Their concerns over their health and future happiness have grabbed all the headlines and rightly so. As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened up to ITV’s ‘Harry and Meghan: an African Journey’, the insight they shed on how scrutiny is impacting on them has raised plenty of questions. But the programme also showed the joy they take in their work as well as their own attitude to dealing with difficulties. Here are 5 things we learned from Harry and Meghan: An African Journey.
Some of Meghan’s friends warned her against becoming a royal
The Duchess of Sussex has made no secret of the importance she places on friends and during the show, she revealed that her besties aren’t afraid to tell her the truth even if it does mean questioning a fairytale. Meghan said that as her relationship with Harry became more serious, some of her British friends told her not to accept a proposal. But they weren’t apprehensive about her prince. Instead, Meghan told the programme that they had been worried about the impact some media interest in her might produce.
Diana is a huge influence on all of them
At times it did feel as if there were three royals in this documentary, to borrow a famous phrase. Harry’s devotion to his mum is well known and there were more insights into how he wants to finish the work she never got a chance to see through. But Harry was also keen to underline how another part of Diana’s life still follows him now. He said he would always protect his family and added, in reference to his mother ”everything she went through, and what happened to her, is incredibly important….that is just me not wanting a repeat of the past”.
Meghan’s nickname for Harry is…
…very short. The Duchess of Sussex revealed that she calls her husband ‘H’ although we didn’t find out if he reciprocated by naming her ‘M’. The admission was a lighter moment of an interview in which Meghan admitted she and ‘H’ have talked about how to deal with the scrutiny they find themselves under.
Harry’s claiming a royal record
The Duke of Edinburgh has claimed to be the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler while the Earl of Wessex is carving out a role as the House of Windsor’s most flamboyant cake cutter. Now the Duke of Sussex is challenging for the tree planting title. The programme had special access to the Duke of Sussex throughout the solo part of the southern Africa tour and as Harry gave his support to a Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project in Botswana, he also made a right royal claim. Helping to root a giant as part of an environmental programme he made reference to his family’s long track record in digging in trees before adding ”I don’t think anyone has planted a tree this big”.
They are a great team
OK, we might have known that bit already but the team work was on show for all to see during the hour long programme. From cheering each other on during engagements to Meghan’s Skype appearance when her husband was hundreds of miles away, they’ve got this partnership lark down to a fine art. But perhaps the most telling example was when Meghan confided that she’d made a decision to change what became her most famous speech of the tour just moments before making it – and the only person she asked to be a sounding board was Harry.
‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’ is on ITV1 and the ITV Player in the UK.