Harry compares Meghan to Diana and slams ‘unconscious bias’ of royals in Netflix documentary | CNN


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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have taken aim at “unconscious prejudice” within the royal family and defended their decision to quit the institution, as their highly anticipated Netflix documentary series threatens to deepen the divide between the couple and Buckingham Palace.

The first three episodes of the project, titled “Harry and Meghan,” were released on Thursday after months of speculation that the couple would star in a tell-all series.

They detail the couple’s initial romance and Meghan’s first exposure to the structures and demands of royal life, as well as Harry’s childhood, the pervasive nature of British media, and the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Harry accuses the royal family of “unconscious bias” that blinded them to the struggles he and Meghan lived through in the years and months leading up to their dramatic departure.

Buckingham and Kensington are likely to be poised to face the fallout from the series, following the ongoing tensions between Harry and his father, King Charles, and his brother, Prince William.

‘It’s really hard to look back now and go, ‘What on earth happened? Like how did we end up here?’

He said he had become “really worried about my family’s safety”, attacking the media’s meddling, which he had repeatedly lamented in recent years.

Harry took aim at the media during the first few minutes of the show. “No one knows this whole truth. We know the whole truth, the Foundation knows the whole truth, and the media knows the whole truth because they were involved in it,” said Harry. He said he considered it “his duty” to “expose this exploitation and bribery that is happening in our media.”

The series comes more than a year and a half after the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which included a wave of criticism of members of the royal family and caused unrest in the palace.

It represents the first major PR test for the monarchy under King Charles III, who himself has been implicitly criticized by Harry since their separation from the family, and whose relationship with his son has soured.

Buckingham Palace said on Thursday it would not be commenting on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new docuseries, which was released on Netflix on Thursday.

A royal source told CNN that neither Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace nor any members of the royal family have been contacted for comment on the content of the series. The Netflix documentary on the series noted that members of the British royal family “refused to comment on the content.”

Prince Harry said of the watershed decision to leave the Royal Family in early 2020, which set the stage for years of revelations from the couple and their relations with Harry’s relatives turned frosty.

Harry continued, “But I knew I had to do everything I could to protect my family, especially after what happened to my mom.”

The couple have spoken before about the limitations placed on them when they were members of the royal family, and that frustration is shown again and again in the documentary.

Meghan described her engagement announcement in 2017 as a “curated reality show”. And speaking of the media’s infatuation with the prince’s then-girlfriend, Harry recalled how other royals struggled to share his concerns.

So it was like a rite of passage, Harry said. “My wife had to go through this, so why should you treat your girlfriend any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should it be protected? He said, paraphrasing their arguments.

Harry added: “I said the difference here is the racing element.” The couple has frequently criticized the racist undertones in tabloid coverage of Meghan, who is biracial.

“These are the skeletons in the closet that often show up unwelcome in the day-to-day life of this family — sometimes, you know, they’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution and there’s a tremendous level of unconscious bias,” Harry said.

“The thing with unconscious bias—it’s actually no one’s fault. But once it’s pointed out or identified within you, you need to correct it.”

Elsewhere in the first installment of episodes, Harry comments on some of the previous marriages between his relatives and grandparents. “I think for many family members, especially men, there can be a temptation or a drive to marry someone who fits the mold rather than someone you might be meant to be with,” he said.

The couple remember Meghan’s first meetings with the Queen, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and other senior members of the royal family.

“I remember my family meeting her for the first time and being incredibly touched. Some of them didn’t know exactly what to do with themselves,” said Harry.

He added, “They were surprised…the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else in the beginning.” “The actress theme was the biggest problem, funny enough,” Megan added.

During the first three episodes of the series, the pair talk about their frustration at the hands of the famous British media.

“My face was everywhere, my life was everywhere, and the tabloids controlled everything,” Meghan said of her early encounters with the press.

Harry also compared Meghan to his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi in 1997. “A lot of what Meghan is and how she’s like my mom… She has the same confidence,” she said in the first episode.

Harry said he “learned things” from his mother’s anger at the media while she was alive that influenced his view of royal life, including seeing firsthand “the pain and suffering of the women who marry into this institution”.

“I remember thinking, How can I find someone who is willing and able to take on all the baggage that comes with being with me?” He said.

The second episode also features a rare interview with Megan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who says “the past five years have been tough.”

He charted the breakdown of her relationship with her father, over controversy over whether he staged a series of paparazzi-style photo shoots in preparation for their wedding in 2018.

“Of course, it’s very sad what happened – she had a father before this and now she doesn’t. I put up with it because if Meg wasn’t with me, her father would still be her father,” Harry said.

The first three episodes were released on Thursday, with three more scheduled to premiere next week. The interviews were completed in August, the month before the Queen’s death, according to the series.

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