Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s long-awaited Netflix docuseries finally premiered this Thursday, and for the most part, the reaction from royalists has been one of surprised relief.
Insiders have been telling us for months that the project would focus on Harry and Meghan’s love story, and their lives at home in Montecito, but the couple’s harshest critics simply wouldn’t believe it.
They were certain that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would seize this opportunity to hurl vitriol at Harry’s family, and it seems they’re almost disappointed by the lack of scandalous allegations in the first three episodes.
If anything, Harry and Meghan seem more interested in introspection and self-reflection then drama and recrimination, and they’ve even used this new platform to make amends for past misdeeds.
Back in 2005, a 21-year-old Prince Harry made an astonishing error in judgment when he wore a Nazi uniform to a Halloween costume party.
Harry has repeatedly apologized for this act of appalling insensitivity, but it seems that the incident still weighs heavily on his mind all these years later.
Speaking about the costume in his Netflix series, Harry called it “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”
“I felt so ashamed afterwards,” he explained. “All I wanted to do was make it right.”
Harry revealed that after the incident made headlines, he spoke with London’s chief rabbi, a conversation that he says “had a profound impact” on his worldview.
“I could have just ignored it and gone on and probably made the same mistakes over and over again in my life,” he added.
“But I learnt from that.”
The Netflix doc was not the first time that Harry spoke out about the costume incident.
The Duke promptly issued a public apology after the press obtained photos of his deeply regrettable costume.
“I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize.” he said at the time.
Elsewhere in the series, the Sussexes discussed the problem of bigotry within the royal family, with Meghan revealing that she had never experienced racism until she married into the Windsor clan.
“In this family, sometimes you’re part of the problem, rather than part of the solution,” Harry said of the Windsors’ messy history with regard to race relations.
“There is a huge level of unconscious bias. The thing with unconscious bias is it’s actually no one’s fault, but once it’s been pointed out or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right.”
Some viewers took issue with Harry and Meghan criticizing others for their racial insensitivity so soon after Harry issued his apology for wearing a Nazi costume.
“If you are going to on television to complain you have been the victim of racism, you would want to make sure your past is squeaky clean,” tweeted Dylan Howard, the author of Royals at War: The Untold Story of Harry and Meghan’s Shocking Split with the House of Windsor.
“The hypocrisy is astounding,” Howard added.
It’s not hard to see why some people might have a hard time forgiving Harry for his past misdeeds.
But when it’s a member of the British tabloid press who’s still clinging to a bad decision the Duke made 17 years ago, you can be sure that the outrage is far from sincere.