bothered by the show’s first season, which focuses on how Princess Elizabeth became Queen. As the show’s story line marches forward to the near-present day, they’ve voiced more objections.
“They are in bed with the enemy. Netflix uses the royal family to promote entertainment that has no foundation in fact. They also had no knowledge of the deal beforehand, and they are just very annoyed by the way Harry and Meghan are not abiding by the agreement that they made just a few months ago not to do anything that would embarrass the family,” the source said.
“Once again, it was presented as a fait accompli so there is nothing further anyone can do. There is a feeling that their word cannot be trusted at the palace.”
“People are mightily pissed off. Harry and Meghan seem to say, ‘Oh yes, we will agree to do things that way,’ then they completely ignore it and do as they please,” the source continued.
“It’s what they have done all along. They are extremely hypocritical. They are ace practitioners of the double standard.”
The Crown considers itself a fictionalized retelling of events, a historical drama in every sense. It’s expected that some of the more salacious rumors of royal family members’ lifetimes would come up. Some portrayals have rubbed the real royals the wrong way.
“I think there is a feeling that the portrayal of Prince Philip, in particular, has been very harsh,” said the source.
“Harry really adores his grandfather so it does make you wonder why they would do this. It is fiction but there are a lot of people who think it is fact, and now Netflix have signed up Harry and Meghan it looks even more like fact to those people. It’s all very well for Harry and Meghan to say they have nothing to do with The Crown, but think about it from Netflix’s perspective; they must be rubbing their hands with glee.”
Additionally, royals are reportedly anxious about the show’s upcoming season. Season four, set to be released on November 15, will introduce Princess Diana to the royal family. The show is reportedly going to go into some of the more difficult details of Diana’s life, from her mental health struggles to her battle with bulimia. The royal family is reportedly unhappy with that portrayal.
While we don’t know what that will look like just yet, it’s pulling from reality, as historical dramas do. Diana admitted to having struggled with bulimia in a 1995 interview with Martin Bashir. Producers have taken steps to ensure the portrayal isn’t glamorizing and doesn’t promote eating disorders in any way. They wanted to be sensitive but take a look at the more vulnerable side of the People’s Princess.
The royal family reportedly does not agree with Diana being portrayed in that matter. That feels to royal fans like it may have a lot less to do with Diana and more with how it makes Charles, the future monarch, look.
It took a long time to get him back in the public’s good graces after the real Diana events unfolded. The handling of Diana, the divorce, and her death was not a shining moment for The Firm in the least. The rehashing of events doesn’t have to prove to be damaging, but this does make it evident the concern is there on their part.
Further indicating of less noble reasons for outrage is the source’s explanation of who the family feels is at fault for this.
“I don’t think there is any hope of a rapprochement now. But I think it’s very clearly understood that this is Meghan’s deal,” the source said.
“It is Meghan who has the contacts in that business to have made this happen. And if the marriage dissolved, my sense is that Harry would be welcomed back into the royal family with open arms.”
That said, Harry’s made it pretty clear he isn’t coming back. If the source is correct, it is the family actively denying Harry has any agency in his own life. That’s despite several sources indicating he had dreams of a simpler life since before Meghan came around.
As long as Harry and Meghan were senior royals, the royal family had a say in every move they made. Even as they announced their plans for a split, Harry and Meghan were still willing to answer to the royal family, to a degree, while still being able to assert their independence.
They were told it was all or nothing. If that is the case, then the royal family can expect that voicing their displeasure for the Netflix business deal won’t change anything. Harry and Meghan are no longer required to please the family. What that back-and-forth does to both ends of the relationship moving forward remains to be seen.
Also, as the supposed criticisms from the royal family continue to come out, many will continue to note the hypocrisy. The moves Harry and Meghan make always seem to hurt the royal image, regardless of the fact they publicly separated themselves from The Firm. The exorbitantly more alarming moves of Prince Andrew, however, rarely make waves.