What do we know about Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary?

Meghan and Harry at a reception to celebrate the Invictus Games in the Netherlands on April 15, 2022. (Getty Images)

The multi-million dollar deal Harry and Meghan signed with Netflix in 2020 to produce content with the streaming giant has been the subject of much speculation from the moment it closed. Would her first offering be a Kardashian-style reality show at home, as reported earlier in the year, or a more traditional documentary focused on her philanthropic work?

More recently, conflicting reports have emerged as to whether its inaugural show – and long-awaited Harry memoir – are undergoing a series of severe edits in light of Elizabeth II’s death.

As its release draws closer, here’s everything we know about the upcoming documentary.

Will it change in light of the Queen’s death?

Reports in US entertainment outlet Page Six recently claimed that the pair “are taking a dramatic turn in their upcoming projects in the wake of the Queen’s death” and later that, according to an anonymous Netflix source, “they have made requests important to return the content that they themselves have provided.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex watch as the state carriage carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrives at Wellington Arch during the ceremonial procession following her state funeral at Westminster Abbey, London.  (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

Meghan and Harry mourn with the rest of the royal family during Queen Elizabeth’s coffin procession through London on Sept. 19, 2022. (Getty Images)

Despite these alleged requests, the source added that “Netflix stands behind the filmmakers.” Similarly, the source believed that if the editing requests were “granted, the project would be effectively shelved.”

“Harry and Meghan are in a panic,” another source quoted in the report said, “trying to tone down even the most basic language. But it’s their story from their own mouths.”

However, other sources have offered a somewhat contradictory perspective to The Telegraph.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk as the procession carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace for her to lay in state on September 14 September 2022 in London, United States.  Kingdom.  Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is carried in procession in a royal horse artillery carriage of the King's Troop from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state until the early hours of her funeral.  Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022 and will be succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.  (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan and Harry in Westminster Hall during a service to mark the start of the Queen’s funeral on Sept. 14, 2022. (Getty Images)

“There seems to be a big misconception that they need or want to change the project. Edits are always made, but that’s how it works: people give notes, sometimes edits are made if there’s time before a deadline.”

Given that Harry and Meghan have always spoken highly of Queen Elizabeth, the Telegraph’s reports that these are regular editions seem perhaps more realistic.

The Telegraph reported, however, that there has been “back and forth” over the project’s proposed release date, with one source admitting: “the timing is not ideal” given the Queen’s recent death.

What have Harry and Meghan said about it?

The pair have remained fairly tight-lipped about the documentary, as has Netflix. Aside from refuting through a spokesperson that what they were filming was a reality show, the only other glimpses of the couple came from a recent interview with The Cut, during which Meghan offered some insight into what would be included.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 3: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England.  The Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee is celebrated from 2 to 5 June 2022 in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. On 3 June 2022 in London, England.  The Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee is celebrated from June 2-5, 2022 in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne on February 6, 1952. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Harry and Meghan attend the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on June 3, 2022. (Getty Images)

“The part of my life that I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see is our love story.”

Meghan added: “I’m not trying to be cautious,” but said Liz Garbus, the project’s deputy director, “is amazing.”

Meghan also said: “When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own.”

From the start of their relationship, Meghan and Harry have worried that their story has often been distorted, or at least influenced, by the media.

In 2020, the couple wrote to the editors of four major UK newspapers saying they would refuse to respond to requests from journalists in future and would follow a zero-compromise approach except when instructing lawyers to correct any erroneous reports. Last June, the Sussexes accused the BBC of libel over a report on the appointment of their daughter Lilibet.

So it seems like the couple are more likely to take offense at the media on any Netflix show, rather than their extended family, particularly after the recent loss of Queen Elizabeth.

Now, as The Telegraph reports, they get the chance to show “where they came from, what they’ve been through and where they are. I think it will tell a lot about the choices they’ve had to make and how they ended up here.”

What was the deal Meghan and Harry made with Netflix?

In 2020, it was announced that, as one of their initial ventures on their journey to financial independence, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had signed a multi-year deal to produce content with the streaming giant.

Archewell Productions, the Sussex media production company, would create content for Netflix including: “documentaries, documentary series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming,” according to the New York Times.

this included Invictus Heart a documentary series about competitors taking part in the Invictus Games and an animated children’s show called Pearl, which has since been scrapped.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the athletics event during the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark on April 17, 2022 in The Hague, The Netherlands.  They reportedly also filmed for their upcoming Netflix documentary 'Heart of Invictus'.  while they were there.  (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Harry and Meghan attend the Invictus Games, one of the topics they are producing documentary content about for Netflix, in the Netherlands on April 17, 2022. (Getty Images)

“There’s not much you can do when a company and a division change their slate,” Meghan told The Cut of Pearl, “And there’s not much you can do when, even if they think the project is great, the media will report as if It was my only project.

The deal was reported to be worth between $50 and $100 million.

Katie Nicholl, author of ‘The New Royals’, told GB News that: “If you’re going to sleep with Netflix, Spotify, with the big publishers and sign these multi-million dollar deals, they’re going to want their pound of meat.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGO FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UP TO 24 HOURS AFTER DATE AND TIME CREATED) Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch an air parade to mark the centenary of the Air Force Royals from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England.  The centenary of the RAF, which was founded on 1 April 1918, was commemorated with a centenary parade featuring the unveiling of a new Queen's Color and a 100-aircraft fly-by over Buckingham Palace.  (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Harry and Meghan watch a flight with the late Queen from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in April 2018. (Getty Images)

What’s going on with Harry’s memories?

A release date for Harry’s memoir has yet to be confirmed. Rumor has it that the Duke of Sussex wants to rewrite part of the draft since the death of his grandmother.

While some speculation is that these alleged revisions are an attempt to temper anything that might deepen family divisions within the House of Windsor, the Telegraph has reported that it has more to do with “clarifying tenses” and ensuring that the text “make sense”. “

Leave a Comment