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Royal rifts, death threats and media storms: 11 things we learned from Harry and Meghan’s final Netflix episodes

By Jack Guy, CNN

The last three episodes of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix documentary series were released Thursday.

The first three episodes, released last week, touched on the early days of the couple’s relationship, the relentless media attention they’ve faced and what Harry referred to as “unconscious bias” within the royal family.

These latest installments see Harry detail rifts with his relatives, the toll the last few years has taken on the couple and their new life in California.

Buckingham Palace reiterated on Thursday that it will not comment on the documentary, and royal engagements are continuing.

Here are 11 things we learned from the second part of the show:

Meghan grateful for relationship with Queen Elizabeth

The duchess spoke about her first royal engagement alongside Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, shortly after the couple’s wedding.

“It was great,” she said, describing how the Queen put a blanket over both of their knees on a car journey.

Meghan was glad to have a grandmotherly figure after being so close with her own grandmother.

“I treated her as my husband’s grandma,” she said. “We laughed.”

Popularity causes tensions with other royals

The couple said their popularity with the public caused issues within the royal household, with their tour in Australia being described in the documentary as a turning point.

Harry said Meghan’s popularity in particular caused problems at the palace, recalling similarities with his mother Diana, who married into the royal family and was beloved by the public.

“The issue is when someone who’s marrying in, who should be a supporting act is then stealing the limelight or is doing the job better than the person who is born to do this. That upsets people. It shifts the balance,” Harry said.

The couple recalled how media coverage started to turn negative, with Meghan increasingly associated with racist tropes such as drugs, criminality or terrorism.

Meghan contemplated suicide

Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, recounted how her daughter told her she had thought about taking her own life after being constantly “picked at by these vultures” in the media.

“That she would actually think of not wanting to be here … That’s not an easy one for a mom to hear,” said Ragland.

Harry said he “never thought that it would get to that stage,” and the fact it did left him feeling “angry and ashamed.”

Meghan said she wanted to get help but was prevented from doing so amid concerns that it could affect the image of the institution.

The duchess later discussed her struggles in an official royal documentary, thanking a journalist who asked her how she’d been feeling. “Not many people have asked if I’m OK,” she said.

More controversy around Archie’s birth

The couple recalled how their desire to keep some privacy around the birth of their first child caused a significant backlash.

“The amount of abuse we got … for not wanting to serve our child up on a silver platter was incredible,” said Harry.

A narrative developed that the couple were being selfish for not doing a traditional photo call shortly after the birth of a royal baby, and Harry remembers seeing a post on social media of a couple walking either side of a chimpanzee alongside the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”

Meghan ‘fed to the wolves’

The duchess said she did everything she could to make the royal family “proud,” but at one point “the bubble burst” and there was a flood of negative media coverage.

“I realized that I wasn’t just being thrown to the wolves, I was being fed to the wolves,” she said.

Harry said he believes that the press understood that the palace wasn’t going to protect Meghan, and once that happens “the floodgates open.”

Duchess received death threats

The documentary touches on how a hate campaign against the couple built on social media, with the primary focus on Meghan.

“The seriousness of what has happened to her and what … happened to us, and what continues to happen to her, that needs to be acknowledged,” said Harry.

Meghan recalls how the family’s security team has a protocol for when a tweet such as “Meghan just needs to die” is spotted online.

“That’s, like, what’s actually out in the world because of people creating hate. And I’m a mom,” she said. “That’s my real life.”

“And that’s the piece when you see it and you go, ‘You are making people want to kill me,'” added the duchess. “It’s not just a tabloid. It’s not just some story. You are making me scared. Right?”

‘Terrifying’ row at Sandringham

Harry recalled how he traveled to the royal residence Sandringham for a meeting to discuss the couple’s future role in the family.

“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in,” said Harry.

And the relationship between the two brothers continued to worsen.

“The saddest part of it was this wedge created between myself and my brother so that he’s now on the institution side,” said Harry.

Harry spoke about a joint statement issued in January 2020, in which the brothers denied a newspaper story alleging that a rift in the royal family was caused by William’s “bullying attitude.”

In this Netflix episode, Harry claims he was not aware of the statement. “No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that,” he said.

“They were happy to lie to protect my brother and yet for three years they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us,” he added.

Media coverage blamed for miscarriage

Harry blamed the media for placing undue stress on his wife.

Meghan recounted how she suffered a miscarriage in July 2020 after moving to Santa Barbara, California, recalling how she was stressed about how UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday had published a private letter to her father, Thomas Markle.

“I was pregnant. I really wasn’t sleeping. The first morning that we woke up in our new home is when I miscarried,” said Meghan.

“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did,” Harry added. “I watched the whole thing.”

“Now, do we absolutely know the miscarriage was created, caused by that? Course we don’t. But bearing in mind the stress that that caused, the lack of sleep, and the timing of the pregnancy, how many weeks in she was, I can say, from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her,” he added.

CNN has contacted the Mail on Sunday and its publisher Associated Newspapers Limited for comment.

Hollywood move meant six weeks without press coverage

Harry said it took reporters six weeks to find out that the couple had moved into director and screenwriter Tyler Perry’s home in Hollywood, before eventually publishing the location of their new home.

He also recalled measures taken to prevent paparazzi from snapping photos of the couple.

“These large poles are basically the construction of a fence to stop paparazzi from taking photographs from three, four hundred meters away,” said Harry. “And as ridiculous and as absurd as this is, you kind of have to laugh about it, because it is madness.”

Perry then claims the fence around the property would be cut, people would sneak in and there were “helicopters 24/7.”

‘No accountability’

Harry talks about going home for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.

While Harry says that neither he nor the rest of the family wanted to talk about the situation around Harry and Meghan that day, he did discuss it with his father and brother. He said Prince William and King Charles were “focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation.”

“I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never going to get genuine accountability or a genuine apology,” said Harry.

California is now ‘home’

Harry reminds viewers that Archie spent only the first five months of his life in the UK before the family relocated to California, and daughter Lilibet was born in the US.

“This is home to him, this is home to Lili, and this is our home,” said Harry, who added that life is very different for the family in the US. “I get to do things with our kids that I would never be able to do in the UK.”

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