Meghan and Harry have signed a historic deal, estimated to be worth £113million ($145m), with the streaming service Netflix to produce documentaries about the charitable causes close to their hearts. It was implied the couple would take on the role of the producer, rather than starring in front of the camera. Yet, a source claimed this week that the two were considering starring in another show, which would “give people a glimpse into their lives” and which Meghan hoped would enable viewers “to get to see the real her”.
This would allegedly be in the form of a docuseries about their philanthropy “rather than what they get up to behind closed doors”, according to ’s source.
The insider added that “Netflix obviously want their pound of flesh” as well as the “lofty” productions about environmental causes the couple had initially planned.
This report garned great criticism, and led the Sussexes to release a statement which read: “The Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows.”
Notably, the spokesman did not rule out a suggestion that the couple would ever make a documentary based on their charity work, but said there were no plans currently lined up.
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Only two programmes produced by the Sussexes have been confirmed so far — “an innovative nature docu-series and an animated series that celebrates inspiring women”.
The couple may be wary of replicating one of the Royal Family’s early mistakes, from 1969, when the Firm decided to show the public what their day-to-day lives were like.
The documentary ‘Royal Family’ was 110 minutes long, and was taken off air by the Queen after only three public viewings.
It has not been shown since 1972 and it is believed to still fall under the Crown’s copyright.
The film was released at a time when the monarchy’s popularity was plummeting, and aimed to win back the public’s support.
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One clip even shows Prince Charles play the cello — before the instrument’s strings snap in his brother’s face.
The documentary was approved by Prince Philip’s advisory committee and aired on June 21 1969 — 30.9 million people watched it on its first viewing, and another 15 million on its second.
Yet, the criticism soon came rolling in, as depicted in series three of Netflix’s fictional adaptation, ‘The Crown’.
Then-BBC Two controller David Attenborugh said it went so far as in danger of “killing the monarchy”.
The Queen even feared the Royal Family had been overexposed that year and so did not broadcast her annual Christmas message in 1969.
After a third and final viewing in February 1972, the documentary was pulled completely and has not been seen in its entirety since.
Historical consultant Robert Lacey also claimed in 2018 that if the royals did such documentaries regularly, they would “cheapen themselves, letting the magic seep out”.