While the royal family was reportedly relieved when the first three episodes of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s docuseries, Harry & Meghan, came and went without touching too much on the monarchs, that’s likely not the case now that the second installment has premiered. Episodes four through six detailed the Sussexes’ decision to leave behind royal life, and no one was safe from that narrative, especially not Prince William.
Harry did not paint his brother in a great light in the episodes, making accusations that the new Prince of Wales once shouted at Harry when discussing the younger brother’s plan with how to move forward with the royal family. In episode five of the series, Harry told the story of when the late Queen Elizabeth called a meeting in January 2020 after the Sussexes announced their decision to step back from royal life. Harry claimed he was the one who initially called for the meeting, but it was rejected.
"It was only once Meg had left and gone back to Canada that it was then arranged that there was going to be a meeting at Sandringham on the following Monday," he said, saying “it was clear” that they planned the meeting so Meghan wasn’t in the room. Harry, though, went to Sandringham Estate to meet with his brother, father, and grandmother.
“I went in with the same proposal that we'd already made publicly. But once I got there, I was given five options," Harry said. “One being ‘all in, no change,’ five being ‘all out.’” Harry said that he chose “option three” which meant “half in, half out; have our own jobs but also work in support of the Queen.” Unfortunately, that choice evoked quite the reaction from his family, especially William.
“It became very clear very quickly that that goal was not up for discussion or debate," he said. “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that simply weren't true and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.”
On the day of the Sandrigham chats, the palace released a statement from Harry and William, fighting back against allegations that William’s “bullying” had caused issues between the brothers. Harry, though, claimed he had no part in writing it. “We couldn't believe it,” he said. “No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that. And I rang M and I told her, and she burst into floods of tears because within four hours, they're happy to lie to protect my brother. And yet, for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”
The situation was even more heartbreaking because, according to Harry, he and William once made a pact of sorts to never let their offices trade stories about each other to the press. “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,” he said. “I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game or business of trading.” But Harry felt William didn’t live up to this agreement. “To see my brother’s office doing the same thing that we promised the two of us would never, ever do, that was heartbreaking.”
In fact, Harry and Meghan believe palace insiders leaked many stories to the press at the time they were trying to leave England. In 2018, the couple planned to move to South Africa. According to Harry, his brother, father, and grandmother’s respective office knew about the move and signed off on it. “No one else knew. It was very much an internal document,” he said. “Then it was leaked to The Time newspaper. Then that whole plan was then scrapped because it’s now become a public debate. Once plans like that become public debates, nine times out of ten, it’s gonna fail.”
Then, they decided on Canada, and Charles asked for Harry to put his decision into writing. “I said, 'I’d rather not because of what happened last time.' He says, 'I can’t do anything unless you put it in writing.’” So, Harry sent him three emails and in one of them wrote the couple was willing to give up their Sussex title if necessary. Not long after, news about that move hit the press as well. “His dad said, 'Put it in writing.' And he did," Meghan said, "and it was just five days later it was on the front page of a newspaper.” The news story included their willingness to give up the Sussex title, which is why Harry believed it was his dad who leaked the news.
As of now, the royal family has not responded to the series, and it seems fairly unlikely that they will say anything. “The whole problem is that Charles hates confrontation, and someone who had dinner with him earlier this week told me that he wants to stay out of it,” royal expert Tom Bower told Page Six. But considering the second installment of the docuseries did not mince any words, it seems like the royals in England might want to find a way to tell their side of the story sooner rather that later.