Harry and Meghan's Netflix trailer 'DELIBERATELY timed to take away from ... trends now
The release of the trailer for Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries has been 'deliberately designed' to 'take away' from the Cambridges' landmark US tour, a royal expert has claimed.
The explosive trailer for the £88 million series dropped today, with the couple sharing an intensely personal reel of never before seen photos including several of the duchess crying.
It comes as Prince William and Princess Kate are two days into a three-day tour of the US and Buckingham Palace is embroiled in a race row back home after an aide made 'unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments' to domestic abuse charity founder Ngozi Fulani.
Calling the Sussexes 'unpredictable', Mr Fitzwilliams said that the trailer's release was 'obviously timed to take away from the Wales' trip to Boston', adding that Meghan and Harry 'like control their narrative'.
Harry and Meghan shared a reel of images, including this one, taken at the Endeavour Fund Awards in London in 2020, as the explosive trailer for their £88 million Netflix docuseries dropped today
It comes as Prince William and Princess Kate, pictured visiting Greentown Labs, Somerville, Massachusetts, are two days into a three-day tour of the US
'The timing draws attention away from William and Catherine's visit to Boston, which is highly prestigious,' he said. 'William is launching the Earthshot Prize and meeting Biden, which is very very prestigious.'
Meanwhile, the Sussex's friend Omid Scobie gleefully tweeted: 'If tomorrow is Prince William's Super Bowl, then here's your Halftime Show...'
The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived at Greentown Labs, Somerville, Massachusetts this afternoon, to get an insight into the development of innovative green technologies.
They will also spend time at Roca, a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in the neighbouring city of Chelsea.
Mr Fitzwilliams said their trip had already been 'overshadowed' by the race row that saw the late Queen's chief lady-in-waiting - and also Prince William's godmother Lady Susan Hussey - resign after being accused of racially insulting Sistah Space founder Ngozi Fulani and refusing to believe she was British.
Saying that the timing of trailer release was 'certainly unhelpful', he continued: 'If you look at it, it would appear there's a lot for the Palace to be concerned on. What will they reveal?
'There's one [photo] where Meghan looks distressed, what is the context behind that? What will they reveal about the way they believe they were treated by the Royal Family?'
Mr Fitzwilliams said: 'There's a lot I think to be concerned about. If you look at the timeline, they get the Ripple of Hope Award, then they get the Netflix docuseries and then the first release of Harry's memoir Spare.
The trailer features an image of a stern-looking William and Kate at the 2019 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey
Among the highly personal images shared in the trailer today was one of Meghan with her head in her hands apparently weeping
'You've got three concerns for the Royal Household coming up.
'One wishes they would not do this but there's no way of stopping them. It seems they have never timed things so they don't clash with members of the Royal Family.
'It obviously looks deplorable but there is nothing they can do about it.'
Mr Fitzwilliams added that it is a 'very unhappy situation for the Royal Family at the moment', and the 'potentially very destructive' docuseries will 'likely deepen' the already 'big rift' between the family.
Meanwhile, royal expert Robert Jobson said: 'I think everyone knew it was going to happen at some stage, it was inevitable.
'They picked the optimum moment to get the maximum publicity.'
In another photo, Meghan is seen sitting next to Harry on a sofa, with the duchess holding both hands up to her face while her glum-looking husband has his head tilted backwards
Omid Scobie gleefully tweeted: 'If tomorrow is Prince William's Super Bowl, then here's your Halftime Show...'
In latest royal developments:
By Jack Wright for MailOnline
The Prince and Princess of Wales released a snazzy new Instagram video from their US tour just minutes before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's trailer for their bombshell Netflix documentary series dropped today.
Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a short video which showed the royal couple enjoying an NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat at the end of the first day of their visit to the States.
The video shared on their official Instagram account was captioned: 'Baskets in Boston... Fantastic to celebrate the arrival of #EarthshotBoston2022 in the city and meet members of the community doing amazing things to protect and restore our planet.
'Last night's @Celtics #HeroAmongUs, Ollie Perrault, fights for environmental justice, working to get more young people involved in climate action - and all this at 15 years old. Amazing work!'
It was released just seven minutes before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 72-second trailer premiered today.
William and Kat ewatching the Boston Celtics last night
William, Kate and wife of Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, Emilia Fazzalari, pose for a picture courtside
The Sussexes' one-minute-12-second clip opens with a producer asking 'why do you want to make this documentary?' before a reel of photos flash up of Harry and Meghan throughout their relationship, along with one image of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
In a hint of fresh attacks on the Royal Family, Harry is heard saying, 'no one sees what goes on behind closed doors' just before a photograph showing Meghan holding her head in her hands while talking on the phone.
In another photo, Meghan is seen sitting next to Harry on a sofa, with the duchess holding both hands up to her face while her Prince Harry has his head tilted backwards.
The other black and white snaps give a deeply personal insight into the couple's life together, and include Meghan cradling her baby bump, Harry playing the guitar, and the couple dancing at their wedding in May 2018.
The trailer finally cuts to his wife, who says: 'When the stakes are this high, doesn't it make sense to hear our story from us?'
The Sussexes have reportedly been paid $100million (£88million) for the fly-on-the-wall Netflix series, which has left the Royal Family braced for more damaging accusations from the couple.
The timing is awkward for the Prince and Princess of Wales as Buckingham Palace is embroied in a race row back home after 'racist' comments were made by Lady Susan Hussey at an event hosted by Queen Consort Camilla.
Sistah Space founder Ngozi Fulani said she felt 'interrogated' by the royal aide about what country she came from, despite being born in the UK and stating multiple times that she was British. Officials said they were taking the incident 'extremely seriously'.
As the Sussexes unveiled their glitzy publicity push, William and Kate's troubles deepened today as one of the UK's leading lawyers claimed that Lady Susan Hussey quizzed him about his heritage at the same function.
Nazir Afzal, 60, Chancellor of the University of Manchester and ex-chief prosecutor of the CPS under Sir Keir Starmer, reacted to the row by declaring: 'Racism is never far away'.
Harry and Meghan announced their deal with Netflix just six months after setting up home in California in March 2020, saying they wanted to provide 'hope and inspiration' by teaming up with the streaming goliath.
The Duke and Duchess said their company, unnamed at the time but now known as Archewell Productions, would make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming.
It's previously been reported that the Duke and Duchess were 'at odds' with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries as the 'panicked' couple wanted to make 'such extensive edits' that the team believe the project could be 'shelved indefinitely' following the death of the Queen.
In a statement, the Sussexes said: 'Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope.
'As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.'
They added that Netflix's 'unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.'
Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer and co-chief exec, said at the time: 'We're incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.'
After putting ink to paper on the deal, the Sussexes were said to have welcomed cameras into their luxury Montecito mansion for a fly-on-the-wall type documentary, Page Six reported.
While it's unclear on exactly how much of their home life the couple were prepared to share, they certainly did let Netflix cameras trail them on public appearances in 2021 and 2022.
When Harry and Meghan jetted to the Global Citizen Live event in New York in late September 2021, a camera crew accompanied them.
And just over six months later in the Hague, in April this year, the Duke and Duchess were filmed at the Invictus Games, hugging Team United Kingdom competitor Lisa Johnston and meeting competitors and chatting to the crowds.
Meghan cradling her baby bump in one of a series of ultra personal images shared by the couple for their new Netflix documentary
In one previously unseen photograph from their wedding, the Duke and Duchess can be seen dancing together. It is the first image the public have seen of the reception, which took place at Frogmore House. The wedding reception was a star-studded occasion of Hollywood glamour that was hosted by Prince Charles, featured a house music DJ and concluded with a fireworks display outside an historic 17th century venue. There have even been claims that there was a DJ slot from wedding guest Idris Elba. Mike and Zara Tindall can be seen among the guests at the back of the photograph
Other previously unseen images appeared to show the couple during the early days of the relationship, while Meghan was still working as an actress on Suits. She can be seen gazing at Prince Harry, while the Duke, who is not wearing a wedding ring, plays guitar
Another image of the couple which appeared to have been taken during the early days of their relationship, showed them sitting atop a jeep. While it is unknown if it was taken during the trip in which they fell in love, they have been vocal about how important this holiday was to their relationship. Botswana is an incredibly special place to both Meghan and Harry, who actually visited the country together for the first time just a few weeks after they first met on a blind date
A number of the images from the documentary appear to show the couple as we've never seen them before. The Duke and Duchess have spoken a number of times about the start of their relationship, when Harry invited Meghan to Botswana in 2016. In these images, which appear to have been taken during the trip, the couple can be seen jumping for joy
Further clips shown in the documentary show the couple intimately lounging at their British home of Frogmore Cottage. The short video, which features Meghan and Harry sharing a kiss in the kitchen, was filmed on the evening of the Mountbatten Festival of Music in March 2020. It came at a particularly poignant time for the couple - they had just announced their plans to step back from royal duty, and the engagement was considered a part of their Farewell Tour
Prince Harry, who attended the event at the South Kensington venue in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, wore a mess dress uniform complete with medals awarded from two tours of Afghanistan. It was also the final time that the Duke was able to go on an engagement in his official Royal Marines capacity, having inherited the rank of Captain General from Prince Philip in 2017. Meanwhile Meghan wore a red full-length £1,295 Safiyaa dress to the event. Here, she can be seen having removed the cape part of the outfit
Another series of images show the-then actress Meghan enjoying a natural pool with her two dogs, Labrador-Shepherd cross Bogart and Guy. The image appears to have been taken while the couple were dating. She left Bogart behind in Canada when she moved to London in 2017. The former actress, who lived in Canada while filming Suits, made the heartbreaking decision to leave Bogart after moving to the UK to start her new life, because the pet was too old to fly overseas
In one photograph, Prince Harry can be seen with his hand around Meghan's dog Guy, while a guitar is resting alongside them. It is believed the photograph was taken during the period in which Harry and Meghan first started dating, while she was continuing to film Suits. The image is likely to have been taken in Canada, where she was living while filming the show
While it is not clear when a number of the selfies were taken, they appear to show the start of the Duke and Duchess' blossoming romance. In one, Meghan beams into the camera while Prince Harry eats a snack (left), while in another, the two snuggle up together (right)
Another series of images taken before the couple were married shows them snuggling up with one another in a photobooth (pictured). While it is unknown where or when the images were taken, one of Meghan's favourite hang-outs, Soho House, has a famous photobooth in which patrons can snap pictures
Another previously unseen phtotograph shows the Duke and Duchess during their farewell tour on 5 March 2020. While it is not clear where the photograph was taken, Meghan was seen at the exclusive Goring Hotel that day. It is understood the couple were at the hotel for a private lunch but were not staying there. She wore a camel coat and £615 Aquazzura black heels
This photo shows a solemn looking Meghan while she was back in Britain earlier this year for the Queen's state funeral
In an undated image of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan appeared to brush away a tear while being driven away from Prince Harry. It is unknown when the photograph was taken, or whether it was taken in the UK or in the US
The promotional poster for the documentary Harry & Meghan features an image of the couple on their Australia tour
September 2020 - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's production company, Archewell Productions, signed a reported $100million deal with the streaming giant.
July 2021 - Meghan announces first project with Netflix - an animated series called Pearl. She was taking on the roles of 'creator and executive producer' - marking the first time the former actress and Suits star would work in the position of EP.
September - Spotted filming in New York at the Global Citizen Live event
April 2022 - Spotted filming at the Invictus Games in the Hague
May - Reports emerge Netflix are hoping for an 'at-home with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex-style' docuseries
Meghan's animated series Pearl is dropped by Netflix as part of a wave of cutbacks prompted by the streaming service's drop in subscribers.
June - Couple were told they wouldn't be able to film while attending Jubilee celebrations
August - Meghan hints that the documentary could focus on their 'love story
September - The Queen dies. Reports emerge the the couple want to 'downplay' what they've said about the royal family in the documentary
October - It was reported how the Duke and Duchess were 'at odds' with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries because the 'panicked' couple wanted to make 'such extensive edits' that the team believe the project could be 'shelved indefinitely'.
Meghan then appears to try to distance herself from the project during an interview.
She suggested that its direction was in the hands of left-leaning filmmaker Liz Garbus 'even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it'.
At the end of the month, it's announced Prince Harry's memoir will be released on January 10 and will be called Spare.
November - It was reported Prince Harry was trying to get Netflix to postpone the documentary until after Christmas so it was released at around the same time as his bombshell memoir.
It is claimed Prince Harry and Meghan first hired Oscar-nominated director Garrett Bradley for the series - before they had a falling out and she left.
Meanwhile Netflix face heavy backlash over the fifth series of The Crown, and reports suggest the streaming platform might push back the release date of Harry and Meghan's series in response.
However, it is then revealed the couple will release the documentary on December 8.
December 8 - Documentary is set to be released
January 10 2023 - Prince Harry's memoir Spare is due to be released
An organiser at the event said the Netflix team arrived in six people carriers with caseloads of equipment.
The film crew were given maroon bibs to differentiate them from the dozens of photographers covering the Games and were given exclusive access to the couple as they met with athletes.
However, when it came to the Queen's Jubilee in June, a few months prior to the 96-year-old monarch's death on September 8, the couple were firmly told they would not be able to film while attending the celebrations.
Indeed, Meghan and Harry took a low key role in the national holiday, missing out on key moments on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the invitation to which was only extended to senior roles.
Even before it's release, the show has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic and it is expected to cause fresh turmoil for the Royal Family.
The first of Harry's memoirs, named 'Spare' are set to be released in January.
Royal experts have claimed in recent weeks that these two bombshell projects will further set back any prospect of a meaningful reconciliation between the couple and King Charles and Prince William.
This summer, Meghan hinted that the documentary could focus on their 'love story'.
Speaking in an interview with The Cut, the Duchess said her five-year-long romance with Prince Harry is one of the 'pieces of her life' that she has not yet fully shared with the public.
The Duchess continued: 'The piece of my life I haven't been able to share, that people haven't been able to see, is our love story.'
But after the Queen's death the Sussexes were said to have wanted to 'downplay much of what they have said about Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales' in their documentary series, according to a previous report.
One Hollywood industry source said they were doubting whether to hold the series following the Queen's death.
They said: 'A lot of conversations are happening.
'I hear that Harry and Meghan want the series to be held until next year, they want to stall.
'I wonder if the show could even be dead in the water at this point, do Harry and Meghan just want to shelve this thing?,' they added.
A Netflix insider also claimed: 'Netflix has been keen to have the show ready to stream for