The title of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming Netflix docuseries, premiering this month, was originally supposed to be called Chapters. At some point they changed the name – and we’ve learned today that it’s simply called Harry & Meghan. Much better. To the point. And also probably good for the algorithm. 


Before yesterday, the release of the trailer at this time would have been accompanied by accusations by the British tabloids about trying to steal Prince William and Kate’s Earthshot thunder, as they are currently in the US for the event tomorrow. Now though? It’s a gift. A favour. The release of the trailer blows Lady Susan Hussey’s scandal off the front page. 


But Lady Susan Hussey’s scandal kinda helps the docuseries too. Because if Harry & Meghan is about their story, and how what they experienced as members of the British royal family led them to their decision to leave and move, eventually, to California, Hussey has certainly given us some insight into what it might be like for a woman of colour to live among those people in those palaces. And what it might be like for a boy to be raised to manhood among those people in those palaces. 

A few weeks ago, and especially after the death of Queen Elizabeth, there were reports that Harry and Meghan were pushing Netflix for edits on the series, wanting perhaps to revise what they’d said about the royal family. The speculation was that they were asking to “tone down” some of things that they said themselves in the documentary, worried about how their comments would be received during the grace period following the Queen’s passing and King Charles’s ascension, especially if they were critical of Charles, Camilla, and perhaps William and Kate. 


But now that Lady Susan Hussey has exposed the royal racism, it could put Harry and Meghan’s narrative into a different context. Hussey, after all, has been part of the royal household for decades – the Queen favoured her, she is William’s godmother, she was asked to mentor both Diana and Meghan. And if she spoke that way to a guest at Buckingham Palace, interrogating Ngozi Fulani about her background, after dismissively touching her to move aside her hair (!!!), and then remarking on what a challenge it was to get Ngozi to tell her what she wanted to hear which is basically code for “how dare you, this is insubordination” (which is Big Plantation Wife energy), you can only imagine what she was like with Meghan. And what others would have been like, because let’s not for a second pretend that Lady Susan Hussey is an original and an outlier. The royal institution does not encourage outliers – the whole point for having a code is to ensure consistency across the board. So her behaviour this week was normal for her, it was standard, totally commonplace in that space, which is why she felt so entitled to act like that, because the white people she typically spends time with in there would consider it acceptable. 

The point is, there are dozens of Husseys and her like within the royal household and that’s what Harry and Meghan had to navigate – and eventually abdicate. 


That said, none of that is explicitly addressed in the trailer. The subtext is there but the selling feature is the visuals. Exclusive photos from their private collection, from their wedding, and we know Meghan LOVES a black and white photo album, lol. 

Still from Harry & Meghan, courtesy of Netflix

Netflix knew what they were doing here putting that montage in to lure the audience, complete with that strategically placed sound effect when that shot comes up of William and Kate at the 0:25 mark – it’s shady AF, which is what Netflix does best. They’ve been trolling the British royal family for years at this point. So we go from a wholesome “love story photo album” at the start for about 20 seconds and then it turns into a melodrama – the music kicks up, the images speed up, and then Meghan is seen wiping tears from her face…before she goes into an obviously scripted line: “when the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?” Which is totally Real Housewives vibes. The way she’s sitting, one arm hitched on the edge of the couch, all business and promising the truth… 


Oh it’s on. This may not be how they wanted to tell their story, as Meghan said in her Variety interview, but it’s definitely how Netflix wants to tell their story: salacious, a little messy, and compulsive.