There is little Canadian content in the first three episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan,” but they do include brief glimpses of Meghan’s old home in Toronto and the family’s Vancouver Island retreat.
The first half of the docuseries, which premiered on Thursday, tracks the famous couple’s high-profile romance, criticizes the British press and tabloids for their intense coverage of the duo, and documents a litany of racially charged headlines and commentary. online that began to emerge once they went public with the relationship.
Anyone who watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview last year won’t find any startling revelations about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, says Toronto-based royal expert Patricia Treble.
But Treble was pleasantly surprised to see the inclusion of more casual images that appear to be selfies and videos taken by themselves, as well as intimate shots of family life with their children Archie and Lilibet.
That includes what appears to be a self-taken image of Meghan at the beginning of the first episode in a house on Vancouver Island while Prince Harry is in London. Later, several shots and photos show Meghan happy in Toronto.
Here’s a look at some of the Canadian moments on “Harry & Meghan”:
The “Suits” Days: Most of the Canadian content appears in the second episode, where the colleagues detail Meghan’s acting days with the TV series “Suits.” She spent seven seasons on the Toronto-filmed legal drama, and the Netflix docuseries includes footage of her on set joking around with her co-stars, including Patrick J. Adams. Colleagues noted that she was also generous with fans and was not shy about letting them take selfies with her or hug her.
“My impression regarding Canada is that Meghan has fond memories of her time in Toronto, before her relationship with Harry was covered in the press,” says royal observer Carolyn Harris after watching those scenes, which describe Toronto as a haven. comfortable for the actors.
“We see a bit of a contrast between Canada and the UK, in that Canada is a place where you can be someone who’s on TV and can even go about your daily business without much intrusion.”
Toronto Life: The revelation of Harry and Meghan’s courtship sparked a media frenzy in the leafy downtown residential neighborhood where Meghan rented a house. In the docuseries we are told that British paparazzi camped out around the house watching the comings and goings of it, and some neighbors allowed the press to set up cameras on properties that overlooked Meghan’s backyard.
“She talks about how much she enjoyed the neighborhood she lived in and being able to go to the supermarket…and all of that changed once she started dating Prince Harry,” says Harris, a professor at the University of Toronto school. of continuous studies.
Kimberley Ducey, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Winnipeg, was struck by how difficult life in Toronto became for Meghan, who at one point says she asked police to disperse the media surrounding her home, but They told him there was nothing they could do. In another case, we were told that gates had to be installed around “Suits” trailers for fear of someone breaking into Meghan’s trailer.
“That was interesting, and how the UK media moved towards Toronto,” says Ducey, co-author with Joe Feagin of “Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism: The Case of Meghan Markle and the Royal Family.”
But there are gaps: Harris notes that the docuseries doesn’t reveal details about Meghan’s Toronto social circle beyond the cast of “Suits.” That doesn’t include an obvious mention of Jessica and Ben Mulroney, who attended the royal wedding and are said to have been very close friends during the duo’s courtship.
Little attention was also devoted to the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, a sporting event for wounded, sick or injured military veterans created by Prince Harry. The docuseries includes some photos, but Harris says she’s surprised the show doesn’t explore the event in more detail.
“That was their first appearance as a couple,” she says.
What’s Coming: The last three episodes are set to drop on Netflix on December 15, with the next episode expected to dive into the May 2018 wedding. That could offer more Canadian content as the Mulroney kids figured prominently at the wedding party, with Ivy, then four, serving as bridesmaid and twins John and Brian, then seven, famous for holding up the long way of the veil.
Harris notes that this was followed by a temporary move to Canada to spend the winter of 2020 on Vancouver Island while they came up with a plan to get away from royal duties. Harris hopes that future episodes will return to Canada for that part of their story and “maybe some scenes of them in the wild during Archie’s first Christmas.”
“We’ll likely see more footage from Archie’s first Christmas when they were in Canada and then on Vancouver Island,” says Harris.
“Just as we got a lot of Toronto early in the series, we’ll likely see more of Vancouver Island later in the series.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 8, 2022.