After a little deliberation, I’m coming clean over having watched the Netflix docuseries HARRY AND MEGHAN. (Some out there may think I should have my “politically progressive” identity card revoked for daring to watch something about rich heterosexual people and feeling actual sympathy for them. lol) This was a good follow-up to reading Prince Harry’s autobiography SPARE, even though his very recent book is technically more the follow-up. He covers much of the same ground here, with less detail, while his wife Meghan shares about her own personal background and recent experiences with the British monarchy.
I find this whole breakaway of a British Royal and his wife from their institutional duties and, by extension, their roles within Harry’s family of origin fascinating. Family roles and dynamics are a main area of study and work for me, so I appreciate the couple’s opening up a long-sealed window into the workings of one of the most publicly prominent families in human history.
Regardless of how one may feel about these two, their values (which I certainly don’t fully share), and their decisions, their ongoing joint, and separate, narratives are interesting, compelling, and informative in the context of such a core colonial-based, change-resistant institution of Western civilization. What a sociological and psychological study unfolding in the media, one which includes challenging the constant barrage of racist, sexist, and classist messaging Meghan has bravely endured from many quarters. I’ve enjoyed stepping into observing it more closely as a relatively educated viewer who enjoys learning through consuming visual narratives and being entertained along the way.
The six part series, with episodes averaging just under an hour long, is a mix of personal narratives and historical and political background about the British monarchy. For some viewers, the romantic, heteronormative overtones may seem like rather superficial Hallmark style branding. I was able to enjoy and even be moved by the romance without feeling put off/turned off by it because of the added deep implications of courageous nonconformity Harry and Meghan have engaged in through their union. Sadly, for a great many, Meg’s biracial and economically modest family background still make her taboo for a British Royal to fall in love with and marry. The two really have challenged an inherently racist, sexist, and classist institution from within and come through it scarred but, so far, victorious. And I so admire when people can arrive in life that way, from out of whatever their struggles have been.