Royal rifts, betrayals take centre stage in final ‘Harry & Meghan’ episodes

Britons in London said on Thursday that they did not expect Prince Harry and his wife Meghan's revelations in their documentary series to lead to much change to the monarchy.

** NOTE: This article contains spoilers from the ‘Harry & Meghan’ docuseries on Netflix. **

The first three episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary didn’t ruffle too many feathers at Buckingham Palace, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex upped the ante in Episodes 4, 5 and 6, detailing how jealousy, betrayal and the palace’s refusal to protect Markle from a rabid press increasingly led to an untenable situation that, they say, ultimately forced their hand.

The second instalment of Harry & Meghan went live Thursday, offering up a deeply personal — and sometimes shocking — account of how the couple’s relationship with the Royal Family began to circle the drain following their 2018 wedding, eventually causing them to step down as working members of the royal institution and leave for the United States.

Harry, in particular, levelled some pretty serious accusations against his brother, Prince William, father, King Charles III, as well as the palace’s press offices, detailing animosity among the senior-most members of the family and how his wife suffered most as a result.

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While Volume 2 of the docuseries opened on a sweet note, with the couple sharing the darling details of their nuptials, it quickly took a dark turn, delivering on Netflix’s promises of a behind-the-curtain look at an increasingly toxic situation. Here are five of the most dramatic revelations uncovered in the final instalment of the series.

Prince Harry “hates himself” for the way he handled Markle’s suicidal thoughts

In Episode 4, Harry and Markle expanded on the escalating vitriol and racism they faced at the hands of the U.K.’s tabloid newspapers in the year following their wedding, which eventually drove an increasingly depressed Markle to contemplate suicide.

Meghan Markle. AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File/CP Images

“It was like, all of this will stop if I’m not here,” she said. “And that was the scariest thing about it because it was such clear thinking.”

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Harry, reflecting back on that period, said he “was devastated.”

“I knew she was struggling,” he said. “We were both struggling, but I never thought it would get to that stage — and the fact that it got to that stage, I felt angry and ashamed.”

The Duke said, due to his upbringing, he “dealt with it as institutional Harry as opposed to husband Harry.”

“What took over my feelings was my royal role,” he said. “I had been trained to worry more about, ‘What are people going to think if we don’t go to this event? We’re going to be late,’ and looking back on it now, I hate myself for it.

“What she needed from me was so much more than I was able to give.”

Doria Ragland, Markle’s mom, also spoke about how helpless she felt watching her daughter struggle.

“To be constantly be picked at by these vultures — just picking away at her spirit — that she would actually think of not wanting to be here … that, that’s not an easy one for a mom to hear,” Ragland told the camera through tears.

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Doria Ragland
Doria Ragland. Netflix

Markle and Harry both said that despite being fully aware of how bad things had gotten, the palace was unwilling to help them.

“They thought, ‘Why couldn’t she just deal with it?’ As if to say, ‘Well, everyone else has dealt with it, why can’t she deal with it?’ But it was different. This was different,” said Harry.

“I wanted to go somewhere to get help, but I wasn’t allowed to,” said Markle. “They were concerned about how that would look for the institution.”

Harry accuses his father’s office of leaking private correspondence over plans to move to Canada

In Episode 5, Harry said he and Markle were contemplating a move to Canada between December 2019 and January 2020, while spending Christmas on Vancouver Island with their son, Archie.

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“We thought it would be good to give ourselves some breathing space, but also we were really passionate about continuing our work throughout the Commonwealth, to support the queen,” Harry explained, adding that the royal rota reporters wouldn’t have access to them in Canada, which would alleviate the pressure on his wife.

The couple also planned to make their own money in Canada, which would give the press little reason to pry into their private affairs, as they would no longer be bankrolled by the taxpayer.

However, Harry said when he approached his dad (then-Prince Charles) about the arrangement, Charles asked him to put the plan in writing before he signed off on it. Harry claimed he wrote Charles several emails over the course of the first three days of January –– one of the emails mentioned that “we would be willing to relinquish our Sussex titles if need be. So that was the plan.”

Meanwhile, Harry said, he contacted his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, about a meeting to discuss the plan. She was enthusiastic about having Harry and Markle come stay with her for a night, he said, adding that the queen told him her schedule was free that week.

Meghan recalled that a few days later they were returning to the U.K. when her husband learned he wouldn’t be allowed to see his grandmother, as her schedule was suddenly full.

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“That was certainly the opposite to what she had told me,” Harry said of his prior conversation with the late monarch. “Later that afternoon, we found out that this story was coming out — somehow the tabloids knew about this proposal (to move to Canada).

“It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to move back to Canada and the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles. That was the giveaway,” accused Harry. “I was like, ‘Wow, like our story, our life literally got taken from underneath us.’ ”

Prince William allegedly broke a pact between the brothers

In Episode 4, Harry also charges that William broke a long-standing agreement between the brothers that they would never allow their press offices to trade negative stories about each other.

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Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales, left and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, walk behind the coffin, during a procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Richard Heathcote/Pool Photo via AP)

Although he did not name a specific past instance, he said, “William and I both saw what happened in our dad’s office and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen to our office.”

“I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game or business of trading,” he said, expressing his disappointment in the Prince of Wales, noting, “and to see my brother’s office doing the same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking.”

Harry said overwhelmingly positive headlines about his and Markle’s successful first tour as a married couple in Australia drastically shifted when they came home, hinting that his brother’s alleged jealousy might have had something to do with the sudden change in tone from the press.

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“The issue is when someone who’s marrying in, who should be a supporting act is then stealing the limelight or is doing the job better than the person who was born to do this, that upsets people,” Harry explained of his American bride, who was a natural with Australian fans.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet 98-year-old Daphne Dunne during a meet and greet at the Sydney Opera House on Oct. 16, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Paul Edwards / Getty Images

“It shifts the balance because you’ve been led to believe that the only way that your charities can succeed and the only way that your reputation can be grown or improved is if you’re the front page of those newspapers.”

Harry says William screamed at him in front of the queen

In the penultimate episode, Harry discussed a 2020 crisis meeting at Sandringham estate where he claimed William screamed and shouted at him in front of their grandmother.

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“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and have my father say things that simply weren’t true, and my grandmother sit there and sort of take it all in,” Harry said in the fifth episode.

The meeting, which involved Harry, William, Prince Charles and the queen, was a high-stakes discussion to determine how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would continue to operate within the Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth II as proud grandmother smiles at Prince Harry as she inspects soldiers at their passing-out Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy on April 12, 2006 in Surrey, England. Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images

Harry said he and his wife had proposed to be “half-in and half-out” of the family, working to support the queen, but also having their own jobs and supporting themselves financially.

Shortly after the Sandringham meeting, said Harry, media reports emerged suggesting William was bullying the Sussexes out of their duties. Harry was then told by a palace press office that a joint statement was to be released by both brothers denying the reports.

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But Harry said he didn’t sign off on the statement.

“I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me to put my name to a statement like that,” he said. “I called (Meghan) and she burst into flood of tears, because within four hours they were happy to lie to protect my brother and yet for three years they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”

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Markle and Harry both said this was the moment they knew their tenure as working royals was over.

Later in the documentary, Harry also revealed that he’s not holding his breath for an apology from his brother or father.

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“It was hard. Especially spending time, having chats with my brother and my father, (they) were very much focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation,” he explained, referring to his and Markle’s decision to leave the U.K.

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The Duke also said he doesn’t think William and Charles will properly address their issues.

“I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology. My wife and I, we’re moving on. We’re focused on what’s coming next.”

Harry blames the stress of the court case against The Daily Mail for Meghan’s miscarriage

In 2020, Markle penned a deeply personal op-ed for the New York Times, detailing a miscarriage she had between the births of her children Archie and Lilibet.

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In Episode 6 of the series, Markle explains that after moving into their new home in Santa Barbara, Calif., she started experiencing “a lot of pain” and then collapsed to the ground while holding Archie.

Meghan Markle in ‘Harry & Meghan.’. Netflix

She said, “I was pregnant, I really wasn’t sleeping. The first morning that we woke up in our new home is when I miscarried.”

Harry explained that at the time his wife was involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail, MailOnline and The Mail on Sunday tabloid newspapers. The Daily Mail had published a private letter the Duchess had sent to her father, Thomas Markle, without her permission.

Prince Harry in ‘Harry & Meghan.’. Netflix

“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the (Daily) Mail did,” Harry said. “I watched the whole thing. Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was caused by that? Of course we don’t. But bearing in mind the stress that that caused, the lack of sleep and the timing of the pregnancy, how many weeks in she was, I can say, from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her.”

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In the same episode, the Duke and Duchess also said lawsuits like Markle’s are a lucrative affair for the tabloids, explaining that the litigation process only gives the newspapers more fodder for their pages, meaning more readers and more revenue.

Markle eventually won the case against Associated Newspapers.

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