Netflix scores ‘own goal’ in bid to tell Meghan and Harry’s story

Harry & Meghan: Explosive trailer for Netflix documentary

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Netflix scored an “own goal” by using stock imagery in the trailers for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new documentary, a commentator believes. Broadcaster and royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti stressed Meghan and Harry are unlikely to have had much to do with the creation of the trailers released so far to tease the public ahead of the debut on Thursday of the first three episodes of the Netflix docu-series based on their life together, romance and difficulties as senior royals.

While he acknowledged people making trailers often choose to use the “most exciting” images they can to draw the attention of potential viewers, Mr Sacerdoti believes the creators of these clips should have been “doubly careful” with their choices as they are dealing with a show focused on two protagonists who want to share their truth and set the record straight.

The commentator told “I think documentary-making and then trailer-making are particular skills which are probably not done in the control of Meghan and Harry in this series they have made.

“But it’s important to the filmmakers to have considered the idea that in using illustrative footage from other events they would come under a lot of criticism.

“Because if you are purporting to tell a behind-the-scenes, honest truth about something that happened, and you are doing so with two protagonists who many people believe vary their recollection of what happened from other people’s recollections, then you need to be doubly careful – and I don’t think they have been.

“So it was an own goal for them, the filmmakers, to use the Harry Potter red carpet photographers shot, to use the images of the paparazzi outside Katie Price’s court appearance and of photographers trying to get pictures of a car in which was Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen. 

“It may be that they were trying to draw a broader point, and to provoke sympathy in all of us for Katie Price and Mr Trump’s former lawyer and the scrutiny they faced in the media – but I rather doubt that, as they don’t sound like people that Meghan and Harry would necessarily be keen to defend.

“So I think it was a silly move, but not necessarily the biggest thing we are going to be talking about in a few days.”

Mr Sacerdoti then focused his attention on one of the images of Prince Harry used in the first trailer for the documentary.

The picture, taken years ago, shows the Duke holding his hand up to shield his face from photographers.

It later emerged the un-cropped version of this photo featured Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy walking beside him as they were trying to leave Heathrow Airport. 

It was included among a series of other snaps of the royal taken throughout the years.

Mr Sacerdoti said: “When people make a trailer, they look for the juiciest and most exciting images they can.

“The most interesting one for me was the one showing Prince Harry holding his hand up to stop the photographer, which turned out to be a photograph with one of his former girlfriends.

“Now, in my mind, that is justifiable, because they will probably talk about him living under the scrutiny of the press from birth, so at some point in the documentary they may indeed talk about his time before Meghan.”


On Tuesday, after it emerged some of the images included in the Harry & Meghan trailers were not related to the royal couple, a source familiar with the making of the Netflix documentary said the Sussexes did not have editorial control of the trailer themselves, and added the choice of using stock footage was “standard practice in documentary and trailer production”. 

They told the Telegraph: “You use stock images to tell a story. It’s not meant to be literal in a trailer.”

Harry & Meghan, to last for a total of six episodes, will debut on December 8, when the first half will be released.

The second half of the series will be shared on December 15, the same day during which several senior royals will gather at Westminster Abbey for the special Christmas carol service spearheaded by Kate, Princess of Wales. 

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