Royal rift in spotlight after Harry, Meghan's Netflix trailer release during William, Kate's US trip
The docuseries will be titled "Harry & Meghan" but does not have a release date.
After months of anticipation, the public on Thursday got a first glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan's upcoming docuseries.
A nearly one-minute trailer of "Harry & Meghan" released by Netflix shows never-before-seen personal moments of the Sussexes, from falling in love to leaving their royal roles and charting their own future in California.
"No one sees what is happening behind closed doors," Harry says after a voice asks why the couple wanted to make the docuseries, which Netflix says will air in six parts.
Meghan later says in the trailer, "When the stakes are this high, doesn't it make more sense to hear our story from us?"
The highly-anticipated trailer was dropped just as Harry's brother Prince William and his wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, are in the middle of their own highly anticipated event, a three-day visit to Boston, their first trip to the United States in eight years.
William and Kate are visiting Boston to attend the awards ceremony for the Earthshot Prize, William's environmental passion project, but saw their trip largely overshadowed by the timing of Harry and Meghan's docuseries trailer.
"I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but obviously they're making the most of the fact that the prince and princess of Wales are here [in the U.S.] to release that Netflix documentary. That's business," said ABC News royal contributor Robert Jobson. "The prince and princess are just going to get on with the tour. As far as they're concerned, they're going to be engaging and reaching out to communities while Meghan and Harry will be talking about themselves."
In the United Kingdom, newspaper headlines on Friday focused on the Waleses versus the Sussexes, as well as a racist controversy involving William's godmother that erupted on the eve of the Boston trip.
It is not yet known whether Harry and Meghan address racism in their new docuseries, but after they stepped down as senior royals in 2020, the couple made bombshell allegations of racism within the royal institution in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"I had to do everything I could to protect my family," Harry says.
In an interview with Channel 4 that aired earlier this week, a senior police official confirmed the Sussexes faced "disgusting and very real" threats when they lived in the United Kingdom.
Harry and Meghan's docuseries, directed by Liz Garbus, is due to air in December, just weeks before Harry's memoir is published. The memoir, titled "Spare," is said by the publisher to be a "raw" look at Harry's life, told with "unflinching honesty."
An exact premiere date for "Harry & Meghan" has not yet been announced. The docuseries will cover their love story as well as their decision to leave their royal roles, which is said to have sparked ongoing tensions between the couple and Harry's family.
"Across six episodes, the series explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution," Netflix said in a statement. "With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family's relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple's love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other."
Sources close to William and Harry confirm the two couples have no plans to meet while William and Kate are in the U.S.
Just a few days after William and Kate leave Boston, Harry and Meghan will be in New York City to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award.
The fact that the two couples will be so close to each other on the East Coast in a short time span but will not meet is a sign of their continued strained relationship, according to ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy.
"I think the fact that there isn't going to be a meeting says it all -- the fallout is still very real and raw," said Murphy. "Yes, Boston is a long way from California but Harry and Meghan are making the trip to New York just a few days later, so citing distance as the reason for not meeting doesn't feel like the full picture."
The last time William, Kate, Harry and Meghan appeared publicly together in person was during the mourning period for the late Queen Elizabeth II in September. Prior to that, the two couples, once called the "Fab Four" by royal watchers, had not been seen together in public in over two years.
"The brothers put on a show of unity for the queen's funeral but the reality is that the divisions and disagreements are very much still there," said Murphy. "And they could get bigger depending on what is in Harry's book and the couple's docuseries."
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