Co-produced by the couple’s Archewell Productions, the second episode wades into the Brexit debate, which remains a divisive topic in the UK six years after the 2016 vote.
It is highly unusual for British royals to broach politically sensitive issues in public, but Prince Harry and Markle have been more vocal since leaving the family and relocating to America.
Harry & Meghan preludes a section about Brexit by showing a young girl telling a CNN journalist that she hopes Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry, which began just weeks after the EU referendum, will help temper racism in the UK.
David Olusoga, the renowned British historian and diversity campaigner, later remarks: “This fairy tale is embedding itself in a nation that is having a pretty toxic debate about the European Union.”
His comments are followed by images of Nigel Farage, the prominent Brexit campaigner and ally of Donald Trump, and anti-immigration demonstrators. “Immigration in this country is very often a cypher for race,” Olusoga says.
James Holt, the executive director of the Archewell Foundation, adds: “It was a perfect storm that gave credence to jingoism and nationalism and gave people with really horrible views of the world a little bit more strength and confidence to say what they wanted to say, to do whatever they wanted to do.”
Olusoga concludes: “It was an auspicious moment for Britain to be trying to live out this fairytale story of this fairytale princess.”
Markle says that she experienced more racism after moving to the UK. “People are very aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK,” she says. “Before that, most people didn’t treat me ‘like a Black woman’.”
During the section, Prince Harry points to a 2016 report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, which warned that tabloid newspaper reporting on issues including immigration contributed to an “atmosphere of hostility and rejection”.
Harry & Meghan was co-produced by Story Syndicate. The company is run by Liz Garbus, who has directed The Handmaid’s Tale, and producer Dan Cogan, who won an Oscar for Icarus.