5 Things We Learned From ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’
Last night the highly anticipated documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey aired in the United States. Much of the content was already known—the documentary was originally broadcast on ITV in the U.K., and clips were all over social media—but it was the first time an American audience saw it in its entirety.
In it the royal couple opens up—about their family, the pressures of being royals, and the rumors that have plagued them over the past few months. They also show their natural charm, powerful public personas, and unified love as a family of three.
Below, the top five takeaways.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Struggling Under the Intense Spotlight
The Duchess of Sussex made an emotional confession that the constant media coverage took a toll on her—especially when she was expecting her first child. “Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant—you’re really vulnerable,” she said.
“So that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know? It’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.” When reporter Tom Bradby asked if it would be fair to call it a struggle, she replied: “Yes.
She’s not the only one grappling with their level of fame. Harry revealed that the persistent tabloid presence reminds him almost daily of his mother’s death. (Princess Diana died in 1997 after a car crash that involved the paparazzi.)
“I think [of] being part of this family, in this role, in this job every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash,” he said.
“It takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.
” He continued: “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.”
Prince William and Prince Harry Are “on Different Paths”
Earlier this year reports emerged about a feud between William and Harry. In the documentary Harry commented on the matter, simultaneously confirming and downplaying the tension.
“Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he said.
“We’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he’ll always be there for me.”
But he continued: “The majority of the stuff is created nothing, but as brothers it’s just as I said, you have good days, you have bad days.”
Markle Addressed and Embraced Her Biracial Identity
One of the most powerful moments of the Sussexes southern Africa tour was when the Duchess of Sussex opened up about her African American heritage. “While I’m here as a member of the royal family, I stand here before you as a mother, a wife, a woman, as a woman of color, and as your sister,” she said to a crowd of young girls in Nyanga, Cape Town.
An African Journey: Prince Harry and Meghan open up about their royal lives while on tour in South Africa
In an explosive TV documentary screened on Sunday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opened up about their lives in the spotlight.
In the documentary called ‘An African Journey’, Prince Harry talked about his relationship with his brother, Prince William, while Meghan said she was warned not to marry Prince Harry due to the British Press and the pressures of being a royal.
Also read: Royal Tour: See all the highlights from Prince Harry and Meghan’s SA tour
In the documentary presented by ITV News At Ten anchor, Tom Bradby while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled southern-Africa, Prince Harry acknowledged that “inevitably stuff happens” given their high-profile role and the pressure the family faces. He talked about his brother, saying: “We are brothers. We will always be brothers”.
“We are 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. We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we are so busy but I love him dearly. The majority of the stuff is created nothing but as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.”
The ‘hostile press’:
Meghan, on the other hand, (who has also been rumoured to have feuded with Kate Middleton) described the past year as ‘hard’ and said her British friends warned her not to marry Harry.
The Duchess of Sussex has had to face an increasingly hostile press since she married into the Royal Family in 2018 with the tabloids luxuriating in stories about her fractured American family and the rumours of palace rifts.
The couple went on to launch legal action this month against British tabloid the Mail on Sunday for invasion of privacy.
She later said that she had tried to cope but she was not prepared for the intensity of tabloid interest.
She said: “When I first met my now-husband my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but 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’.”
Asked whether she can cope, Meghan said: “In all honesty I have said for a long time to H – that is what I call him – it’s not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive.”
According to Hello Magazine, for Harry, the trauma of Diana’s death runs visibly deep. Prince Harry said that every time a camera flashes it reminds him of her tragic fate.
Asked by Bradby if he felt at peace about his mother’s death in 1997 or if it is “still a sort of wound that festers,” Harry said, “I think probably a wound that festers. I think being part of this family, and this role, and this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back.”
Moving to Africa:
Harry described the idea of relocating to Africa as “amazing” but admitted it was unly.
“I don’t know where we could live in Africa at the moment,” Harry told reporter Bradby. “We’ve just come from Cape Town, that would be an amazing place for us to be able to base ourselves, of course it would.
But with all the problems that are going on there I just don’t see how we would be able to really make as much difference as we want to without the issues and the judgment of how we would be with those surroundings,” he continued.
The couple also spoke about their mental health.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” Meghan said. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.
So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. Thank you for asking.
Not many people have asked if I’m OK, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes,” she said.
At one stage Prince Harry also talked about the need for “management” of his mental health problems, saying, “I thought I was the woods and suddenly it all came back.”
The documentary is said to be the first ’emotionally manipulative’ piece of royal television served up to British viewers since Princess Diana met Martin Bashir for the notorious edition of BBC’s Panorama, in which she spoke of the “three people” in her marriage to Prince Charles (the third being Camilla Parker Bowles).
The couple will reportedly take a break from royal duties towards the end of the year, dividing their time between the US and the UK, a royal source has told CNN.
Meghan MarklePrince HarryRoyal Family
Save the tears, Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle WireImage
In one of the opening scenes of Wednesday’s ABC documentary “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey,” the Duchess of Sussex addresses young girls in Nyanga, a township in Cape Town known as one of the most dangerous places in South Africa.
The teens take boxing lessons to fend off men who rape them without fear of punishment.
“While I’m here as a member of the royal family, I stand here before you as a mother, a wife, a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister,” Meghan Markle tells the group.
Later in the film, her husband, Prince Harry, repeats the famous minefield walk his mother, Princess Diana, completed in Angola. He meets kids whose legs have been blown off by the cruel explosives.
It’s against the wretched backdrop of this war-torn continent that Markle tells sympathetic British interviewer Tom Bradby that she’s “existing, not living.” She thanks him for asking how she is, because “not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
Few viewers would fail to be moved by Meghan’s struggles as a new mom in the spotlight, but did the Sussexes ever stop and think that their tour might not be the right time or place to whine about their plight?
Something’s off when you’re bemoaning your lot as a VIP while championing worthy causes such as the rights of poverty-stricken women and children.
After touching footage of Harry reading stories to underprivileged students, Markle fights back tears. She opens up that she “had no idea” of the depth of scrutiny she would face after becoming his wife.
She says: “When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was happy, but 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.’”
The 38-year-old former actress reveals it didn’t make “any sense” and that she “didn’t get it.” She blames naiveté.
Well, I’m with her there. For someone who spent her entire life wanting to be famous, and got famous, and then REALLY famous, Markle seems naïve about what fame means.
Any fifth-grader who has ever Googled Princess Diana, Princess Margaret or Wallis Simpson seems to know what she doesn’t.
Whether Harry and Meghan decide the pressure is too much and retire from public life remains to be seen. In the meantime, they are about to enjoy a six-week hiatus from their royal duties — a period which one British TV correspondent in the UK has termed “medical leave.”
Some of it will be spent in LA. Better Harry and Meghan get the private therapy they need among the California palms than the banyans of South Africa.
“,”author”:”Jane Ridley”,”date_published”:”2019-10-23T23:26:08.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/gettyimages-1178589151.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1200″,”dek”:”Somethingâs a bit off when youâre bemoaning your lot as a member of the royal family while championing worthy causes such as the rights of poverty-stricken women and children.