The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docuseries is sparking controversy before it has even aired.
Harry and Meghan faced shouts of “Are you putting money before family?” and “Are you harming your family Harry?” from the media in New York as they posed for photographs on the red carpet at an awards gala.
The duke brushed off the remarks, saying: “So many questions”, just hours before the tell-all “Harry & Meghan” series is released by the streaming giant on Thursday.
Any claims, criticisms and bombshells the Sussexes make in their six part series will face intense scrutiny and challenge in the British press, but what issues are they expected to raise and what questions could be left lingering?
In the trailer for the series, Harry speaks of a “dirty game” and the “leaking” and “planting of stories”.
The duke’s turbulent relationship with the press and distrust of the media has long been documented.
His mother Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash while being chased by the paparazzi, and Harry has been open about his fears his wife was “falling victim to the same powerful forces”.
Soon after he began dating the then Suits actress Meghan, Harry attacked the media over its “abuse and harassment” of his girlfriend.
“This is not a game – it is her life,” Kensington Palace warned on his behalf.
In 2019, he blasted certain sections of the media for what he called a “ruthless campaign” against Meghan.
But trailers for the Netflix show appeared to use footage of the press filming events unrelated to the couple to depict them being hounded by paparazzi.
Will Harry and Meghan unmask the unnamed royal they accused of making a racist remark about her son Archie before he was born or make further accusations of racism against the monarchy?
Meghan said, when she was pregnant with Archie, a member of the royal family – not the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the Queen saying: “Some recollections may vary”.
Meghan also suggested Archie was not made a prince because of his race – even though rules set by George V meant Archie was not entitled to be one at that time.
Archie is entitled to be a prince now his grandfather is King, but it has not been clarified whether he will use the title.
The royal family was embroiled in a race row once again last week when the Queen’s former lady in waiting and William’s godmother repeatedly asked a prominent black domestic violence campaigner “where she really came from” at a royal reception.
Will Harry shed more light on his rift with his brother the Prince of Wales or cause further damage?
The duke told Oprah he loved William, but their relationship “was space” and they were on different paths.
He also suggested William and his father Charles were “trapped” in the system, saying: “They don’t get to leave.”
Broadcaster Tom Bradby, a friend of Harry’s, has said the fallout began at the time of the Sussexes’ wedding.
“Really damaging things were said and done. The atmosphere soured hard and early, but few meaningful attempts were made by anyone to heal the wounds,” Bradby said.
The Finding Freedom biography of the Sussexes by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claimed Harry was angered by what he perceived as his brother’s “snobbish” attitude to Meghan after William advised him “take as much time as you need to get to know this girl”.
Meghan told Oprah that Kate, now the Princess of Wales, made her cry ahead of her wedding at a flower girl dress fitting – not the other way round as had been reported.
She added that the false reports were a turning point, and “everyone in the institution knew that wasn’t true” but it was not corrected.
Royal watchers will be waiting to see if Kate faces further criticism from Meghan, with teaser footage including an image of Kate looking stony-faced at the Commonwealth Day service in 2019, when Meghan was pregnant with Archie.
The Finding Freedom book accused Kate of not reaching out to Meghan to help her settle into royal life and of snubbing her sister-in-law at the Sussexes’ final public royal engagement in 2020.
The Sussexes denied co-operating with the authors.
But court documents from Meghan’s legal action against the Mail on Sunday’s publisher revealed she allowed an unnamed individual to speak to the book’s writers to prevent “further misinformation” about her relationship with her father.