By Melinda Mathew and Linda Cheung
Released December 8, 2022, Netflix’s “Harry and Meghan” docuseries opened a window into the lives of royalty for American, British and international viewers alike. The documentary explores Harry and Meghan’s relationship, including their dynamic with the royal family and the British media. Each installment focuses on different aspects of royal life, from the couple’s romance to interactions and frustrations with some of the British media.
“I think that the series is something that allows for a new perspective on the lives of the royals,” senior Jarrel Tondreau said.
Artwork by Debarati Chowdhury
Public opinion is divided regarding Harry and Meghan’s popularity being a result of racism or attention-seeking.
The couple released media detailing their exit from the royal family, stating that the separation was prompted by a lack of familial support when British tabloids attacked Meghan with racist remarks. In the fourth episode, the couple discusses several tabloid headlines with racist connotations that associate Meghan with drugs or terrorism. According to an article in TIME Magazine, throughout the mid-20th century, Britain recruited Black Caribbeans to move to the UK to drive buses, teach in schools and work as nurses in the newly formed National Health Service (NHS). Given this context, the documentary argues that Meghan, a successful biracial actress, attracted racist attention because she challenged ideas of the roles of people of color within the Commonwealth.
“The honesty and vulnerability displayed by the Duke and Duchess should be praised. It’s about time that they spoke the truth on what really goes on behind the scenes,” junior Angelina Alias said.
Published January 10, 2023, “Spare” was highly anticipated by readers due to Harry’s searing indictment of the royal family in the past. In the novel, Harry describes perceived preferential treatment to Prince William, given his status as direct heir to the British throne. Although Harry has attempted to resolve intra-family conflict within the monarchy, damaging press leaks have hindered attempts at conflict resolution.
“While it is correct to point out flaws within the institution itself, I still believe that personal matters should be handled privately and shouldn’t be discussed on a public platform,” senior Sahara John said.
Overall, the publication of “Harry and Meghan” and “Spare” introduce a vital conversation regarding the institution of the monarchy and the status of people of color within the Commonwealth.