5 Takeaways—And 3 Lingering Questions—From Harry & Meghan

A mutual friend reached out to see if Meghan wanted to be set up with “Prince Haz” after the royal spotted her on Instagram.
Prince Harry and Meghan and their dog smiling in a selfie (Netflix / Courtesy of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

Bring back Oprah.

Last year, when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down in Montecito with the Queen of All Media—sandwiched between stone columns in a fantastically lush garden, dappled in golden California light—the bombshells dropped with punishing speed. Meghan, pregnant and contemplating suicide. Harry, cut off by a father who stopped taking his calls. Archie, denied his prince title by the royal family, as one unnamed member expressed “concerns” about “how dark his skin might be” once he was born.

Harry and Meghan came to that interview with a story to tell and, understandably, a score to settle. But it was Oprah—gliding between empathy and incredulity, doling out those strategic “What?!”s—who shaped the interview’s narrative. She wasn’t much interested in who rescued whom or how closely the couple’s story resembled The Little Mermaid. She wanted to hear about the wretched institution. She wanted to know if Meghan was silent or silenced! She wanted the dirt, because dirt makes for spectacular television—and Oprah delivered.

So far, Harry & Meghan, which just released its first three of six episodes on Netflix, is not spectacular television. It’s watchable, because Harry and Meghan are watchable (much to the royal family’s dismay), and because director Liz Garbus is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who knows how to structure a documentary. But there isn’t a ton of brand-new information yet. Among the revelations: Meghan is close to her half-sister Samantha’s daughter, Ashleigh, who was adopted by her paternal grandparents; 20-year-old Harry, fresh off that whole incident with the Nazi costume, met with a Holocaust survivor to listen and learn. Meghan wore beige and camel to avoid upstaging senior royals. Harry was a half-hour late to their first date. It’s the sort of stuff Oprah clears out of the way before the first commercial break.

Obviously—obviously!—we’ll be back for the second half of the series, when Harry and Meghan make their royal exit and, hopefully, some honest-to-goodness bombshells arrive. In the meantime, here are five takeaways and three lingering questions from the first batch of episodes.

Takeaway #1: These two are really, really into each other


Like, it’s ludicrous how smitten Harry and Meghan are. There’s a photo from their first dinner together in London, Harry with his arm around her, Meghan nuzzled up against his ear, that is lovely and joyful. Garbus then cuts to a present-day interview with the couple. “He had a list, apparently, of what he was looking for” in a woman, Meghan says conspiratorially. She raises her eyebrows. “An extensive list.” Garbus prods: “What were a few things on that list?” Harry gives his head a shake. “Nice try.” He gestures at Meghan. “This is the list.” “Good answer,” she says. They giggle. It’s cute!

Takeaway #2: The Snapchat dog filter launched their courtship

Seriously: Harry saw a video of Meghan on a mutual friend’s Instagram, tongue out with a puppy’s ears and nose, and said to himself, “Who is that?” Then he DMed the friend to ask about an introduction. There have been lots of rumoured matchmakers for their relationship—designer Misha Nonoo, Soho House consultant Markus Anderson, Ralph Lauren publicist Violet von Westenholz—but nobody saw the dog filter coming.

A black and white photo of Harry and Meghan kissing in a kitchen (Netflix / Courtesy of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

Takeaway #3: Meghan is… a Luddite?


In July 2016, after Harry got in touch, that mutual friend reached out to see if Meghan wanted to be set up with “Prince Haz,” and their email exchange flashes across the screen. Meghan’s response: “Who is prince haz?????” Easier to miss is Meghan’s email signature: “Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse all technological mishaps. I’m a Luddite.” Meg, give yourself some credit—we remember The Tig. Your tech skills are just fine!

Takeaway #4: Somebody give Afua Hirsch and David Olusoga their own Netflix show

Journalist Afua Hirsch and historian David Olusoga offer excellent primers on how the British Empire fuelled the slave trade. “The very first commercial slave voyage conducted by Britain was personally financed by Queen Elizabeth I,” Hirsch explains. When slavery was abolished in the 1830s, “the slave owners were compensated enormously,” Olusoga adds—to the tune of £20 million “for their human property,” shelled out by U.K. taxpayers over the course of 180 years. The history lesson doesn’t always slide seamlessly into the docuseries, but it’d be nice to hear more from these two elsewhere, please.

Takeaway #5: Toronto police were zero help


After news of Harry and Meghan’s relationship got out in October 2016, paparazzi descended on Toronto, following Meghan to the Suits set, attempting to break into her trailer and enticing neighbours to set up cameras that peered into her backyard. Eventually, she went to the cops. “I would say to the police, ‘If any other woman in Toronto said to you, “I have six grown men who are sleeping in their cars around my house and following me everywhere that I go, and I feel scared,” wouldn’t you say that was stalking?’” she asked them. It’s a reasonable question. The police, she alleges, were unmoved, telling Meghan because of who she was dating, there was nothing they could do.

Lingering question #1: What happened to Guy?!

On the night of his proposal, Harry was feeling confident, he says, because Meghan had already moved her beagle Guy into the house, so “I had Guy as a hostage.” And then there’s a picture of Guy with what looks like leopard-print casts on both his front legs?? Harry, buddy, what did you do to the dog??!

Lingering question #2: Wait, did Hello! Canada inception this entire marriage?


A year before she met the prince, Meghan fielded some rapid-fire questions courtesy of Hello!’s Jessica Pollack. Favourite pick-me-up song? “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” by Nina Simone. Fiercest female TV character? Olivia Pope. Prince William or Prince Harry? There’s a pause. A little awkward laughter. Then Pollack feeds Meghan the correct answer: Harry. “Harry? Sure,” Meghan says—and Buckingham Palace was never the same.

Lingering question #3: Where are the photos of the penguin onesies, dammit?

Before the formal engagement party, Harry and Meghan threw a shindig for a few close friends, where everyone dressed up in animal onesies. According to one pal, the couple wore matching penguin onesies, “because penguins mate for life.” We know these pics are just burning a hole in Meghan’s iPhone. Show us the onesies!


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