LONDON — The second and final installment of Harry and Meghan, the highly anticipated Netflix documentary series about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, hit theaters Thursday, bringing the couple’s personal lives back into the spotlight next week.
The first three episodes of the series, released last week, explored the beginnings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship, their ongoing battle with the news media, her challenging family relationship and more. Three more episodes were released on Thursday.
Love them, hate them, or simply can’t live without them, people tune in. Netflix said Tuesday that the first episode had 81.5 million hours watched, the most of any documentary in its opening week. More than 28 million households watched at least some of the first episodes in the first four days of their release, the streaming platform added.
Episode 4 kicks off with Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018 and quickly tackles issues including Meghan’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, her barrage of negative headlines and her mental health challenges.
If you don’t have time to watch, or if you like spoilers, here are the main takeaways from the latest episode.
Tensioned family relationships come into focus.
In the fifth episode, the couple recounted a family meeting to discuss their decision to reduce their roles as working members of the royal family. Harry said he had a few options, but soon realized he couldn’t agree.
“My brother was screaming and yelling at me, my dad said things that weren’t true at all, and my grandmother just sat there quietly and took it all in, it was just horrific,” Harry said. Say.
Harry described that meeting as difficult and said it ended without a solid plan of action.
“The saddest part is the rift between me and my brother to the point where he’s now on the side of the establishment,” Harry said, acknowledging Prince William’s sentiments.
The couple’s announcement in January 2020 that they were stepping down from royal duties sent shockwaves around the world and grabbed headlines, seemingly blaming Meghan for the split.
The constant stream of negative tabloid headlines has had a huge impact on Meghan.
In the fourth episode, Meghan discusses her suicidal thoughts, which she attributes in part to the bad press soon after their marriage and most of her first pregnancy.
“If I wasn’t there, all of this would stop, and that was the scariest thing — the thinking was so clear,” Meghan said, recalling her state of mind at the time.
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, recalled an emotional conversation in which Meghan expressed suicidal thoughts. “It’s not an easy job for mom,” she said, wiping away tears. “And I can’t protect her. H can’t protect her.” (Meghan refers to Harry as “H” throughout the series.)
Harry said he was appalled at how hurtful his wife was by the negative media coverage and said he hadn’t coped well.
“I was trained to worry more about what people would think,” Harry said. “Looking back now, I hate myself. She demanded far more from me than I could give.”
The couple’s war with the media reached a fever pitch.
Episode five begins with the couple’s ongoing battle with the news media and efforts to avoid the paparazzi while spending Christmas 2019 away from the royal family.
The seemingly endless headlines about Meghan have pushed the couple to the breaking point. “I realized I wasn’t just being thrown to the wolves,” Meghan said. “I was fed to wolves.”
The couple described developing a plan they hoped would bring them safety and peace of mind. “The toll was palpable and the emotional toll it took on both of us, especially my wife,” Harry said. “We’re going to have to change that for our own sake.”
They described plans to relocate to New Zealand or South Africa before eventually settling in Canada. They later moved to California.
Harry said his grandmother, the Queen, was aware that he and Meghan were having difficulties with their public roles and planned to discuss the issue when he briefly returned to the UK in early January 2020. However, they said, the plan was thwarted.
“I remember watching H and going, oh my gosh it’s a time when the family and the family business are in direct conflict because they’re preventing you from seeing the queen but what they’re really doing is preventing the grandson from seeing his grandmother Meghan Say.
Harry blamed Meghan’s miscarriage on this.
In July 2020, during a long-running legal battle against the British tabloid Daily Mail, Meghan said she had suffered a miscarriage. The couple discusses the loss in episode six.
“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Post did,” Harry said. “I watched the whole thing.”
Meghan claims the newspaper violated her privacy by publishing details of a personal letter she wrote to her estranged father in 2018.
“Now, do we know at all that the miscarriage was caused by this? Of course we don’t,” he said, noting that the legal battle has caused stress and sleeplessness.
“I can say, from what I’ve seen, the miscarriage was caused by what they were trying to do to her,” he said.
The couple have two children: Archie, born in May 2019, and Lilibet Diana, born in June 2021.
The Daily Mail did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tyler Perry’s friendship was a saving grace.
Appearing in the final episode of the series, film director Tyler Perry recounted how he first approached Meghan shortly before the couple’s wedding in 2018. Perry said he sympathized with her struggles.
“It was before the wedding and I sent her a note,” Perry said. “Just praying for her. Just to be able to get through it and carry on and let her know that everything in her life is ready for this moment, or so I thought.”
Meghan said she felt “crushed” when she later contacted Perry in early 2020 after she and Harry moved to Canada.
Meghan said: “Sometimes it’s easier to open up to someone who doesn’t know anything, and Taylor and I were at that moment.” Perry said he could hear the fear in Meghan’s voice and compared it to Diana’s. The princess has been compared to the struggles of the news media.
In March 2020, just before Covid-19 upended life around the world, Perry helped the couple relocate to a home he owned in Beverly Hills, California. Harry said they desperately wanted to stay anywhere, adding that the new location was “happy” until the paparazzi found them six weeks later.
A wedding is a family affair, even though it is an international event.
Episode four kicks off with a recap of the couple’s star-studded wedding in May 2018. Despite the thousands of people on the street hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple, and perhaps billions more watching on television, the couple described it as a family affair, with many personal touches seemingly making all the difference. different.
Harry chose the song (Handel’s “Holy Eternal Light”) Megan walked down the aisle. “It’s so beautiful,” she said. It was also revealed that Harry’s father Charles, then Prince of Wales and now King, helped choose the orchestra for the ceremony.
Since Meghan’s father Thomas Markle was not in attendance, she asked Charles to walk her down the aisle. “Harry’s dad is very attractive,” Meghan said. “I said to him, ‘I lost my father in this.’ So he was really important to me as my father-in-law.”
A happy ending?
After covering more details about their private battles, including the miscarriage, the final episode sought to untangle the delicate relationships surrounding Meghan’s lengthy legal battle with the Post, which she ultimately won.
The decision was reversed after the Court of Appeal rejected the Daily Mail’s request for a mandatory trial in her lawsuit claiming an invasion of privacy.
In the final moments of the episode, Harry admits that he misses many aspects of his former life and that he lost friends in the process of moving to America.
Reflecting on the couple’s experience, Harry said: “Sometimes I get angry, but I can’t be that angry because I really feel like I and we are where we’re supposed to be.”