Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have insisted they didn’t leave the Royal Family in an effort to gain privacy, after the couple were rocked with a slew of criticism following the release of their Netflix documentary series.
The highly anticipated first half of Netflix docu-series Harry & Meghan, was released on Thursday and offered viewers at home a deeply personal insight into their experience as members of the Royal Family – including their decision to step away from royal life in 2020.
While it is often believed that the decision to step back from their roles as working royals was in order to gain some privacy instead of constantly living under the scrutiny of the press, the couple have now confirmed that they never made any claim that they wanted a private life, and instead wanted to gain financial independence.
Clarifying their stance after countless critics slammed the couple for making shining a spotlight on themselves after leaving the high profile Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Global Press Secretary released a statement to ET.
"The Duke and Duchess have never cited privacy as the reason for stepping back," the statement reads.
They continued: "This distorted narrative was intended to trap the couple into silence. In fact, their statement announcing their decision to step back mentions nothing of privacy and reiterates their desire to continue their roles and public duties.
"Any suggestion otherwise speaks to a key point of this series.”
The press secretary also doubled down on the authenticity of the information contained in the series, as they confirmed that it was “their story, on their terms”, before taking a swipe at the media for creating “an entirely untrue narrative” that skewed public opinion.
The original statement in 2020 regarding Harry and Meghan’s desire to step back from life as working royals, also confirmed this stance, and makes no mention of the couple wanting to be more private.
Instead, they state they hope "to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.”
They also expressed a desire to "work to become financially independent” and shared their intention to divide their time equally between the UK and North America, in order to continue to support The Queen.
However, even if in this case the criticisms regarding privacy are unfounded, there were still plenty of controversial moments to be found in the content of the series itself.
In the first three episodes, the Royal Family were accused of “unconscious bias” regarding race, alongside a mocking parody of a curtsey and even a scathing reference to the Queen’s Commonwealth as “Empire 2.0”.
Prince William is also said to have been less than impressed by Harry’s decision to include a clip of his mother Princess Diana ’s infamous Panorama interview, despite previously being asked not to show it.
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