Will the real Prince Harry and Meghan Markle please stand up? As Lifetime prepares to shoot its third movie about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the network has cast two new actors to take on the roles of Harry and Meghan.
After announcing plans for a third installment in April, the network revealed the following month that Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton will star as Harry and Meghan, respectively, in Harry and Meghan: Escaping The Palace.
Dean and Morton follow Parisa Fitz-Henry and Murray Fraser’s portrayal of the couple in 2018’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance and Tiffany Smith and Charlie Field’s roles in 2019’s Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal. While the first two films followed the duke and duchess’ love story and wedding, the third movie centers around their royal exit.
“The movie will detail Meghan’s growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that ‘The Firm’ was not defending them against the press’s attacks and Harry’s fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that may have contributed to his mother’s untimely death,” the press release reads. “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace will examine the dynamics between Will (Jordan Whalen) and Harry, Kate (Laura Mitchell) and Meghan, and Harry with Will and Charles (Steve Coulter), that lead to the ultimate break from the royal ties.”
Harry and Meghan announced their plans to step back from their senior roles working for Queen Elizabeth II in January 2020. After wrapping up their final engagement that March, they relocated to California and struggled to see eye-to-eye with Harry’s family, making their exit permanent in February. The twosome subsequently opened up about their experience with the palace in March, citing bullying and racism toward Meghan and mental health concerns for the reason behind their exit.
“I took matters into my own hands. It was, like, I need to do this for my family,” the prince said during the CBS tell-all. “This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for [our son] Archie’s as well, because I could see where this was headed.”
While Prince Charles laughed off a question about the interview at the time, Prince William shut down allegations that his family was racist. Buckingham Palace also responded in a statement.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the March 9 statement read. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
While Harry reunited with his family for the first time after their exit when he traveled to the U.K. for Prince Philip’s funeral in April, the tension was reignited after he appeared on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast and compared his upbringing to living in a zoo.
“The queen is unimpressed with Harry’s latest interview and found it hurtful. It hasn’t done their relationship any favors,” a source told Us Weekly earlier this month, adding that William and Charles “feel it was thoughtless and irresponsible of Harry to once again shade The Firm so soon after Prince Philip’s death, while the queen is still mourning the death of her husband.”
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Scroll through to see photos of the actors and actress who have played Harry and Meghan: