A modern, progressive woman of colour at the heart of the British royal family. Was it ever really going to work out? She was supposed to be the breath of fresh air that would modernise the monarchy. But could anyone have prepared for this kind of royal scrutiny?
"As naive as it sounds now, I did not have any understanding of just what it would be like"
- Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle: Escaping The Crown (now streaming at SBS On Demand) takes a deep dive into the rapid rise and unravelling of the Duchess of Sussex, investigating the role that the monarchy and British tabloid media played in vilifying Britain’s first princess of colour.
The documentary confronts issues of race, prejudice, and obsession in a story that now threatens to upend one of the longest-running institutions in the world. The episode features exclusive interviews with palace insiders and experts with regular direct access to the couple. They include William and Harry’s former butler, the American wives of the British aristocracy, and royal correspondents.
The documentary examines Meghan's experience of entering a very white institution. “On the daily, she’s going to be dealing with a whole bunch of microaggressions,” observes comedian Sophie Duker, putting herself in Meghan’s shoes. “She’s still going to have to listen to people saying the most incredible bullshit and have to keep quiet because she’s doing it for the person she loves.” One of many examples cited in the documentary is the racist blackamoor brooch worn by the Queen's cousin, Princess Michael of Kent, when she met Meghan for the first time.
Duker goes on to say, "Meghan Markle's cameo inside the royal family has like been watching the sequel to Get Out. I'm like, "What are you doing? You're in the Sunken Place. You need to leave"."
Meghan Markle: Escaping the Crown is now streaming at SBS On Demand.