If you’re keeping score on the sidelines of Royal It’s a Knockout, you would know right now it’s Sussexes 1, Windsors 0.

That the Sussexes, after awkwardly parlaying royal refugee status into a lucrative American commercial life, are in the lead is revealing in itself. The helpful collateral damage: the Windsors, courtesy of the late Queen’s 83-year-old former lady-in-waiting, are reeling from accusations of institutional racism.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex in an image released by Netflix.Credit:AP

The game now depends on a goal - or a potential own goal - in the form of Harry & Meghan, Netflix’s long-awaited, initially-denied-by-the-Sussexes, fly-on-the-wall docuseries about the couple’s flight from fame and media criticism in the UK ... to a life of fame and media criticism in the USA.

Who can blame them for leaving? American life certainly pays better. There’s the US$100 million deal with Netflix, the US$30 million deal with Spotify, and the US$20 million advance for Harry’s book, Spare, which is coming in January. Preferable in every way to the taxpayer-funded royal palace-and-pension program, surely?

But if you think the series, which was produced by the Sussexes’ own production company Archewell Productions, is landing on Netflix next week purely by chance, then you know nothing about marketing, or family blood feuds. This is a highly calculated game. And as declarations of war go, this one is a doozy.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Credit:Getty

The periphery of the media noise machine is peppered with references to a hoped-for mending of the rift. It might have been possible had Queen Elizabeth survived. It sits on the edge of a precipice with King Charles in the big chair. And after Harry & Meghan airs, if the trailer is anything to go by, the lurid headlines will land like a wrecking ball.

“No one sees what’s happening behind closed doors,” Harry says in the trailer. “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.” Later, Meghan adds: “When the stakes are this high doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”

The bedrock of the series has been shrewdly laid. It is clear now why Harry addressed the (half-empty) United Nations. Why the couple made inexplicable trips to US cities and shook hands with US dignitaries as though they were actual working royals on an actual working royal trip. And why they tried - unsuccessfully - to bring their cameras into private royal events in the UK.

QOSHE - The calculated game behind Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series - Michael Idato
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The calculated game behind Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series

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04.12.2022

If you’re keeping score on the sidelines of Royal It’s a Knockout, you would know right now it’s Sussexes 1, Windsors 0.

That the Sussexes, after awkwardly parlaying royal refugee status into a lucrative American commercial life, are in the lead is revealing in itself. The helpful collateral damage: the Windsors, courtesy of the late Queen’s 83-year-old former lady-in-waiting, are reeling from accusations of institutional racism.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex in an image released by Netflix.Credit:AP

The game now depends on a goal - or a potential own goal - in the form of........

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