Harry, Meghan's Rumored 'At-Home' Docuseries 'Smacks Of Desperation,' Queen's Ex-Aide Says

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A spokeswoman for Harry and Meghan indicated they would attend the queen's jubilee celebrations
A spokeswoman for Harry and Meghan indicated they would attend the queen's jubilee celebrations

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's rumored upcoming "at-home" docuseries with Netflix has already received criticism from a former senior palace aide.

In the latest episode of the "Palace Confidential" podcast, host Jo Elvin and her guests — including Dickie Arbiter, a former press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles — discussed the reports that Prince Harry and Markle have allowed Netflix cameras into their home in Montecito, California, for an "at-home with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex-style" docuseries.

It is unclear what will be included in the Sussexes' rumored docuseries or when it will be released, with one unnamed producer "in the know" telling the New York Post's Page Six that "the timing is still being discussed, things are up in the air."

Royal correspondent and author Victoria Murphy noted in the podcast that Prince Harry and Markle have not issued a statement on the reports yet but that the couple previously denied claims that they are filming a reality show for Netflix.

"Is the docuseries different from a reality show? That's the question, and they haven't responded to this so far. I think it's going to be interesting to see how they [will respond]," Murphy said.

"The Kardashians do a reality show, the Sussexes do a docuseries," Daily Mail's Diary editor Richard Eden joked.

Asked whether he believes there will be "drama" in the docuseries, Eden said, "For any good fly-on-the-wall documentary, you need some tension. You need drama. Otherwise, it's just boring."

The journalist added that he believes Netflix wants "bang for their buck" and that the streaming giant ditched Markle's animated series "Pearl" for "what they think will sell — which is a program about the Sussexes."

Arbiter, meanwhile, said that Prince Harry and Markle's rumored docuseries — which Page Six's sources claimed will be "juicy" — "smacks of desperation" and contradicts their "desire for privacy."

"This smacks of desperation because Netflix has cut productions. It's got 'The Crown' coming out in November, which is a very costly production," he said on the podcast. "Harry's got his memoir coming out either before or just after, and Netflix wants to show this docuseries to coincide with it all."

"It's a bit rich, two people who left the U.K., walked out of the royal family, because they wanted privacy," he continued. "They've done nothing else but put themselves upfront and a week doesn't go by when there isn't some sort of statement coming out of their PR people."

In September 2020, Prince Harry and Markle released a statement addressing claims made by British tabloid The Sun, which said that the couple is filming a reality show and wanted to give people a "glimpse into their lives" while highlighting some of the causes most important to them.

"The Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows," a spokesman for the couple told People in a statement at the time.

The Sun's report came shortly after the Sussexes signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce films and series for the streaming giant, including scripted series, docu-series, documentaries, features and children's shows.

At the time, the Netflix projects Prince Harry and Markle had lined up included "an innovative nature docu-series" and "an animated series that celebrates inspiring women," according to People.

Earlier this month, Netflix canceled Markle's "Pearl" — described as a family series that centers on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history — and several other projects as the streamer makes cuts following a recent drop in subscribers.

But the couple's media company Archewell Productions is still developing other projects, including "The Heart of Invictus," a docuseries about the veterans competing in the Invictus Games, an event championed by the Duke of Sussex, Deadline reported.


A spokeswoman for Harry and Meghan indicated they would attend the queen's jubilee celebrations

Photo: POOL via AFP / John Stillwell

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