Harry & Meghan Volume 1: 7 Big Takeaways From The First Part Of The Netflix Documentary

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Harry & Meghan
(Image credit: Netflix)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Harry & Meghan Volume 1. If you have yet to watch the Netflix documentary, please exercise caution.

A week after Netflix first announced the six-part documentary, Harry & Meghan, would be coming soon, the first volume of the highly-anticipated series dropped on the popular streaming service on December 8, 2022. The in-depth series, which tells the story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the start of their relationship (though their own respective pasts are touched on in great detail) to their departure from the Royal Family, is just as eye-opening, explosive, and controversial as one would imagine, with neither Harry nor Meghan holding back.

After watching the first three episodes of the Netflix documentary, we have pulled together seven takeaways that touch upon everything from the obstacles the couple encountered throughout their engagement to the joy they found in working with charities and other passion projects. Here are some thoughts on one of the most talked about 2022 Netflix TV shows.

Prince Harry talking in the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seeing The Impact Of Princess Diana's Life On Prince Harry Is Powerful

One of the major threads through the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan is the impact Princess Diana still has on Prince Harry 25 years after the Paris car crash that claimed her life in August 1997. Whether Harry is talking about having to wear “two hats” in the days and weeks after his mother’s tragic passing or touching on how he was inspired by her philanthropic legacy to try to make a difference in the world, it’s evident that the younger son of the former Princess of Wales still carries his mother with him, like other members of the royal family, all these years later.

This is also true whenever Harry speaks out about the treatment of his own wife by the press throughout their relationship and how it is terribly similar to the way in which his mother, an outsider to the royal family, was hounded by the press.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Harry & Meghan

(Image credit: Netflix)

Harry And Meghan's Meeting On Instagram Was Heartwarming

The first volume of Harry & Meghan also touches on some incredibly heartwarming moments, especially those from the early days of the couple’s relationship. One of the best of these revealing moments comes very early on when Harry admits that he first saw his future wife on Instagram in the summer of 2016 and began contacting people to try to find a way to meet her.

Not long after, the two started talking all the time and eventually decided to meet for drinks one night when Meghan was in London for Wimbledon. Watching the two act like two lovebirds as they discuss how Harry was late to their first meeting (and Meghan being tardy for their dinner date the following evening) creates one of the most genuine and charming segments of the documentary.

Meghan Markle in Harry & Meghan

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Press' Treatment of Meghan Markle Was Hard To Watch

Throughout all three episodes of Harry & Meghan Volume 1, the Duchess of Sussex talks at length about how she has been treated by the press ever since she and Prince Harry first started dating more than six years ago. And while this part of her life is no secret, some of the revelations discussed throughout the documentary series are hard to watch, specifically when it comes to how the Suits production team (Meghan was still on the show at the time) had to fight off reporters trying to get ahold of call sheets and get on set, which ultimately led to fencing being put around the actors’ trailers.

What’s even more troubling are the claims by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle about Buckingham Palace acting as if the press’ treatment of the future Duchess was a “rite of passage,” considering the outcome of Princess Diana’s story years earlier.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle BBC News interview.

(Image credit: BBC News)

Harry And Meghan Speaking About The First Meetings With Queen Elizabeth II And Prince Philip Were Humorous

There are also some quite charming and humorous stories about meeting the royal family for the first time throughout Harry & Meghan, especially when it came to Meghan talking about meeting her future grandparents-in-law during her courtship. One of the best stories is the one revolving around Meghan’s first meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and how she didn’t know she was about to meet the sovereign until minutes before, during which time Prince Harry asked if she knew how to curtsy.

The second lighthearted story revolved around a dinner in which Meghan sat next to Prince Philip and talked to him all night only to later discover she was speaking into his “bad ear” and he probably didn’t hear a word she said.

Prince Harry being presented with a gift from the military in Harry & Meghan

(Image credit: Netflix)

Harry Seems To Be At His Happiest When Not Discussing The Royal Family

Prince Harry has a long history of philanthropic efforts, including spending a great deal of time in the small African nation of Lesotho, a country he told CNN was in need of help back in 2004. A portion of Harry & Meghan talks about his experiences there, where the one-day Duke of Sussex went from a boy to a man following controversy and bad press during his teenage years. In these moments, and others like them, he seems his happiest, as he is seen less as a prince and more as a human being. 

This is also true when Prince Harry discusses his 10 years of military service, a stretch of time where he was largely free from the tabloids and duties of royal life, and allowed to live and work alongside his fellow soldiers. And to this day, Harry is still greatly impacted by these two periods in his life, as seen multiple times through the documentary.

Meghan Markle in Harry & Meghan

(Image credit: Netflix)

Meghan’s Struggle With Her Own Family Is Heartbreaking

One of the most unsettling topics of discussion throughout the first part of Harry & Meghan is that of how certain members of Meghan’s family acted after she and Prince Harry became engaged and in the lead up to the wedding. One example of this is the way in which her estranged half-sister, Samantha Markle, went to the press with false accusations and statements the Duchess of Sussex said were outright lies.

But, the most upsetting of these claims are those revolving around Meghan’s father, Thomas, and the way he acted in the weeks and days leading up to her heavily-televised 2018 wedding. From selling staged photos to the press to not attending the ceremony, she goes into great detail about her father’s questionable actions. 

Harry & Meghan logo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Now I’m Even More Excited For Harry & Meghan Volume 2

There were some massive revelations throughout Harry & Meghan Volume 1, but the first three episodes of the Netflix documentary series stop the day before the couple’s 2018 wedding. With much of the drama surrounding the couple and royal family coming to light in the months and years after the ceremony, it’s safe to say there will be some major bombshells when the second half of the series is released on December 15th. This could very well be one of the most explosive and revealing chapters in the royal family’s recent history.

The rest of Harry & Meghan will be released in no time at all, so make sure to check back with more takeaways from the concluding chapters. Remember, you need an active Netflix subscription to watch the six-part documentary series.

 Stream Harry & Meghan Volume 1 on Netflix. 

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.