The royal family are bracing themselves for bombshells from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix documentary as it streams across the world on Thursday morning.
As the King and the Queen Consort breakfast in their own home and the Prince and Princess of Wales deal with the school run, royal fans, commentators and the British media will be binge watching the first three episodes of Harry and Meghan’s already controversial tell-all take on royal life.
A friend close to the royal family stressed the situation concerned “real people” and that there was a “great deal of sadness” involved.
Harry’s father Charles and brother William, along with Camilla and Kate, are not expected to personally watch the series, but royal aides will be tasked with closely monitoring the output, and considering, if at all, how to respond.
The King and the royal family will be carrying on with royal duties as normal on Thursday, with the docuseries also coinciding with the first circulation of coins bearing Charles’ effigy in post offices around the UK – symbolic of the adjustments still continuing in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
Harry, in a trailer, has warned “We know the full truth” and spoken of a “hierarchy in the family”, a “dirty game” and “leaking” and “planting of stories”.
The pair look set to outline Meghan’s treatment by the press, challenge allegations the duchess bullied staff, and seemingly delve into their relationships with the royals and the household.
The Sussexes signed lucrative deals thought to be worth more than £100 million with Netflix and Spotify after quitting the monarchy amid the Megxit crisis as they struggled with royal life.
The duke and duchess accused an unnamed member of the family of racism towards their son Archie before he was born, and the institution of failing to help the suicidal duchess.
The couple quit as senior working royals in 2020 in favour of more freedom and the ability to earn their own money in the US.
Harry said he felt let down by his father and that “there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened” in their relationship. His longstanding rift with William has continued.
In the aftermath of the Oprah broadcast, the Queen issued a statement saying “while some recollections may vary”, the issues would be taken “very seriously”, but dealt with privately as a family.
But on a podcast and a mental health Apple TV series, Harry went on to accuse his family of “total neglect” and appeared to criticise the parenting skills of Charles and the Queen and Philip, suggesting he had suffered “genetic pain”.