Harry & Meghan director wished to explore monarchy’s ‘historical issues’ but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to tell ‘love story’, claims Liz Garbus

The director did not see eye to eye with the royals

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo / Future)

Liz Garbus, the director of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix docuseries has revealed that she wanted the show to explore 'larger historical issues' surrounding British royalty, but claims Harry and Meghan's 'interest was very much in telling their love story.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix docuseries has divided public opinion ever since its release in December 2022. While the show ended up detailing the royals' relationship and the struggles they faced because of it, the series' director, Liz Garbus, has now revealed that the documentary could have gone in a very different direction. 

Speaking to Vanity Fair, she explained that she had a very different vision for the show's six episodes then Harry and Meghan did. “They certainly did see this documentary, and do see it, as very much their love story,” she told Vanity Fair over Zoom. “Their interest was very much in telling their love story from their point of view, as opposed to the love story as told by others, and to share their personal archive in order to have that look behind the curtain.” 

But Liz Garbus, a filmmaker who has devoted her career to projects highlighting social injustices, wanted to use the royals' series to explore the deeper 'historical issues' affecting the monarchy and, subsequently, Harry and Meghan's relationship.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Steve Tulley / Alamy Stock Photo)

She told Vanity Fair, “For me, what was really important was to connect the dots to these larger historical issues. They were [Harry and Meghan], to their credit, very open and willing to journey down some of the paths that they might not have originally considered. [The love story] is the spine, but, for me, it was always necessary to…connect the dots to the personal story and the larger historical context.” 

It has become increasingly clear that Prince Harry has no problem exploring these issues - his memoir Spare spared no detail - so why the docuseries was exempt from this is unclear. 

Liz Garbus saw the docuseries as an opportunity to dig a little deeper and question the monarchy's behaviour in a relaxed environment. Speaking to Vanity Fair she said, “I don’t feel that [questioning] the monarchy is sacrilege, in the way that I don’t feel [questioning] the American government is sacrilege. It’s our role as storytellers and critical thinkers to raise these questions.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Andy Myatt / Alamy Stock Photo)

Prior to meeting with Harry and Meghan, Liz Garbus admits that she wasn't really a royal watcher. Despite her lack of experience with the subject, she says that she quickly understood the alleged palace mind games that Harry and Meghan described to her. 

She explained to Vanity Fair, “For instance, Buckingham Palace said that we didn’t reach out for comment [on the docuseries] when we did. They did that to discredit us…and by discrediting us, they can discredit the content of the show.… We lived through some of those moments that were a little bit like Alice Through the Looking Glass.

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News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.