Netflix's Harry & Meghan promised an inside look at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's love story, yet it is already facing accusations of artifice. Several British news outlets have reported that the documentary's interviews and other segments were recorded in a rented mansion, not Markle and Prince Harry's real home. However, some viewers feel like this is perfectly reasonable – especially in consideration of the Sussex family's privacy.
Harry & Meghan is a Netflix original series documenting the love affair between an American actress and a British prince and the cultural phenomenon it became. It is told in interviews with the couple themselves as well as friends and family members who know them best, and it gives a sense of intimacy and personality. However, according to a report by TMZ, the docu-series was most likely filmed at a mega-mansion in Montecito, California. While this was in Prince Harry and Markle's hometown, it was not within the walls they now call home.
To some critics, this detail casts doubt on the legitimacy of the series altogether. They felt that the royal couple couldn't possibly be bearing it all in earnest when they wouldn't even film in their own home. However, others disagree. Defenders argue that there are many legitimate reasons for the Sussexes to guard their own private home.
Beyond that, there may be logistical reasons to film on a borrowed location. For one thing, the Sussexes' real home might now have the space or amenities to support a film crew with all of its electrical and human needs since their own personal property already fills the space. For another thing, there could be insurance terms or other legal restrictions that force them to film on an established set.
The location where the series was filmed is reportedly a 13,599-square-foot mansion with six bedrooms and a suite of luxury features. It costs over twice as much as the Sussexes' true home at $33 million. While critics speculated that this might be an attempt to portray the Sussexes as wealthier and more successful than they are, defenders argue that this makes no sense. Considering the size and scope of their own home, they have little reason to put on airs. At 18,000 square feet, their real home is actually a bit larger than the film set.
The first three episodes of Meghan & Harry are streaming now on Netflix. The final three episodes will premiere on Thursday, Dec. 15.