Meghan Markle and Prince Harry harry and meghan Netflix docuseries devoted its first episode to exploring the beginning of their relationship, from their first two dates in London to the few months they spent dating long-distance. But the episode ended, and the second episode began, detailing what happened when the media broke the news of their relationship and began bullying Meghan.
“It’s about duty and service, and I feel like I’m part of this family, it’s my duty to uncover this exploitation and bribery that’s going on within our media,” Harry revealed at the start of the series.
Below, read what the couple revealed about their last night before their relationship broke down; Meghan’s early days adjusting to the attention of the paparazzi; and how the royal family allegedly offered little help when the couple sought it out.
Harry and Meghan tried to prepare for what would happen when their relationship broke down.
Even when they were secretly dating, there was a risk that the public would find out. “Getting her through the police barrier and into Kensington Palace was a risk in itself because people talk, right?” Harry remembered. “It’s not about who you trust. It’s about who they trust. That’s literally how it works.”
“We were so petrified of when it would break, H trying to prepare myself for what could be, knowing what he had experienced in the past,” Meghan added.
Harry and Meghan went to a Halloween party with Princess Eugenie and her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank, the night before their relationship broke up in British tabloids.
“[On October 29, 2016], [Harry] and his brother’s communications secretary, Jason, called him to inform him that the story was picked up by a tabloid. He said, ‘Well, if she’s going out tomorrow, then we’re going to have fun tonight,’” Meghan recalled.
“We went to this Halloween party together where we completely dressed up and no one would know,” Harry said. “He had a bandana and goggles.”
“You borrowed a great costume. And we said, ‘Well, this may be our last chance to go out and have fun in the world,’” Meghan said.
“I pulled the pin out of the fun grenade, which we did,” Harry added.
“Her cousin, Eugenie, and her boyfriend at the time, Jack, and my friend Marcus were there as well. it was great. Just silly fun,” Meghan said.
Some photos of their last night as a secret couple appeared in the series:
Harry and Meghan were relieved that the news was out, until they saw a darker side to the coverage.
“And then the next morning, it was just so overwhelming,” Meghan recalled of what happened after their fun night. “I said, ‘Okay, well, then I’ll treat it like we’re in the bush. [like when the couple camped in Botswana on their third date]. Because, like, everything is strange to me, but I trust you to keep me safe and help me get through it.”
“Naively, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into in October 2016, when all of a sudden, everything changed,” Harry said.
In the second episode, Meghan further detailed her experience. “Right when the news broke, I think we both felt a huge relief,” she said. “And the people she hadn’t told that she was dating H were just texting me, ‘Is that true? Oh my God! What?!’ And the people were delighted.”
“There was a frenzy,” he continued. “It almost seemed like all the things we were nervous about, coming out, okay, don’t worry. It’s okay. And then that changed very quickly.”
Meghan and Harry were still in a long-distance relationship when the media surrounded their Toronto home. She intensified their relationship.
I was listening to all this [Meghan’s house being surrounded] from thousands of miles away. And try to do something about it but be completely helpless,” Harry said.
Meghan added: “Long distance relationships are work, no matter which way you look at it. So you add this layer? And look, considering that you are still discovering things about each other. And it really speeds up the learning curve in a relationship.”
The royal family did not fully understand the cause for alarm.
Harry said his family kept their hands-off, “never complain, never explain” approach because they saw it as what all couples, particularly women, of royalty go through.
“What people need to understand is, as far as much of the family is concerned, everything that [Meghan] he was being tested, they had been tested too,” said Harry. “So it was almost like a rite of passage. Some of the family members were saying, ‘Right, but my wife had to go through that. So why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should she receive special treatment? Why should she be protected herself? And I said, ‘The difference here is the racial element.’
Even after they got engaged, Meghan held out hope that the paparazzi and tabloid treatment would improve, though ultimately it didn’t.
Meghan remained optimistic that she could top the hand she was dealt, even after Harry proposed to her.
“At that time, I still believed a lot in what they told me,” he recalled. “Which was, ‘It shall pass. She’ll get better. It’s just what they do from the beginning. This promise of, ‘Once you’re married, don’t worry, it’ll get better. Once they get used to you, it will get better. Of course it will improve. But to tell the truth, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I was, no matter what I did, they would still find a way to destroy me.”
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the Senior Editor for News and Strategy at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions in Fashion Y Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running through Central Park, having people take #ootd photos of her, and exploring New York City.
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