The Daily Telegraph

Sussexes’ Netflix documentar­y will go ahead despite Crown backlash

Criticism of TV show was reported to have altered release date of series about Harry and Meghan


The Sussexes are said to have asked Netflix to remove certain comments they made about some members of the Royal family

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ forthcomin­g Netflix documentar­y series will not be delayed in the wake of the backlash over The Crown, friends of the couple insist.

It comes after reports suggested that Netflix executives had been so “rattled” by days of negative coverage over The Crown that they had decided to delay Harry and Meghan’s show until next year.

But the as yet untitled documentar­y series is still expected to go ahead in December as planned, The Daily Telegraph understand­s.

The fifth and penultimat­e series of The Crown spans a tumultuous period in royal history including the marriage breakdowns of three of Queen Elizabeth II’S children and the now discredite­d Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

The unfortunat­e timing of its release, just weeks after Queen Elizabeth II’S death, has been branded insensitiv­e and distastefu­l by critics, while others have described fictional scenes as “damaging and malicious” and “deliberate­ly cruel”.

Netflix bosses were said to have been so “spooked” by the criticism they concluded that to stream the Sussexes’ documentar­y – likely to prove equally controvers­ial – just weeks later would be a mistake. “They’re rattled at Netflix, and they blinked first and decided to postpone the documentar­y,” a source told industry website Deadline.

A Netflix spokespers­on declined to comment on such “speculatio­n” while friends of the Sussexes said the report was not correct. The series, produced by Netflix and Archewell Production­s, has not yet officially been announced.

But the delay has been put down to alleged contradict­ions between what the couple said on camera and what the Duke has written in his upcoming memoir.

The Sussexes were also said to have asked to remove any “incriminat­ing comments” they had made about the King, Queen Consort and Prince and Princess of Wales following the public outpouring of affection for the monarchy in the aftermath of the Queen’s death. Recent reports suggested that the couple were “at odds” with Netflix executives and were looking to “backtrack” on what they had filmed.

“Harry and Meghan made significan­t requests to walk back content they themselves have provided, for their own project,” one source told the New York Post.

Regardless, the series will likely prove further uncomforta­ble viewing for the Royal family as the Sussexes offer their own, unfettered version of events from their home in Montecito, California. Insiders insisted there has been no wholesale editing to add or remove royal revelation­s.

There is already concern at Buckingham Palace about the potential damage that The Crown could inflict on the new King and his reputation.

Sir John Major has branded the show “damaging and malicious fiction” after a storyline in which Prince Charles is shown summoning the then Prime Minister to Highgrove for a secret meeting in which he suggests he should replace his mother as monarch.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Countess Mountbatte­n of Burma described it as “deliberate­ly cruel”.

It uses the death of Lady Mountbatte­n’s daughter from cancer at the age of five as a jumping-off point to show the Duke of Edinburgh comforting her while grieving and juxtaposes those scenes with the late Queen and her husband sleeping in separate bedrooms.

 ?? ?? The Duchess, then aspiring actress Meghan Markle, was a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal in the US in 2006
The Duchess, then aspiring actress Meghan Markle, was a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal in the US in 2006

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