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Prince Harry Claims William 'Bullied' Him Out of Royal Family by 'Planting' Tabloid Stories

Harry & Meghan concludes with bombshell confessions about Prince William and King Charles.
  • Prince Harry in Harry & Meghan Part 2 (Photo: Netflix)
    Prince Harry in Harry & Meghan Part 2 (Photo: Netflix)

    If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle handled the royal family with kid gloves in the first half of their Netflix docuseries, they lay it all out in Harry & Meghan Part 2. The final three episodes of the Harry & Meghan documentary include explosive claims against King Charles III and Prince William, including allegations that they “bullied” Harry out of the royal family by “lying” to the public and “planting” false tabloid stories about his marriage.

    Harry & Meghan Part 2 picks up where the first three episodes left off — the couple’s May 2018 wedding — and explores what led them to step back from royal duties in early 2020, as well as the aftermath. As Harry and Meghan explain, it was the institution’s refusal to protect Meghan from brutal, racist attacks in the British press that ultimately prompted the decision, which, while difficult, they have come to realize was for the best.

    From Harry’s claim that Charles and William “screamed” at him during a tense family meeting to the truth about Meghan’s leaked letter to her father, Thomas Markle, these are the seven biggest takeaways from Harry & Meghan Part 2 on Netflix:

    1. Harry Claims William ‘Traded’ Stories With the Press

    Prince William was hardly mentioned in Harry & Meghan Part 1, but his name comes up quite a bit in the second half of the season. In one of the most damning moments of the docuseries, Prince Harry claims William “traded” stories about Harry and Meghan in order to suppress negative reports about himself, a practice he says is common among the Kensington Palace communications teams. “There’s leaking but there’s also planting of stories,” he says.

    “William and I both saw what happened in our dad’s office, and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen to our office,” he continues. “To see my brother’s office copy the very same thing that we promised the two of us would never, ever do, that was heartbreaking.”

    2. It Was “Institutional Harry” Who Responded to Meghan’s Depression and Suicidal Ideation

    Photo: Netflix

    Meghan has been open about having suicidal thoughts while pregant with Archie, the couple’s first child, but Harry & Meghan offers even more detail about this difficult period in her life. As she’s done in the past, Meghan shares that she “wasn’t allowed” to receive treatment, because palace officials were “concerned about how that would look for the institution,” which remains stuck in a different century when it comes to mental health (among many other things).

    While Meghan ultimately worked through her depression, Harry admits that he still feels “angry and ashamed” about how he handled it all. “I dealt with it as institutional Harry, as opposed to husband Harry,” he says, explaining that at the time, he was concerned about his “royal role” and keeping up appearances. “Looking back on it now, I hate myself for it.”

    3. The Queen and Charles Pushed Meghan to Write That Fateful Letter to Her Father

    Photo: Netflix

    Episode 5 is centered on Harry and Meghan’s lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited, which owns British tabloids The Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail. In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sued Associated Newspapers for publishing a private letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, who began publicly criticizing the royal family around the time of her wedding to Harry. Meghan describes her father’s public outbursts as “a problem that needed to be solved,” and she recalls reaching out to Queen Elizabeth II for advice. “Ultimately, it was suggested by the Queen, the Prince of Wales [Charles’ title at the time], that I write my dad a letter,” she explains.

    Meghan says she “went to great lengths to get that letter to [her] dad discreetly,” but believes it was still intercepted, as the person who signed for it wrote only “Thomas” in handwriting different from her father’s. The Daily Mail published the letter, but redacted passages in which Meghan told her father “how the media has manipulated” him for the past year.

    Harry and Meghan go on to say that when they approached “the lawyer for the institution” and “senior members of the palace” to discuss taking legal action against Associated Newspapers, their concerns were ignored. Ultimately, they sought external counsel and filed a lawsuit; after two years of litigation, a judge ruled in the royals’s favor, their first of several legal wins against the British tabloids.

    4. Harry Believes Charles ‘Leaked’ the Story About Their Move to Canada

    It isn’t just Prince William who comes out looking poorly in Harry & Meghan: The Sussexes also heap a fair amount of criticism on Harry’s father, the newly-crowned King Charles III. In late 2019 and early 2020, amid the drama surrounding their Daily Mail lawsuit, Harry pitched his family on a potential move to Canada, where he and Meghan could “continue [their] work throughout the Commonwealth, to support the Queen,” while getting some separation from the media. He recalls that Charles demanded he put their plans “in writing,” and despite his hesitations — a previous plan to move to South Africa was scrapped when the press caught wind of it — he agreed.

    “His dad said, ‘Put it in writing,’ and he did, and it was just five days later it was on the front page of a newspaper,” says Meghan. Harry also told his father that they would be willing to relinquish their Sussex titles if the move to Canada didn’t work out, but when this detail emerged in the news story, it became “the giveaway” that his father was somehow involved in the leak.

    As Meghan puts it, “This is when a family and a family business are in direct conflict.”

    5. William and Charles ‘Screamed and Shouted’ at Harry in a Family Meeting

    Photo: Netflix

    After Harry and Meghan announced that they would be stepping back from their royal duties, Harry attended a family meeting to discuss next steps — a meeting from which Meghan was deliberately excluded, they allege. The meeting took place at the Queen’s Sandringham estate, with Charles and William both in attendance.

    “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that just simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and take it all in,” says Harry. “From their perspective, they had to believe that it was more about us, and maybe the issues that we had, as opposed to their partner, the media, and themselves and that relationship that was causing so much pain for us. They saw what they wanted to see.”

    Harry then mentions a tabloid story stating that he and Meghan were leaving the royal family “because William had bullied [them] out,” a claim that was immediately refuted by the palace. “Once I got in the car, after the meeting, I was told about a joint statement that had been put out in my name and my brother’s name squashing the story about him bullying us out of the family,” he explains. “I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that... Within four hours, 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.”

    6. Harry Blames Meghan’s Miscarriage on the Stress of the Daily Mail Lawsuit

    In the final episode of the docuseries, Meghan and Harry discuss her 2020 miscarriage, which she revealed in a New York Times op-ed later that year. At the time, Harry and Meghan had just purchased their new home — when COVID hit, they left Canada and moved into Tyler Perry’s California home — but major developments in the Associated Newspaper lawsuit dominated their time and attention. Meghan’s Suits co-star Abigail Spencer was at the home when she began feeling “pain,” explaining, “She was holding Archie and she just fell to the ground.”

    “I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did,” Harry says of the emotional experience. “Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was created, caused by that? ’Course we don’t. But bear in mind the stress 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.”

    7. Harry is Done Waiting For a ‘Genuine Apology’ From His Father and Brother

    Photo: Netflix

    Harry & Meghan ends on a bittersweet note, as the two reflect on the incredible freedom their new life has given them, while also taking stock of all they’ve sacrificed along the way. Harry is particularly candid about how his relationship with his family has changed in recent years, explaining, “The saddest part of it was this wedge created between myself and my brother, so that he’s now on the institution’s side. And part of that I get. I understand, right? That’s his inheritance.”

    Given all that’s happened, Harry doesn’t believe the rift in his family will ever be fully repaired. He says that even when he returned home for Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, Charles and William remained “focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation,” much to his dismay.

    “I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never going to get genuine accountability or a genuine apology,” says Harry. “My wife and I, we’re moving on. We’re focused on what’s coming next.”

    Harry & Meghan is now streaming in its entirety on Netflix.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Harry & Meghan, Netflix, King Charles III, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II