Prince Harry and Prince William’s already close bond was made all the closer when they lost their mother Princess Diana in 1997, a tragedy that bound them together in their memories of their childhood and the shared surreal experience of dealing with the media attention that followed. In royal tell-all Finding Freedom, royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand reveal that it was William who ultimately convinced Harry he needed help processing their mother’s death in 2015, confirming that the brothers’ closeness when it comes to their late mom still trumped all else. Now, a new potential project may be threatening that bond, with rumors of a Netflix documentary about Princess Diana in the works from none other than Meghan Markle and Harry themselves. If Harry did go through with this project, experts warn it could ruin his relationship with William — and it’s not hard to see why.
Rumors of a new Princess Diana project have been reported by both Daily Mail and Mirror, with a source telling the latter that a potential documentary would “work as a tribute to Diana and build on all the incredible charity work she has done.”
“The Sussexes are discussing making a feature documentary on Princess Diana’s family history and heritage,” the source further explained. “Netflix would also love to make a documentary about Diana and it is something they have been pushing for.”
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) September 7, 2020
But the same source also shared concerns about how the news would affect William: “These plans could further antagonize their fallout,” they share. “If it does happen William will be the first to know.”
Per Finding Freedom, Harry has always recognized how Diana’s death brought him and William closer together, even as it devastated them. “‘Every year we get closer,’ Harry told reporters in 2005. ‘Ever since our mother died, obviously we were close. But he is the one person on this earth who I can actually really…we can talk about anything. We understand each other and give each other support.”
Of course, this was a decade before he met wife Meghan, about whom he now presumably feels the same way. But as recently as 2015, William was still Harry’s greatest champion when it came to working through feelings about mom Diana.
“Each brother wanted happiness for the other. It was precisely because of this that William confronted his brother in 2015 about his mental health,” Scobie and Durand write. “He said, ‘You really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you.'”
William got through to Harry, who started therapy that same year and launched mental health initiative Heads Together alongside his brother and Kate Middleton in 2016. It was yet another example of William and Harry handling things to do with Diana privately, as brothers — as they also did earlier this summer, with the joint announcement of a new statue honoring Princess Diana to be set in Kensington Palace.
Meghan and Harry making an American documentary about Diana’s life would go against everything these brothers have established about how they want to handle her legacy. To be honest, Harry is so averse to media attention around his late mom that we doubt he’ll even go for the project — but the rumors make us nervous nonetheless.
No matter how much we personally want to see a Meghan Markle-produced docuseries on Diana, we trust that Harry wouldn’t make a decision like this without making sure William was on board.