After detailing their love story in episode one of Harry & Meghan, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dove into the intense reaction to their relationship — from his family and the U.K. media — in episode two, which started streaming on Thursday, December 8.
With the help of Instagram and a mutual friend, Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, started dating during summer 2016. After keeping things under wraps for months, their relationship went public that October — and the Suits star quickly experienced racism in the press overseas.
“At that time, I wasn’t thinking about how race played a part in any of this. I genuinely didn’t think about it,” Meghan said before recalling the “Harry’s new girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” headline.
“Firstly, I’m not from Compton, I’ve never lived in Compton, so it’s factually incorrect,” she said. “But why do you have to make a dig at Compton?”
Harry noted that his family and The Firm told him not to react to the backlash.
“The direction from the palace was: don’t say anything. But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well,” the Duke of Sussex said. “So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like: ‘My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?’”
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, for her part, appeared in the docuseries and admitted she should have spoken to her daughter more about being biracial growing up.
“My name is Doria and I am Meghan’s mom, and the last five years has been challenging, yeah. I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure. A little bit of my experience you know, as her mom,” she said before recalling Meghan telling her about Harry. “When she told me, we were on the phone and she says, ‘Mommy, I’m going out with Prince Harry.’ And I started whispering, ‘Oh my God.’ She says, ‘You can’t tell [anyone].’”
Harry and Meghan, who have welcomed two kids of their own — Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 18 months — explained that they bonded over both coming from divorced parents.
“What’s most important, for the two of us, is to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes that perhaps our parents made,” he said.
“Even when William and Kate came over and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, and I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot. I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits,” she explained. “I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside, that there is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and you go, ‘Oh, alright, OK, I can relax now,’ but that formality carries over on both sides, and that was surprising to me.”
Harry’s family has yet to publicly comment on the six-part series. The show began with a disclaimer: “This is a first-hand account of Harry & Meghan’s story, told with never before seen personal archive. All interviews were completed by August 2022. Members of the royal family declined to comment on the content within this series.”
For the biggest takeaways from episode one, click here, and for the biggest takeaways from episode three, click here. Or keep scrolling for the biggest bombshells from episode two: