We’re living in exciting times indeed. A few years back, no one could have predicted the madness that the 2020-2022 period would have brought upon the world. From a deadly pandemic to the possibility of worldwide conflict, nothing could have prepared the United Kingdom for what the royals are going through right now.
Queen Elizabeth II’s lengthy reign is now over, and the news has affected every aspect of the royal family and its image around the globe. The Queen had been a cultural icon since she ascended into power; however, with time comes change — and it seems as though the monarchy will be changing drastically moving forward.
With King Charles III now sitting on the throne, there’s no denying that he’ll bring about his own changes within the realm. He’s already proven himself to be more modern than previous monarchs by embracing environmentalist causes such as climate change awareness, which is something Queen Elizabeth did not do until much later in life.
That said, not everyone is happy with how the royal family handles things, especially not those who once belonged to one of Britain’s most famous families but were forced out due to scandal or other reasons. The sudden departure of Harry and Meghan from the royal family has caused quite an uproar among some of these people, leading them to show their support for the two outcasts.
It’s no secret that Harry and Meghan have close ties with Netflix, with the couple securing a millionaire deal with the streaming platform back in 2020. This year, however, it was different. Harry & Meghan is unlike anything the couple has done so far, showing us glimpses into the royal marriage between Prince Harry and actress Megan Markle, and how, when it comes to the royal family, not all that glitters is gold.
While the documentary series has not been as candid as the well-known interview the couple had with Oprah, it did reveal some aspects of Harry and Meghan’s private life before leaving the royal family. Situations when Prince William lost his temper with Harry, and how the King frequently sided with William over Harry were but a few of many revelations made throughout the course of the six episodes.
More than anything, the documentary has offered audiences a glimpse into what it means to be a royal in the modern era, and its surprising similarities to a certain HBO fantasy epic. With each passing episode, we see more and more parallels between Harry and Meghan and characters from the popular television franchise Game Of Thrones, including their tumultuous relationship, their feuding siblings, and even their “escape” from the royals (though hopefully without dragons).
Shows like The Crown have been instrumental in bringing attention to the way the British royalty used to be, and while it may seem odd for someone born into this lifestyle to adapt to a changing environment, the fact remains that the younger generations want to break away from tradition and embrace new ideas instead of clinging onto traditions that don’t benefit them anymore.
Still, as much as we’d like to fictionalize the lives of the royals, the truth is that Harry, Meghan, William, and everyone involved in this mess still face problems just like any other human. The drama and tensions that emerged between Harry and William following the departure of the younger sibling and his eventual relocation to America are only natural given the circumstances.
While both brothers share the same bloodline, they’ve grown up differently and thus developed very different personalities. In addition, Harry has always felt overshadowed by William, who was always destined to be the one to one day sit on the throne.
This sort of sibling rivalry and underhanded scheming (the sort that Meghan would allude to on numerous occasions) is something thatGame of Thrones fans might be familiar with if they watched any season of the show. Things like convoluted lines of succession, familial rivalries, and political manoeuvrings can be seen everywhere you look in Game of Thrones, and the same goes for the real-life British royal family itself.
Multiple critics have voiced how much the current situation with the royal family feels like an especially fascinating season of Game of Thrones. After all, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine Harry being cast as a sympathetic character akin to Tyrion Lannister or Jaime Lannister, while Meghan plays the part of Cersei Lannister herself.
Still, I think it would be safe to say that the entirety of the royal family feels a bit more like the Lannisters than the Starks at the moment. It might sound like a shallow and reductive sentiment, but it fits with the overall narrative arc of Game of Thrones, even if sibling “rivalry” wasn’t exactly the whole Lannister deal. In that regard, I think a comparison with the Targaryen might be more appropriate, with Harry playing the part of Daemon Targaryen. Fitting, considering Matt Smith played the role of his grandfather in The Crown.
Whatever the case, the reality remains that Harry and William seem to be more apart now than they’ve ever been both geographically and emotionally. At a time when the entire monarchy is going through unprecedented changes, this rift could spell terrible news for the institution’s future.
It’s certainly awful to see a real-life family torn apart by the notions of power and prestige, but these sorts of situations happen every single day in Westeros. And while there are plenty of ways in which the royal family resembles the Game of Thrones royal dynamic, the similarities end once we get past the superficialities of the two families’ internal affairs. Thankfully, the conflict in this situation is much more emotional than anything else, and it doesn’t seem as if William is interested in any form of retaliation against his brother for the Netflix Documentary.
Harry & Meghan is an entertaining watch, even if you’re not that invested in the whole royal drama. At the very least, you’ll get to see yet another modern scandal unfolding in real time over the course of its six episodes, and that alone is more than worth the price of admission.
Let’s just hope that we don’t see any dragons flying around Buckingham Palace anytime soon…