Prince Harry and Meghan Markle open up on the stress of living in the spotlight in a candid documentary that is scoring more international deals. “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey” was broadcast Sunday on ITV in the U.K. and will go out on ABC in the U.S. on Wednesday night.
Produced by ITN Productions together with ITV News, the documentary follows the duke and duchess of Sussex on their recent tour of Africa. Passion Distribution has cut several international deals on the project. Network 10 has bought it for Australia, and pubcaster TVNZ for New Zealand. In Europe, TV2 has acquired the documentary for Denmark, RTL for the Netherlands, and Medialaan for Belgium. BBC Studios Lifestyle channel has bought it for Africa and Poland.
In the program, the royal couple tells journalist Tom Bradby about the difficulty of being under such intense public scrutiny.
“When I first met my now-husband, my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life,'” Markle says, adding that she “really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip.” Especially during pregnancy and as a new mother, “you’re really vulnerable….It’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
In recent weeks, Prince Harry has emerged as a fierce defender of his and Markle’s privacy, criticizing the tabloids that he accuses of having caused the death of his mother, Princess Diana. “I’ll not be bullied into playing a game, but they killed my mum,” the prince says in the documentary. “I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect. So everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw, every single day, and that’s not me being paranoid. That’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”
He also did not deny reports of a rift with his brother, Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne. “Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” Harry says. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers, we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me.”
Passion Distribution CEO Emmanuelle Namiech said: “We are thrilled to distribute this extraordinary film. What begins as an observational film about Harry and Meghan in Africa evolves into an insightful, remarkably candid testimony from the Sussexes on the immense stresses and strains which both young royals have experienced.”
In the U.K. the doc garnered 2.8 million viewers, which, despite the show being heavily trailed was below the slot average.