How Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Bombshell Interview Affected Netflix’s The Crown

Meghan Markle Prince Harry Oprah interview screenshot cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry became the talk of the town (or the world, we should say) following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. The tell-all was the public’s first true glimpse into “The Firm” and how the couple felt they were treated by it and toxic tabloid culture. Running in tandem to the events has been the release of the fourth season of Netflix’s original series The Crown. As it turns out, the Oprah interview has seemingly affected the Emmy Award-winning show in a pretty significant way.

Apparently, viewership for The Crown on Netflix has skyrocketed since the release of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview. According to Nielsen’s figures for the Top 10 streaming original programs for the week of March 8 to March 14 (via The Wrap), The Crown saw 449 million minutes viewed compared to 242 million minutes the previous week, which is a whopping 85.5% increase. The show also jumped from sixth place overall to second, right behind Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia.

The highly anticipated Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle initially aired on CBS on March 7 and brought in about 17.8 million viewers. This prompted the network to rearrange its normal line-up for mid-March to re-air the interview. Perhaps this is why The Crown, which has had Season 4 out since November of last year, saw such a huge spike in its recent ratings.

In the Oprah interview, Meghan Markle opened up about a lot of, quite frankly, shocking information. Among the most talked about on the Internet was Markle’s assertion that her mental health suffered under The Firm’s handling of the tabloid fodder surrounding her. She even stated that she was suicidal while five months pregnant with baby Archie. But it was Prince Harry who talked about how all of it relates to his mother, Princess Diana.

Prince Harry admitted to Oprah in their interview that they have seen The Crown, albeit only "some of" the episodes. He didn’t elaborate about the show’s portrayal of his late mother but did have some thoughts for the current situation:

I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad, but ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy…You know, for me, I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side because I can't begin to imagine what it must've been like for [Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago.

Princess Diana became one of the major new additions to the last season of The Crown, as we saw Netflix’s portrayal of her by actress Emma Corrin as a woman outshining Prince Charles in public affection. It also shows the way she was hounded by the paparazzi. Likely many fans of the show might have been re-watching or newly discovering the seeming connections between Meghan Markle’s testimony of royal culture and that of Princess Diana’s experiences.

Season 5 of The Crown is not expected until 2022. It will probably pick up in 1990s where it left off, but it is unclear how far the timeline will go. Most likely, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and their interview with Oprah, won’t be portrayed as of yet, but it would certainly make for a fascinating re-enactment of art and life reflecting back at each other.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.