The story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has arrived (on Netflix). That’s right, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s highly anticipated docuseries, “Harry & Meghan,” has finally dropped on the streamer. In just one day, it has broken streaming ratings, has the entire world talking online and more.
In case you missed the first three episodes of the television event, theGrio’s got you covered with five of the biggest takeaways from H & M’s account of their last few years.
A true love story
One of the most shocking events of the last few years was when Markle — a woman of color who made history when she married the Duke of Sussex — and her husband stepped back from royal duties as senior members of the monarchy.
Of course, what has transpired before and after their nuptials has caused a stir, including perceived aggressive and racist British media coverage of Markle, an Oprah special during which the couple finally broke their silence on their exit as well as their relationship to “The Firm (the royal family)” and a Markle podcast. What will they do now that they live in the United States? What is their next move?
While many were perhaps expecting some salacious and in-depth details of their time in “The Firm” in this docuseries, what’s most surprising (and refreshing) is that the core of it is quite simple: their love story. From the first meeting on Instagram, secret dates, long-distance FaceTime calls and more. It goes step by step in explaining how arguably one of the most famous couples on the planet fell in love.
Recalling their first date, Markle says, “He was just so fun, just so refreshingly fun. And that was the thing. We were, like childlike together.”
What followed for the couple was not an easy road, but the glimpse into their early days and instant connection is impossible not to adore.
Meghan “reminds” Harry of Princess Diana
The series also spends a great deal of time chronicling both Prince Harry and Markle’s upbringing and the royal institution into which the former was born. Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, is highlighted as well — a figure who was very vocal about her position in the royal family, her love for her sons and troubles with the intensity of the British media.
The prince says Markle reminds him of his late mother and her various qualities. He notes that Markle shares her [his mother’s] “compassion, warmth and empathy,” adding, “So much of what Meghan is and how she is, is so similar to my mom.”
Enter Doria Ragland
Finally, after years of silence while Markle was dealt blow after public blow, Doria Ragland, Markle’s mother, has a chance to tell her side of the story. From recalling raising Markle in Los Angeles, to detailing her perspective on her courtship with the Duke of Sussex, Ragland’s addition is a breath of fresh air and a necessary component of this story.
In one particularly powerful moment, Ragland recalled wishing she had prepared Markle a bit more for the hurdles she would face as a Black woman in this world, particularly after the British media began weaponizing that aspect of her life. “As a parent — in hindsight — absolutely, I would like to go back and have that kind of real conversation about how the world sees you,” she says.
The first three episodes focus on the early days of Markle’s engagement to Harry, including her first times meeting members of the royal family. In what are some of the lighter moments in the series, Markle recalls having to learn, often in the moment, the various royal customs that people are expected to learn and adopt.
Recalling meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton for the first time barefoot and in “ripped” jeans is an amusing anecdote that she shares. “It’s so funny to look back at it now because now I know so much and I’m so glad I didn’t then,” she said. “Because I could just authentically be myself without so much preparedness.”
She added, “I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside. That there is a forward-facing way of being … but that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.”
Harry on raising biracial children
The docuseries also spends extensive amounts of time on the British monarchy, colonialism, the monarchy’s direct ties to slavery in world history and more, while also chronicling Harry’s own journey with anti-racism.
Reflecting on raising their two biracial children, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana, Harry says, “My son, my daughter — my children are mixed race and I’m really proud of that. When my kids grow up and they look back at this moment and they turn to me and say, ‘What did you do in this moment?’ I want to be able to give them an answer.”
The final three episodes of “Harry & Meghan” are scheduled to drop Dec. 15 on Netflix.
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