A former top royal adviser has previously criticized Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s reported upcoming “at-home” docuseries on Netflix.
In the most recent episode of the “Palace Confidential” podcast, host Jo Elvin and her guests — including former press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles Dickie Arbiter — discussed reports that Prince Harry and Meghan have allowed Netflix cameras into their home in Montecito, California, for a “at-home with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex-style” docuseries.
It is unclear what will be included in the Sussexes’ rumored docuseries or when it will be released, with one unnamed producer “in the know” telling the New York Post’s Page Six that “the timing is still being discussed, things are up in the air.”
In the podcast, royal writer and author Victoria Murphy highlighted that Prince Harry and Markle have not yet released a statement on the reports, but the couple has previously denied claims that they are filming a reality show for Netflix.
“Is the docuseries different from a reality show? That’s the question, and they haven’t responded to this so far. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how they [will respond],” Murphy said.
“The Kardashians do a reality show, the Sussexes do a docuseries,” Daily Mail’s Diary editor Richard Eden joked.
Asked whether he believes there will be “drama” in the docuseries, Eden said, “For any good fly-on-the-wall documentary, you need some tension. You need drama. Otherwise, it’s just boring.”
The journalist added that he believes Netflix wants “bang for their buck” and that the streaming giant ditched Markle’s animated series “Pearl” for “what they think will sell — which is a program about the Sussexes.”
Arbiter, meanwhile, said that Prince Harry and Markle’s rumored docuseries — which Page Six’s sources claimed will be “juicy” — “smacks of desperation” and contradicts their “desire for privacy.”
“This smacks of desperation because Netflix has cut productions. It’s got ‘The Crown’ coming out in November, which is a very costly production,” he said on the podcast. “Harry’s got his memoir coming out either before or just after, and Netflix wants to show this docuseries to coincide with it all.”
“It’s a bit rich, two people who left the U.K., walked out of the royal family, because they wanted privacy,” he continued. “They’ve done nothing else but put themselves upfront and a week doesn’t go by when there isn’t some sort of statement coming out of their PR people.”
In September 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan issued a statement in response to reports made by the British tabloid The Sun that the couple is filming a reality show and wants to give people a “glimpse into their lives” while highlighting some of the causes that are most important to them.
“The Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows,” a spokesman for the couple told People in a statement at the time.
The Sussexes signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to develop films and series for the streaming giant, including scripted series, docu-series, documentaries, features, and children’s shows, according to The Sun.
At the time, the Netflix projects Prince Harry and Markle had lined up included “an innovative nature docu-series” and “an animated series that celebrates inspiring women,” according to People.
Netflix canceled Markle’s “Pearl” — described as a family series centered on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history — and several other projects earlier this month as the streaming service makes cuts in response to a recent drop in subscribers.
However, the couple’s media company Archewell Productions is still working on other projects, including “The Heart of Invictus,” a docuseries about veterans competing in the Invictus Games, which is sponsored by the Duke of Sussex, according to Deadline.