‘Love them or hate them, there is still a huge amount of intrigue around the couple’

Distributor Orange Smarty
Producer ITN Productions
Length 3 x 60 minutes
Broadcaster Channel 5 (UK)

Following the feverish debate about the royals in recent weeks, and what a doctored photograph tells us about the world’s most famous family, bringing a doc to market described by Orange Smarty managing director Karen Young as “Succession meets Downton Abbey in real life” is no bad thing.

ITN Productions’ three-part series examines events from the moment the Duke and Duchess of Sussex met in 2016 to the present day. Using archive, the series will explore events leading up to the couple’s controversial break from the royal family in 2020, with insiders sharing strong opinions of who was in the wrong.

“Docs about Harry and Meghan are a well-trodden path, but this series is the definitive biopic of their whole relationship over eight years,” says Young. “It is an intimate tale with epic scope.”

Interviewees include insiders who first broke the news that the couple were dating, those who have known the workings of the royal family for decades, and those who knew Harry as a child.


Highlights include footage from Harry’s ITN interview, in which he discusses his increasingly strained relationship with members of his family, and the use of ITN’s “unrivalled” royal archive, including footage of the couple’s South Africa tour, where cracks in their relationship with the other royals first started to show.

The title also reveals the very different world the pair occupy today in Montecito, California.

Young says the public’s appetite for insight about the pair remains very high, meaning the series will act as a “differentiator” for a broadcaster, helping to set it apart from its competitors.

“Love them or hate them, there is still a huge amount of intrigue around the couple who captured the world’s imagination and changed the royal family forever,” she says.

“Audiences surfing through channels will stick with noisy content like this when they come across it. It is big, tentpole content with a high-budget, cinematic feel.”

Young says the series also has legs away from the screen, with lots of potential to drive marketing opportunities in the digital space.

“Those who watch the show will go on to create an after-effect of content and noise on social media, exploring the parallels with Harry’s mother and asking whether any lessons have been learned,” she says.

“It is key for broadcasters whose budgets are tight to snap up shows like this because that helps them drive bigger opportunities in the marketing space. When they are looking to maximise their budgets, they need this kind of tentpole programming.”

In a tough market, Young notes, broadcasters are less inclined to pick up content that can “sit on the shelf” and are increasingly interested in “here and now” scheduling.

“Broadcasters used to pick up multiple pieces of content they did not necessarily want to air straight away, but they no longer have the flexibility to do that.”

Young says the series has “vast” potential and could sell strongly in the US and other English-speaking countries globally – particularly to commercial broadcasters.