Harry & Meghan: Netflix documentary director claims Buckingham Palace tried to ‘discredit’ series

The director of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan has claimed that Buckingham Palace attempted to “discredit” the show after it aired.

Liz Garbus, who is known for her previous documentaries including The Farm: Angola, USA and What Happened, Miss Simone, hit back at a statement that said the royal family were not approached for comment on the series’ content.

The first half of the six-part docuseries dropped on 8 December and included a written statement that said: “Members of the royal family decline to comment on the content within this series.”

But a senior palace source insisted that Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and members of the royal family were not asked for comment.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Garbus accused the palace of trying to “discredit” the show by saying they did not reach out to the royal family for comment.

“Buckingham Palace said that we didn’t reach out for comment [on the docuseries] when we did,” she said. “They did that to discredit us… and by discrediting us, they can discredit the content of the show… We lived through some of those moments that were a little bit like Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Garbus added that, while producing the documentary, she was sometimes exposed to the “dirty game” that Prince Harry accused the palace of playing when it came to “leaking” and “planting of stories” in the press.

She also pointed to a controversial article written by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson for The Sun, which came after the second part of the series laid out the overwhelmingly negative press coverage about Meghan.

Harry Meghan (Netflix)
Harry Meghan (Netflix)

Clarkson wrote that he was “dreaming” of the day the duchess should be made to “parade naked through the streets” while crowds threw “lumps of excrement” at her. He has since apologised for the incendiary article and said he apologised personally to Harry and Meghan.

Garbus said the article was “an extreme example of the kind of coverage” the couple have received in the past. “I certainly lived through it a bit,” she added.

In the explosive series, Harry accused the palace of “lying to protect” his brother, the Prince of Wales, from negative press coverage, but added: “They were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”

Meghan added that she “wasn’t being thrown to the wolves, I was being fed to the wolves” in relation to their allegations that the palace would “plant” negative stories about her to distract from stories about other members of the royal family.

While it was initially stated that the royal family were not approached for comment regarding the documentary, it later emerged that Kensington Palace did receive an email claiming to be from a third-party production company from an unknown organisation’s address.

Kensington Palace said it attempted to verify the authenticity of the email with Archewell Productions and Netflix, but never received a response.

The Independent has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.