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Meghan and Harry Lifetime film ‘like rat poison’ for Prince William depicted as villain

Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace trailer released by Lifetime

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US cable network Lifetime released on Monday its third film focused on Prince Harry and Meghan’s story. The film, called Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace, featured a heavily dramatised version of the events in the run-up to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step down as senior royals, clashes between Prince Harry and Prince William and even the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Moreover, it drew parallels between Meghan and Princess Diana’s stories.

In the Lifetime film, with which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had no involvement, Prince William (played by Jordan Whalen) was depicted as a villain who failed to speak out on racism.

This negative depiction “will have some weight” on Prince William’s image in the US, claimed brand and reputation management expert Eric Schiffer.

Asked whether Prince William will attract some sympathy among Americans after being depicted as a villain in the film, the commentator told Express.co.uk: “The only ones who are going to be sympathetic are going to be the ones who are really up close to the facts. 

“And much of the Lifetime audience is not as briefed on the truth behind the real story.

“And so this kind of movie is like rat poison for William and it causes his brand to suffer the threat of losing a non-insignificant portion of that audience that watches the film.”

However, the expert added he believes Buckingham Palace has “tremendous skill” and can “counter effectively”.

He claimed: “William understands better than ever the importance of continuing to build a positive image.” 

The Lifetime film included a scene featuring a heated argument between Prince William and Prince Harry (played by Jordan Dean) taking place in the garden at Frogmore Cottage.

In the film, the Duke of Sussex urged his older brother to make a statement against racism, saying: “Look, I know we’ve been having some healthy disagreements, but we’ve got to at least come together to address racism in the press.”

He added: “You need to bloody well make a statement with me decrying racism, publicly.

“As the future king, push back on this horrific bullying.” 

Scoffing at his on-screen brother’s remarks, the fictional Duke of Cambridge replies: “Bullying, such a powerful word.

“For the last time, I agree that diversity in the family is a good thing.”

In another scene, Prince William was portrayed dismissing the comment allegedly made while Meghan was pregnant regarding the colour of Archie’s skin.

In the film, Prince William was portrayed telling his brother: “They weren’t expressing concerns, they were just curious.” 

In the film, he adds: “Of course, the problem isn’t colour, it’s culture.

“Meg is American, she acts more like a celebrity than a royal and she doesn’t appreciate the difference.”

These dialogues appear to have been inspired by claims made by Meghan and Prince Harry in their two-hour-long interview with Ms Winfrey.

In the run-up to its release, the Lifetime film was criticised by social media users for featuring a scene showing Meghan (played by Sydney Morton) lying among the wreckage of a car after being involved in an accident which reminded of the one claiming the life of Princess Diana in 1997. 

Meghan’s car crash in the film turned out to be a nightmare from which Prince Harry woke up to find his wife and son beside him.

Escaping the Palace followed two other films by Lifetime dramatising the Sussexes’ relationship.

The first film, titled Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, focused on the blossoming romance between the couple.

The second, Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, portrayed a fictionalised version of the Royal Wedding and the saw Duchess adapting to her new role.      

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