Details of the brutal drama within the royal family surrounding the departure from the UK of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be aired in the couple’s Netflix documentary next week.
With Buckingham Palace largely spared during the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan, the trailer for the final three episodes, out next Thursday, hints at an attack on the family, nicknamed The Firm by the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
In the one-minute clip, Meghan says on camera: “This is when a family and a family business are in direct conflict.” Meanwhile, Harry states: “Everything that’s happened to us was always going to happen to us …” The trailer includes Meghan saying: “Suddenly, what clicked in my head was, it’s never going to stop.”
While Harry did accuse his family of unconscious racial bias, and failure to protect Meghan from racially charged reporting, the couple has so far focused on the early days of their relationship, and directed their ire at the media.
Chronologically, the next three episodes, which stream from next Thursday, are expected to cover their dramatic exit and its fallout, with Buckingham Palace braced for far more damaging revelations. “Next week will be poison,” one royal source told the Times.
Much of the UK media’s coverage of the documentary has been highly critical, with some right-wing newspapers calling for the couple’s titles to be removed.
Conservative MP Bob Seely plans to bring forward legislation to enable this. The Isle of Wight MP suggested he could bring forward a short private member’s bill in the new year that, if passed, would see MPs vote on a resolution that could give the privy council the power to downgrade the couple’s royal status.
On Friday, he tweeted: “Harry Windsor should voluntarily relinquish his titles. If he doesn’t, Parliament should act to remove them. If Harry Windsor doesn’t like the monarchy, don’t be part of it, but don’t use your titles AND trash the institution.”
He said the wording of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, which stripped German royals of their UK titles during the first world war, could be amended to update the law, and allow parliament to remove the couple’s titles.
But Downing Street said it did not back the move. Asked about parliamentary efforts to strip the pair of their titles, Rishi Sunak’s deputy spokesperson said: “I believe you are referring to a private member’s bill, which we do not support.” Anything relating to the Netflix series was “matters for the palace”, he added.
The employment minister, Guy Opperman, told BBC’s Question Time the couple were “utterly irrelevant to this country and the progress of this country and the royal family that we all, I believe, support”.
BBC journalists are among those who have questioned some of the couple’s claims. Nicholas Witchell, the BBC’s royal correspondent, described as “absurd”, Meghan’s claim: “No matter what I did, they were still going to find a way to destroy me.” Witchell told News at 10: “The first point, who is the ‘they’ she is referring to? I think it is the palace but most particularly the press. But the idea that anyone was out to destroy her, frankly, I think is absurd and simply does not stand up to proper and reasonable scrutiny.”
Of Meghan’s description of her engagement interview with BBC presenter Mishal Husain as an “orchestrated reality show”, Husain said: “Recollections may vary.”
On Friday, the king and queen consort met “Hollywood royalty” on a visit to Wrexham football club, co-owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Reynolds and McElhenney said they had not seen the documentary, and McElhenney went as far as to say: “I’ve never heard of it.”