LONDON — The second and final installment of “Harry and Meghan,” the highly anticipated Netflix docuseries, was released on Thursday, capping a week in which the couple’s personal lives were once again catapulted into the spotlight.
The first three episodes of the series, released last week, dove into the makings of the couple’s relationship, their ongoing battle with the news media, the details of Meghan’s challenging family connections and more.
Love them, hate them or simply can’t live without them, people tuned in. The first volume of episodes earned a staggering 81.5 million viewing hours, the most of any documentary in a premiere week, Netflix said on Tuesday. More than 28 million households had seen a part of the first collection of episodes in the first four days, the streaming platform added.
Episode four picks up at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018 and quickly tackles a number of matters, including Meghan’s connection to Queen Elizabeth II, the barrage of negative headlines she faced and her mental health challenges.
If you don’t have time to watch, or if you enjoy spoilers, here are the main takeaways from the latest episodes.
More on the British Royal Family
- Boston Visit: Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales recently made a whirlwind visit to Boston. Swaths of the city were unimpressed.
- Aide Resigns: A Buckingham Palace staff member quit after a British-born Black guest said the aide pressed her on where she was from.
- ‘The Crown’: Months ago, the new season of the Netflix drama was shaping up as another public-relations headache for Prince Charles. But then he became king.
- Training Nannies: Where did the royals find Prince George’s nanny? At Norland College, where students learn how to shield strollers from paparazzi and fend off potential kidnappers.
The wedding was a family affair, although it was an international spectacle.
The fourth episode kicked off with reliving the couple’s star-studded wedding in May 2018. Although thousands of people were on the street hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple, and perhaps billions more were watching on television, the couple described it as a family affair, with numerous personal touches that seemed to make all the difference.
Harry chose the song that Meghan walked down the aisle to. “It was so beautiful,” she said. It was also revealed that King Charles, Harry’s father and then known as the Prince of Wales, helped choose the orchestra for the ceremony.
Because Megan’s father, Thomas Markle, did not attend the ceremony, she asked Charles to walk her down the aisle. “Harry’s dad is very charming,” Meghan said. “I said to him like, ‘I’ve lost my dad in this.’ So him as my father-in-law was really important to me.”
Meghan’s connection to the queen seemed to be strong, normal even.
The episode dwells on Meghan’s first official royal engagement with the queen, about a month after the wedding. She and the queen took the royal train to Cheshire, England.
“I treated her as my husband’s grandma,” Meghan said, remembering her private time with the queen. “When we got into the car in between engagements, she had a blanket,” Meghan said, and that the queen placed the blanket also over her knees. “I recognize and respect and see that you’re the queen, but in this moment I’m so grateful that there’s a grandmother figure, cause that feels like family,” Meghan said.
The constant and negative tabloid headlines had a dramatic affect on Meghan.
The fourth episode also underscored the mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts Meghan had, in part because of negative headlines shortly after they wed and during much of her pregnancy.
“All of this will stop if I’m not here and that was the scariest thing about it — it was such clear thinking,” Meghan said.
Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, recalled an emotional conversation in which Meghan expressed suicidal thoughts. “That’s not an easy one for a mom to hear,” she said, wiping away tears. “And I can’t protect her. H can’t protect her.”
Harry said he was devastated by the toll the negative press coverage took on his wife and said he didn’t deal with it well.
“I had been trained to worry more about what are people going to think,” Harry said. “And looking back at it now, I hate myself for it. What she needed from me was so much more than I was able to give.”
This story is being updated. Check back for more.