The release of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix trailer is believed to be a “coordinated campaign” to overshadow the Prince and Princess of Wales’ big US visit, sources told Page Six.
The dramatic teaser for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s hotly anticipated six-part docuseries, “Harry & Meghan,” dropped early Thursday, while Prince William and Kate Middleton were in the middle of their big Boston visit — for William’s pet cause, the Earthshot Prize ceremony, which has been touted as his “Super Bowl.”
It features Markle, 41, weeping and wiping away tears, as well as many never-before-seen images of the couple, while she says, “When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”
Markle’s friend, journalist Omid Scobie, seemed to make the point clear when he tweeted out the trailer on Thursday: “If tomorrow is Prince William’s Super Bowl, then here’s your Halftime Show.”
One palace insider told Page Six they believe the Sussexes are trying to “disrupt and clash” with William and Kate’s American visit.
Royal watcher Hugo Vickers, a friend of the royal family, told Page Six of the timing: “Surprise, surprise, how very boring of Harry and Meghan. But this sort of thing is inevitable. It does sound a bit pretentious what they have produced.”
The clip also includes one lone photo of a frosty-looking William, Kate, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at the March 2019 Commonwealth Day service, with Harry and Meghan relegated to the row behind them.
One well-placed royal insider told Page Six: “If the Sussexes are worried they’ll look diminished and less credible in comparison to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ first overseas tour in this new era, they’ve overplayed their hand with a string of PR announcements designed to clash with Waleses’ visit this week.”
In addition to the trailer, on Wednesday Harry released a promotional video announcing the 2023 Invictus Games, which includes himself and Markle facing off in a round of table tennis.
The promo dropped shortly before William and Kate made their much-anticipated arrival in Boston.
Other sources were at pains, however, to say that Harry and Markle had nothing to do with the timing of the docuseries trailer, adding that it was decided by Netflix chiefs. Page Six is told that, in fact, the Sussexes had asked for it to be released on Monday, Nov. 28, ahead of the show’s Dec. 8 launch date.
The royal insider pointed out that, while the Sussexes claim to be a “privacy-obsessed couple, the 60-second trailer contains intimate images, moments and places never before shared — and with raw emotion.
“It’s hard not to make a Kardashian comparison with the Hollywood vibe.”
Although Markle had previously said the show would give a glimpse into her love story with Harry, the press release for the trailer states that “Harry & Megan” explores “the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution. With commentary from friends and family, most of whom have never spoken publicly before about what they witnessed, and historians who discuss the state of the British Commonwealth today and the royal family’s relationship with the press, the series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story , it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”
All of this has palace insiders worried about exactly what will be said in the show — and if it will feel like a declaration of war.
“At one point is enough going to be enough?” the palace insider source asked.
Asked what the ultimate impact on Harry and Markle’s relationship with the royal family could be, the insider said: “This is upsetting, but I very much doubt the king’s son will be banned from attending his coronation.”