It’s likely going to be a bit of a bumpy end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the rest of the royal family: as Marie Claire reported yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s as-of-yet untitled Netflix docuseries will drop December 8 and is reportedly the reason why the Sussexes are skipping out on the annual royal family Christmas celebrations at Sandringham this year.
Right on the heels of the Liz Garbus-directed docuseries we’ll have the release of Harry’s hotly anticipated memoir, Spare, on January 10, chock full of content that no one is really prepared for—reportedly no one in the royal family has seen an advance copy and will find out what’s in the book right along with the rest of us.
The one-two-three punch of The Crown season five’s release on Netflix on November 9 (which, granted, Harry and Meghan were not directly involved with, but they do work for the streaming service), the docuseries’ release on December 8, and the tell-all’s release on January 10 will likely not do much in favor of familial relations. According to The Daily Express, the Sussexes are hoping the next few months after Spare’s release leading up to King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s coronation on May 6, 2023, will “cool tensions” and that they will get the invite after all. (Coincidentally, the coronation falls on the same day as their son Archie’s fourth birthday.)
The status of Harry and Meghan’s invite to the coronation remains unknown, though obviously likely considering Harry is the son of the monarch. But, with the still unknown contents of the docuseries and the book, much seems up in the air. Speaking on the latest episode of the podcast “Royally Us,” host Christine Ross says the couple is likely hoping those months between the one-two-three punch and the coronation could smooth over tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the family. Ross’ fellow host Christina Garibaldi says the pair’s coronation invite “depends on what’s in the book” and “in this documentary” and “how bad the bridges could be burned.”
“I think it all depends on what we are going to see in the next couple of months,” Garibaldi says. Ross agreed, adding “maybe they [Harry and Meghan] are hoping that between January 10 and, you know, May, [that] they have enough time to cool any tensions that might arise.” Ross also added that “there’s been lots of rumors that last minute edits [are] being done.”
Tensions have run high for the Sussexes and the rest of the family as far back as 2018, with the couple ultimately deciding to step back as working members of the royal family in January 2020. The Sussexes relocated to the United States from the United Kingdom that same year, and in March 2021 appeared in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that did little to mend fences with the royal family. Since then, Harry and Meghan have supported the royal family at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee festivities this past June and mourned alongside the rest of their family at Her late Majesty’s funeral in September, but the docuseries and book continually hang overhead like a dark cloud, and it remains to be seen how the royal family will react to both pieces of content.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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