“No one sees what’s happening behind closed doors,” says Prince Harry, in forthcoming Netflix series Harry & Meghan. But, thanks to the trailer, now we can. And in the case of the formerly royal couple, it’s this: pose for a lot of pictures and plot the downfall of the Princess of Wales.
Say what you like about Netflix, but they know how to make a good trailer. Imagine your favourite inspirational Instagram account crossed with The Amityville Horror – you’re halfway to the Harry & Meghan vibe.
So what have we learned as its 60 seconds flash by?
1. Timing is everything
Netflix would probably say it’s complete coincidence that this trailer has dropped right now, in the very week that the Prince and Princess of Wales have arrived in Boston on a visit designed to charm the American public.
I mean, how could they possibly have known about that trip, which was announced nearly six months ago, and has been all over the international media?
What Harry and Meghan genuinely couldn’t have predicted, though, was that Buckingham Palace would be engulfed in a race row, after William’s godmother displayed exactly the kind of attitudes that Meghan told us about in her interview with Oprah Winfrey. It’s the kind of delicious good timing that even Netflix can’t buy.
2. They love a selfie (and a presidential-style photographer)
Harry and Meghan snapping a blurred selfie on their mobile phone. Harry and Meghan in a photo booth. Harry and Meghan with their dogs. Harry and Meghan dancing on their wedding day. Harry and Meghan doing the jump-in-the-air-starfish-pose beloved of local newspaper photographers on A-level results day. There are many, many pictures of Harry and Meghan in the trailer for Harry & Meghan, all in tasteful black and white. Meghan also gets some of her own, including a beautifully backlit image of her cradling her belly while pregnant.
It appears that they have also been followed around, US president-style, by a personal photographer. There are intimate moments here which look wonderfully candid, until you reflect on the weirdness of a photographer being there – why is someone snapping them as they relax on the kitchen counter at Frogmore Cottage after a black-tie event? Another startling image appears to show Meghan in tears. Why? All will be revealed on December 8.
3. Kate is the villain
Slap bang in the middle of the trailer is an image taken from the 2020 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, Harry and Meghan’s last official royal duty. Of all the pictures they could have chosen, it’s an image with the Princess of Wales dead centre and hatchet-faced, staring directly into the camera. The message couldn’t be more obvious if they’d photoshopped her green and overlaid the Wicked Witch theme from the Wizard of Oz.
Also in the Westminster Abbey picture: the Queen Consort looking grim. The King looking at the order of service. William looking bald (by what must be an accident of editing, the frame cuts off the top of Harry’s head, thus giving the impression that he has an impressive thatch of hair).
4. Harry plays the guitar
Unavoidable David Brent vibes here, as Harry includes a picture of himself playing the guitar. All men think they can play the guitar, and members of the Royal family are no different.
Meghan’s face is in shadow, so we can’t tell if she’s delighted or dying inside.
In another image Harry is wearing a Peaky Blinders cap, another thing to which men are inexplicably and unadvisedly drawn. In the blurb for his memoir, Harry said: “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively,” and here is the proof.
5. The media is bad – sometimes
The trailer includes images of newspapers rolling off the presses and a bank of photographers with lenses trained in their direction. The media is awful, right? Apart from photographers who take pictures of them looking gorgeous – the trailer opens with the fabulous image of the couple beneath an umbrella, taken by Samir Hussein. And apart from Netflix, which may be turning the death of Harry’s mother into entertainment for the next series of The Crown, but is also paying the couple a reported $100 million.