SARAH VINE: Harry and Meghan’s Netflix trailer shows weapons-grade narcissism


The mournful piano music. The ghostly echoes of clicking camera shutters. Meghan clutching her moonbump; Harry with an acoustic guitar. Smiling bed-head selfies; laughing, holding hands. So in love, so spontaneous, so golden… and so much like a really annoying advert for life insurance.

The mood turns dark. Meghan, hair scraped into a bun, weeping cross-legged in a white chair next to a white orchid. The sound of a flashbulb exploding, and – oh, look – here’s the Princess of Wales looking thunderous, her mouth downturned, her expression hard.

Next to her is the Queen Consort, also unsmiling. Pointedly behind them sits Meghan, a vision of angelic purity in white (like the orchid, get it?), oppressed and marginalised by her wicked stepmother and sister-in-law.

Also in a white armchair, also next to that goodly white orchid, sits Harry. He looks pained. He must, he says, protect his family. He gazes with benevolence at Meghan as she is whisked away in a black car, wearing a brave smile as she wipes away a tear.

So in love, so spontaneous, so golden... and so much like a really annoying advert for life insurance

So in love, so spontaneous, so golden… and so much like a really annoying advert for life insurance

Crowds cheer, soldiers march, strings swell. Harry’s childhood flashes before us and Meghan’s also: two troubled souls made whole by their love – which, let’s be clear, is the most love anyone ever has ever loved in the entire history of love, and we know this because of the orchids and the violins.

The music stops. Cut to Meghan. ‘When the stakes are this high,’ she asks, ‘doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?’

Sorry, what stakes? The royal stipend and the Windsor cottage instead of all those Netflix millions? But never mind. The point is: it’s all ghastly, and it’s all the fault of the Royal Family. Specifically, the Princess of Wales.

Short of drawing a goatee and a pair of horns on Kate, they could not have painted her more clearly as the villain of the piece.

It’s a declaration of war and it cannot be ignored. How else do you explain the timing of this trailer’s release, barely a day after the Prince and Princess of Wales touched down in America on a royal tour?

It’s a declaration of war and it cannot be ignored. How else do you explain the timing of this trailer’s release, barely a day after the Prince and Princess of Wales touched down in America on a royal tour?

The weapons-grade narcissism of this trailer is astonishing. As is the fact that, in true Sussex style, they have cast themselves as victims while acting as out-and-out aggressors. This, of course, is their trademark tactic, and has been since their Oprah Winfrey interview. But this new bombshell is next-level stuff. For the past few years, there’s always been a sense that the only thing stopping Harry and Meghan from going full tonto was the presence of the prince’s grandmother.

But with her late Majesty out the way, nothing and no one now stands between them and their apparent mission to destroy the Royal Family – and particularly William and Kate.

It’s a declaration of war and it cannot be ignored. How else do you explain the timing of this trailer’s release, barely a day after the Prince and Princess of Wales touched down in America on a royal tour?

It’s hard to find an unsmiling (or unflattering) photo of Kate, yet they’ve managed it. The whole thing is a masterclass in passive-aggressive media manipulation, deftly casting the princess as the wicked sister-in-law, with Meghan as the helpless victim. And one wonders, by the way, who has been taking all these intimate black and white photographs. Is this what they’ve been planning all along, right from the start?

Now William too has to protect his family – from his own brother. Heartbreaking, given how close they once were

Now William too has to protect his family – from his own brother. Heartbreaking, given how close they once were

American audiences, who are less familiar with Kate, will instinctively side with Meghan as she bawls her way through this trailer, implying at every turn where the source of her unhappiness lies.

The Waleses’ visit, already overshadowed by the Susan Hussey debacle, is now as good as finished. They are there to attend the second annual Earthshot Prize awards, the organisation founded by William to recognise innovators and entrepreneurs tackling climate change. You might have thought, given the Sussexes’ endless virtue-signalling in this area, that they would be keen to offer support and encouragement. Instead, this.

Not only is the trailer vomit-inducing in its saccharine one-sidedness, it’s also terribly sad. For however much William might have wanted, in the past, to give his brother the benefit of the doubt or even – as we have seen on several occasions – extend an olive branch, this all-out attack on his wife surely leaves him with no choice.

Now William too has to protect his family – from his own brother. Heartbreaking, given how close they once were. And heartbreaking for Kate, who was fond of Harry before he became an angry, embittered exile. It’s a level of betrayal that is truly Biblical, and it is hard to see how the repercussions of the Sussexes’ attack can be anything less than devastating.

As for King Charles, this will be the first real test of his reign. His reaction – many will suggest he strip the Sussexes of their titles – will be crucial. One thing, though, is indisputable: there is no crueller or harder task for a parent than to have to choose between their children.



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