By James PHEBY
Prince Harry slammed the media “feeding frenzy” over his relationship with Meghan in an explosive Netflix docuseries aired Thursday and criticised Britain’s royal family for failing to protect her and his mother Diana.
The family has been braced for the first three episodes of the six-part series “Meghan & Harry”.
It was largely spared during the first episodes but was still on the end of accusations of “unconscious” racial bias and that it did not help Meghan or Diana after her 1992 separation from Harry’s father Charles, who is now king.
“To see another woman in my life who I love go through this feeding frenzy, that’s hard,” said Harry. “It is basically the hunter versus the prey.”
“The moment that she divorced, the moment she left the institution, then she was by herself… she was completely exposed to this,” Harry, 38, said of his mother, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
Meghan also took aim at the family for failing to counter negative press reports about her, saying “it was horrible, but I continued to hold the line, like say nothing”.
Her husband said the family ignored racist undertones in the reports.
“As far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they’d been put through as well. So it was almost like a rite of passage,” he said.
“I said the difference here is the race element.”
Harry went on to claim there was a “huge level of unconscious bias” within the family, with the documentary referencing a racist brooch worn by Princess Michael of Kent to an event that Meghan attended in 2017.
Harry reiterated feeling “ashamed” about being photographed wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy-dress party in 2005, calling it “probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life”.
– ‘Explosive’ –
The documentary is lifting the lid on events that prompted the pair to quit royal life and move to the United States in 2020.
Several British newspapers said the couple had declared “war” on the royal family, which said Thursday that no family members had been approached to comment for the docuseries.
The first parts trace the budding love story, interspersed with personal photographs and videos of the early courtship, and their attempts to keep it a secret.
“When I got to meet ‘M’ I was terrified of her being driven away by the media, the same media that had driven so many other people away from me,” said Harry.
“I knew that the only way that this could possibly work is by keeping it quiet for as long as possible.”
The early episodes also focus on Harry’s childhood and difficult teen years, often with paparazzi in tow.
He describes how he found refuge in frequent trips to Africa, and in an apparent barb at his blood family, said: “I have a second family out there, a group of friends that literally brought me up.”
In another seeming dig at his older brother Prince William and wife Catherine, he said: “with many people in the family, especially the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit in the mould.”
But the most serious revelations about royal life and the breakdown of his relationship with William appear to be saved for the final three parts, due to be released on December 15.
In reaction to Thursday’s episodes, journalist Piers Morgan, a frequent critic of the couple, accused of them of hypocrisy.
“‘It’s amazing what people will do when they’re offered a huge amount of money — hand over photographs to create a story’ — Prince Harry, who was paid £90 million by Netflix to hand over photos & create a story,” he tweeted.
“This is so funny.”
– Racism claims –
Netflix showcased the first trailer last week just as William made his first trip to the US as heir to the throne, prompting accusations of sabotage.
The timing could barely have been worse for William after Buckingham Palace sacked one of his godmothers as a courtier for using racially charged language to a black British woman at a reception.
For some, the incident reinforced incendiary claims by mixed-race Meghan, 41, that racism within the royal household was one of the reasons for leaving.
The docuseries airs three months exactly since the death of Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, and a month before the long-awaited publication of his memoirs, “Spare”.