Royal fans were divided about how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently opened up about the pressures they face living in the spotlight. Many people appreciated their honesty and the chance to really understand the media scrutiny they deal with, while others found their candid documentary interviews to be too revealing, blasting them for whining. They also broke a royal rule in the process.
Prince Harry and Markle’s documentary didn’t hold back
While the focus of the documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, could have been on the work they were doing during their visit to Africa, there were some moments where the couple provided perspective about their unique public life and the massive amount of scrutiny they are up against.
Prince Harry told interviewer Tom Bradby: “My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I always try and uphold, despite the role and the job… I think I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect.”
He shared: “Everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day, and that is not being me being paranoid. That’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”
“If anybody else knew what I knew, be it a father or be it a husband, be it anyone,” he continued, “you would probably be doing exactly what I am doing as well.”
They broke this unwritten rule
In addition to baring quite a lot in their emotional interviews, it seems there was a bit of royal protocol that they broke. PR expert Mark Borkowski shared in an interview with The Guardian that the documentary broke the traditional royal rule of “never complain, never explain.
He shared: “You should just say, ‘that’s off limits.’ But he made a story,” noting that the documentary was a “complete and utter disaster.”
Additionally, Angela Levin told The Telegraph: “Perhaps just a little stiff upper lip could be useful, if what you say will be hurtful to your family and astonish the public who pay for the life of privilege you perceive as a gilded cage.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor noted that the documentary “just feeds the media machine, and that is the one thing Harry really hates.” She added: “This whole documentary has exposed him. In a way it is the very reverse of what he has said he wants for him and his family, namely, privacy.”
They also “overshadowed” other royal family members
In addition to oversharing their personal experiences, promotional clips of their documentary were released when Prince William and Kate Middleton were on their royal tour of Pakistan — and that’s a royal no-no.
Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, who was on tour with Prince William and Middleton when the clips came out, told Insider: “there is an unwritten rule in the royal family that you don’t do anything too high profile when other members of the family are on tour.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams further noted: “It is an unwritten rule for royals not to do anything that might overshadow the activities of other royals.”