Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace depicts William as refusing to decry racism

The film dramatises the events that led to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down from their royal duties

Saman Javed
Tuesday 07 September 2021 10:22
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Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace Official Trailer

A new fictional film about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s lives has portrayed Prince William as failing to speak out on racism against Meghan in the media.

Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace, which aired on Lifetime on Monday 6 September, dramatises the events that led to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepping down from their royal duties in 2020.

In one scene, Prince William (played by Jordan Whalen) and Kate Middleton (Laura Mitchell) visit Harry, Meghan (Sydney Morton) and their son Archie at Frogmore Cottage.

As William and Harry (Jordan Dean) take a walk outside in the garden, Harry urges his older brother to make a statement against racism.

“Look, I know we’ve been having some healthy disagreements, but we’ve got to at least come together to address racism in the press,” he tells William.

“You need to bloody well make a statement with me decrying racism, publicly. As the future king, push back on this horrific bullying,” he adds.

William scoffs at the comment, telling Harry: “Bullying, such a powerful word. For the last time, I agree that diversity in the family is a good thing,” he adds.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2020, Meghan Markle claimed there were concerns amongst the royal family about how dark Archie’s skin might be when he was born.

She did not tell Winfrey whether the concerns were raised by one person or several people, or name the person who made the comment.

“In those months when I was pregnant...we have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said at the time.

This is referenced in the film when Harry tells William he “has to listen to concerns about how dark [his and Meghan’s] babies might be”.

William is portrayed as defending the person, or people, who allegedly made the comments, telling his brother: “They weren’t expressing concerns, they were just curious.”

“Of course, the problem isn’t colour, its culture. Meg is American, she acts more like a celebrity than a royal and she doesn’t appreciate the difference,” he adds.

Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace has received backlash online after the opening scene depicted Meghan as being injured in a car crash similar to one in which Princess Diana died in 1997.

In a dream sequence, photographers and paparazzi surround the overturned car as Harry rushes to open its door, finding Meghan lying on the floor.

“Who thought this was a good idea?” Fox presenter Elizabeth MacDonald tweeted ahead of the film’s release.

Another user said: “Lifetime is so disgusting for them biopics…Escaping the Palace has Meghan dying the same way as Princess Diana for what? Who thought this appropriate?”

The Independent has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.

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