Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s second volume of their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan explores what led to them stepping back from their senior royal family posts—and also paints a portrait of how little support they were given internally by the family (with some even allegedly briefing media against them), which influenced their decision to leave.
In one particularly jarring moment, Harry suggested on camera that one of the reasons why King Charles III, Kate Middleton, and Prince William struggled with Meghan and may have felt motivated to brief against her was because the senior royals felt threatened by her being more popular, and “doing the job better” than them.
Harry said, “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. It shifts the balance, because you’ve been lead to believe the only way that your charities can succeed, the only way that your reputation can be grown or improved, is if you’re in the front page of those papers. But the media are the ones who choose who to put on the from page.”
He pointed to the “first time the penny dropped” during Remembrance Day in November 2018, where Meghan dominated press coverage, with her photo appearing bigger on the front page of The Telegraph than any of the other royal family members. He compared Meghan to his mother Princess Diana then, who also married into the family and enjoyed more popularity than other royals.
“I went, ‘Oh, my God,’” Meghan recalled of seeing the newspaper cover in the documentary.
“She was like, ‘But it’s not my fault,’” Harry said, “and I said, ‘I know. And my mum felt the same way.’”
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.