King Charles faces a “stark” choice, a royal commentator said ahead of the release of a six-episode Netflix documentary featuring Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Asked which measures the monarch could take to defend the Firm from potentially damaging claims made in Harry & Meghan, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “Although we don’t know exactly what is in the docu-series, the trailers make clear it will contain attacks on the Royal Family and courtiers.
“The problem after Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview on Oprah was how to respond. The dignified statement put out said ‘some recollections may vary’ and this had the unique authority of the Queen behind it.
“However nearly 50 million have watched it and it did enormous damage to the monarchy, especially the accusations about racism and mental health. Oprah memorably did not probe the Sussexes on ‘their truth’.
“The choice is stark. Doing nothing, a ‘business as usual’ approach is highly unsatisfactory.
“Yet on no account could there be a point-by-point rebuttal of allegations or legal action by the Palace. This would turn it into a media circus.
“It would take an Act of Parliament to remove Harry’s dukedom and he would still be a prince.”
Mr Fitzwilliams believes the new sovereign faces the “drastic” choice to shun his second son until the emergence of signs of a truce between the Sussexes and the Firm.
He said: “The most likely option is not to invite them to the Coronation and, until there was a sign that there actually could be a reconciliation, ban all contact with them.
“This is drastic, King Charles is Harry’s father. Prince William will want to protect his legacy however, it is under threat and there is no obvious response!”
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The two trailers released so far by Netflix suggest Meghan and Harry will be heard making more claims against the Royal Family, one year after they launched allegations of neglect and racism against the Firm during their sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.
Buckingham Palace hasn’t yet commented on the upcoming Netflix show.
The statement mentioned by Mr Fitzwilliams, including the phrase “recollections may vary”, was released almost 48 hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Ms Winfrey first aired.
In the minute-long teaser released on Monday, the Duke speaks of the “hierarchy” existing in the Royal Family and claims there is “leaking, but there’s also planting of stories.”
The same trailer links the media pressure late Princess Diana faced with Meghan’s experience.
The Duchess can be heard saying: “I realised, they’re never going to protect you”.
The trailer ends with the Duke looking into the camera, saying: “No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth.”
Netflix, with whom Meghan and Harry signed a multi-year deal in 2020 after they stepped down as working members of the Firm, described the release of the documentary as a “global event”.
Its first three episodes will debut on December 8, while the second and final half will be released on December 15.