Prince Harry revealed that members of the royal family didn’t think the relationship between him and his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle would last because she was an actor, with Meghan adding that her job was “the biggest problem” for Harry’s relatives.
The couple made the comments in Harry & Meghan, the Netflix docuseries about their relationship, the first three episodes of which dropped on the streaming platform Thursday. (The final three episodes will be released on Dec. 15.)
“I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed. Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves,” Harry said in the show’s second episode. “So I think they were — they were surprised. Maybe surprised that the ginger could land such a beautiful woman. And such an intelligent woman.
“But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning. ‘Oh, she’s an American actress, this won’t last,’” he added.
“The actress thing was the biggest problem, funny enough,” Meghan said. “There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint. Hollywood and — it was just very easy for them to typecast that.”
Meghan also described her first meeting with her future brother and sister-in-law, William and Kate (now Prince and Princess of Wales, then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,) and hinted that she was surprised by how formal they were.
“When Will and Kate came over and I met her for the first time — they came over for dinner — I was in ripped jeans and barefoot,” Meghan said, “I was a hugger, always been a hugger. I didn't realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.
“I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside. That there is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and you [sigh and go] ‘Oh great, we can relax now.’ but that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.”
However, according to Meghan, the relationship with Harry’s family warmed considerably once the two were engaged. In the third episode, she described her first Christmas with the royal family in December 2016 in glowing terms.
“I remember so vividly, the first Christmas at Sandringham calling my mom and she's like, ‘How's it going?’ And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, it's amazing. It's just like a big family like I always wanted.’ And there was just this constant movement and energy and fun.”
She also shared an amusing anecdote about Harry’s grandfather, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, from the Christmas celebrations.
“At dinner, I was — I sat next to [Harry’s] grandfather. And I thought it was so wonderful. [To Harry] I was like, ‘Oh, we chatted and it was so great and I talked about this and talked about this,’ and he was like, ‘You had his bad ear, he couldn’t hear anything you were saying.’ Oh. Well, I thought it went really well,” she said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement about the docuseries’ release on Thursday morning, shortly after the first three episodes began streaming. "We are grateful to have the ability to share our love story through such an esteemed creative team and with the global reach of Netflix,” they said. “We hope it helps others to heal, and to feel inspired.”