The second instalment of Netflix’s documentary on Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, was released on Thursday with a set of dramatic claims about life behind the Palace walls.
Episode four sees the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reminiscing about their initial popularity with the public as newlyweds – before their relationship with both the rest of the royal institution and the press turned sour.
Meghan felt she was being particularly targeted by the press and was trying to seek more support, but the Palace allegedly feared “how that would look for the institution”, according to the Duchess.
The documentary then cuts to Harry saying that the royals thought “why couldn’t she just deal” with the media scrutiny, like all the other members of the Firm.
Having previously noted that the “race element” meant criticism of Meghan was different, Harry said even if that wasn’t the case, it was time to consider clamping down on such press intrusion.
“But no one would have private conversations with the editors saying, ‘enough’,” Harry claimed.
He continued: “My dad said to me: ’Darling boy, you can’t take on the media.
‘The media will always be the media.’
“And I said: ‘I fundamentally disagree.’”
Harry added: “I have 30 years of experience looking behind the curtain and seeing how this system works and how it runs.
“I mean, just constant briefings about other members of the family, about favours, inviting the press in.
“It’s a dirty game.
“There’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories.
“So if the comms team wants to be able to remove a negative story about their principle, they will trade and give you something about someone else’s principle.”
He claimed that royals do not try to stop such negative press coverage.
“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,” the Duke of Sussex said.
Harry’s older brother, now the Prince of Wales, is first-in-line to throne after their father King Charles III.
He then went on to accuse William of deviating from that promise.
“I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game, or this business of trading. To see my brother’s office copy the very same thing the two of us promised we would never ever do, that was heartbreaking,” Harry said.
The royal also claimed elsewhere in the documentary that the Palace “were happy to lie to protect my brother”, but not “tell the truth” to protect him and Meghan.
The Duke of Sussex criticised himself in the far-reaching mini-series too.
He claimed that used to deal with Meghan’s struggles on the royal front as “institutional Harry not as a husband Harry”.
“I had been trained to worry more about what are people gonna think if we don’t go to the event, we’re going to be late.
“Looking back on it now, I hate myself for it.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the royal family in 2020, and have now settled in California. They have repeatedly spoken out about their difficulties as working royals since.