Meghan Markle accused the royal family of colluding with the British media Thursday, saying the family placed negative stories about her to distract from bad news about herself, in the new episodes of Harry & Meghan on Netflix.
However the claims of a conspiracy between the palace and the media were roundly rejected by journalists who work the royal beat. The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English called the allegations “categorically untrue” saying that her job did not consist of “sitting by the phone waiting for a friendly man (or woman) in a grey suit to ring me.”
She wrote that “the opposite was true” saying “palace aides did nothing but firefight for the couple. Staff, they insisted, were leaving for personal reasons or because they had an exciting new opportunity to pursue. Never because of Meghan.”
One of Meghan’s most vocal defenders in the new episodes is her lawyer, Jenny Afia. While it is, of course, far from unusual to have an attorney appear on-screen to defend a celebrity they work for, the fact that Afia has periodically been on the Sussex payroll may lead some to question her impartiality.
In one sequence, Afia makes the startling claim that she has “seen evidence that there was negative briefing against Harry and Meghan by the Palace to suit other people’s agendas.”
The opening minutes of Episode 4 focused on the couple’s wedding day in 2018. Meghan said: “Harry’s dad is very charming and I said to him, ‘I’ve lost my dad in this.’ So him as my father-in-law was very important to me. So I asked him to walk me down the aisle and he said yes.”
Harry also paid tribute to his father when discussing their decision to have a gospel choir. He said there was little resistance to the idea, and, having earlier said his father had helped him with music choices, added, of the gospel choir, “Again, more help from my dad on that one.”
And in the fifth episode, Meghan says her relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, started to go awry “when the media got involved.” She also said Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, had advised her to write the now infamous letter to her father which leaked to the press describing her heartache caused by his “lying” and exploitation of her relationship with Harry in interviews.
Meghan even suggested that the letter had been intercepted on the way to her father after she saw the handwriting used to sign for the letter’s delivery. “It’s not his signature,” Meghan said in the show. “I know my dad’s handwriting. That’s not my dad’s handwriting. It just says ‘Thomas.’”
On Wednesday, a friend of Prince William told The Daily Beast that the future king’s relationship with Harry is “over,” and that the contents of the new Netflix episodes would not “make a great deal of difference.”