The Telegraph’s Hannah Furness had a surprisingly normal story about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this weekend. Ever since QEII’s funeral, royal sources have been abuzz trying to predict what Harry and Meghan would do about their Netflix docuseries and Harry’s memoir. These sources have literally no idea what they’re talking about, but they keep throwing sh-t at the wall to see what will stick. This Telegraph story has some of that as well, but it actually sounds like Furness spoke to someone who has actual knowledge of what’s happening in Camp Sussex. The reason I say that is because the quotes don’t sound like they come from a barking lunatic and the explanations given sound completely reasonable.
A documentary & a memoir: In the coming months, Prince Harry and Meghan are to embark on a round of media activity never-before-known in royal history. A Netflix series and a book from Prince Harry, both part of the blockbuster commercial deals that the Sussexes have signed in the wake of the departure formerly known as Megxit, are on their way. Timed for release one after the other – at least until the death of Queen Elizabeth II changed everyone’s calendars – they are set to be a tour de force of the Sussexes’s truth. Or “truth”, as some might pointedly call it.
The Netflix docu-series: “This is about where they’ve come from, what they’ve been through and where they are,” said a source familiar with the Netflix show. “I think it will explain a lot about the decisions they’ve had to make and how they’ve ended up here.”
LOL, these people are still dumb though: Netflix has still not confirmed that any such television series exists. The reluctance to promote what will doubtless be a ratings hit has been remarkable by UK standards, a sign either of the streaming services’ last-minute shock-and-awe PR strategy or, perhaps, nerves over whether the programme would ever actually make it to the screen. It will, television insiders believe, be make or break for the Sussexes careers. Their deal with the streaming giant is reliant on their output, and their appearing on screen to a certain degree.
The series is not being massively edited: “Ok, the timing isn’t ideal,” said one source yesterday, with some understatement. But, another insists, there is no wholesale editing going on to add or remove bombshell royal revelations. “There seems to be a big misconception that they need or want to turn the project on its head,” they said. “There are always edits being made, but that’s how it works – people give notes, sometimes things are changed if there’s time before a deadline.”
Industry back-and-forth: One industry source confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that there has been “back and forth” on release dates, with a multi-episode series pencilled in for December. The Harry memoir will follow, probably next year and likely subject to edits to make it make sense after the Queen’s death, even down to the basics of clarifying the tenses. Fundamentally, The Telegraph understands, there has been no thawing of the relationship between the Sussexes and their British family that would leave a contrite pile of deleted accusations on the Netflix or Penguin Random House cutting room floor.
LOL: It was the Queen both Harry and Meghan have always publicly lauded above all others. Even a sympathetic American audience will draw the line at her being disrespected after death. With “the boss” gone, one school of thought goes, there is less to stop the Sussexes unleashing their version of events. But, one who knows them insists, the documentary and book are not designed as “Harry’s version of the story. They are his story, full stop. This isn’t supposed to be a take-down of anyone or anything,” they said, predicting people who watch will have greater “empathy”. “There’s no finger-pointing.”
Ruffle feathers: “Everything they do ruffles feathers,” said one dismissively. “It doesn’t matter what they say or write, the chatter will be there regardless. Even if they didn’t mention the Royal family at all, people would still say it’s a snub.”
Double LOL: The Telegraph understands there are no plans for palace aides to be able to read the memoir or watch the Netflix series before the general public.
What I genuinely hope for with the schedule is this: The Crown Season 5 comes out on November 9, Buckingham Palace goes into full panic mode and Charles calls on all of his media allies to whine on his behalf. Then, in the space of about six weeks following that, Harry’s memoir is released and their Netflix docuseries comes out. It should be like dominoes falling. As much as these people are crying about Harry’s memoir, what’s even f–king funnier to me is that Harry will probably do some interviews to promote the memoir and he’ll spill even more glorious tea. Fingers crossed for a November and December full of receipts! ‘Tis the season.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instar.