Overview Of Harry & Meghan’s Netflix Documentary
“Harry & Meghan,” a documentary series on Netflix about Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, garnered more viewing time than any other documentary in its first week. After its launch, the first three episodes of “Harry & Meghan” garnered 81.55 million viewing hours worldwide, which, Netflix reported, was “the highest viewing hours of any documentary title in its first week.” Over 28 million homes viewed at least a portion of the series.
A story of two halves
The series, which Netflix described as “unique and in-depth,” featured on the streaming service’s Top 10 TV list in 85 countries and rated number one in the United Kingdom. Netflix did not reply quickly to CNBC’s request for similar viewing numbers for other documentary premieres.
Nevertheless, according to Netflix’s worldwide watching data, the documentary scored as the second-most viewed English-language series on the site for the week, behind Tim Burton’s Addams Family drama “Wednesday,” which had 269.67 million views. In its fifth week of release, season five of “The Crown” garnered 18.9 million views each week.
The first three episodes of “Harry & Meghan” serve as a love letter to the couple’s high-profile romance, exposing fresh information from their 2016 encounter via a mutual acquaintance on Snapchat to their 2020 decision to leave the royal family. However, they were famous as much for what they omitted as for what they included, with few uncomfortable topics posed and a general absence of critical voices.
Couple facing backlash
For scripted programs, documentaries, and children’s programming, Netflix must pay the couple between $100 million and $150 million over several years.
They have responded to criticism of their sharing of personal video snippets and images in the documentary, with a spokeswoman for the couple stating that privacy was not a major factor in their decision to step aside from royal duties and leave the United Kingdom.
The Duke and Duchess have never mentioned privacy as a justification for pulling back, according to the worldwide press secretary for the pair. “This twisted story was designed to silence the couple… The tabloid media has constructed a completely false narrative that dominates press coverage and public opinion, despite their decision to share their tale on their own terms. They have the facts in front of them.”
Commentary about race and colonialism
The documentary provides incisive and essential comments on racism and colonialism in Britain. Throughout, references to Meghan’s color and racist treatment are made to explain why she was handled differently by the press and online.
Prince Harry comes closest to speaking badly about his family in episode two, when he remarks on how paparazzi pursue people, especially women, marrying into the institution as a “rite of passage.”
The documentary examines Britain’s history with race, colonialism, and the commonwealth, with historian David Olusoga, author of Black and British: A Forgotten History, and other academics providing commentary throughout. It also examines how perceptions in Britain shifted in the wake of Brexit when Prince Harry and Meghan received the most scrutiny from the public.
Overall, Harry & Meghan will not alter many thoughts, but it may further polarise opinions about them. There are times when the Duchess of Sussex looks too unprepared to assume a royal role – she claims she Googled the British national song, and Harry asked her whether she knew how to curtsy before her first meeting with the queen. She had no idea what a walkabout was until her first one in 2017.
The Duchess of Sussex also asserts that there is no Princess Diaries-style etiquette instruction, despite the fact that such programs exist. The documentary makes clear, however, that Prince Harry and Meghan’s problems within the firm could not have been resolved in a few hours with Julie Andrews.
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