VF: The Sussexes won’t do a ‘reality show,’ but might do a wildlife docu-series?


This week, the Sun and the Daily Mail had blaring headlines about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex doing a “reality show” in which they would film personal stuff and show what their lives are like in California or some such nonsense. I genuinely believe that Harry and Meghan are open to the possibility of appearing on-camera for documentaries or even a docu-series about their charitable and philanthropic work. I also believe that the British tabloids are just unhinged and hateful and looking to put a crazy-negative spin on even the loosest of rumors. Anyway, H&M’s PR team did deny the “reality show” rumor and I found Katie Nicholl’s Vanity Fair write-up very curious:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have shot down rumors they plan to make a reality TV series about their lives for Netflix, after it was reported on Monday they had agreed to make a reality series about their charitable work. The Sun claimed privacy-conscious couple had signed a deal agreeing to allow cameras to follow them for three months and “give people a glimpse into their lives and see all the charity work they do.” Said a source, “Netflix obviously want their pound of flesh.” But an aide for the couple told Vanity Fair, “The Duke and Duchess are not taking part in any reality shows.”

The news will come as a relief for concerned palace couriers, who are said to be watching Harry and Meghan’s foray into television closely. There was some concern last week when the couple filmed a video message for the Time 100 list in which they urged Americans to vote in the forthcoming election, with Harry adding that voters have the chance to take a stand against “hate speech.” Their comments prompted President Trump to shoot back at the couple, causing what was described by one source as “acute discomfort” among some staff at Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace this morning declined to comment on the Sun story, but aides close to the couple say the Sussexes intend to uphold the values of Her Majesty and the royal family in all of their future commercial endeavors. One well-placed source said that the couple have no plans to make a “Kardashian-style TV show” adding “that would absolutely go against what they are trying to do which is make original content about important issues.”

The first series the couple are working on, which is in pre-production, is an animated series about inspiring women. The TV show will be aimed at a young audience and has been greenlit by bosses at the network. “There’s a lot of buzz about it, it is going ahead and work has started on the series,” an industry source told Vanity Fair.

The other project in works is an innovative wildlife documentary series which could see the couple return to Africa when travel restrictions are lifted. The shows the couple make will include scripted series, docuseries, documentaries, features and children’s programming focusing on stories and issues that resonate with them personally. A source close to the couple said, “Enabling a more compassionate and equitable world isn’t just something they do through their non-profit, it’s a belief they hold and model themselves which will carry through in this venture.“

Speaking to Vanity Fair royal author Ingrid Seward said that it would come as a relief to the Queen that the couple won’t be making a reality show. “As the royal family discovered in 1968 when they made the film Royal Family the public appetite for these fly on the wall documentaries is insatiable. It seemed a good idea at the time, but was considered too intimate and never shown again. For Harry and Meghan this would be too much too soon and I think they should wait and think long and hard about making anything that is deemed ‘personal.’ ”

[From Vanity Fair]

“The other project in works is an innovative wildlife documentary series which could see the couple return to Africa when travel restrictions are lifted.” I think this is the morsel with which the British tabloid built the “reality show” story. I do think Harry and Meghan already have plans to appear on camera in one or several docu-series or documentaries. But none of them will be a Kardashian-esque reality show. That being said, it’s absolutely BONKERS to me that there’s all of this performative hand-wringing about the Sussexes and what they MIGHT do with Netflix… all while Prince William is promoting his ITV documentary, where cameras followed him around for two years.

Speaking of, the Daily Mail has another ridiculous story about how the Sussexes have “home footage” they recorded this year, and that they told Netflix about the “home footage” and it could be used in a documentary or something. Grasping, stupid, crazy.

The Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex at a welcome ceremony in Wellington

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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34 Responses to “VF: The Sussexes won’t do a ‘reality show,’ but might do a wildlife docu-series?”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    This explains the Attenborough/ Cambridge recent colonizer bounty tryst.

    • Kalana says:

      KP instagram teased an announcement on Earthshot in October. More committing to be keen.

      But I think this whole reality show controversy was William wanting all the praise for whatever he eventually announces for Earthshot so he put out a bunch of rumors about Harry and Meghan so William’s mediocre work could be seen more regal in comparison.

      Remember the So Reeegaal praise of Kate that was everywhere when Meghan joined the family? And it disappeared all at once when Meghan and Harry left.

      • Love says:

        Do we know what Earthshot actually is/does?

        The information on it is sooo cagey? Their Twitter said in JANUARY info would be provided throughout the year, and here we are, getting into October 👀

      • Kalana says:

        It was supposed to be a yearly traveling environmental awards show with multimillion pound prizes for the winners. Think about all the travel needed for that yet it’s supposed to be pro-environment. 🤔 Basically William wanted his own Invictus Games.

        You should read KP’s original announcement because it is a disorganized, rambling mess. They so clearly published their brainstorming session and were going to spend the year trying to get their act together and raise money.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think William thinks its going to be the next Nobel Prize – so it will be given out once a year (and the prize will come with money) to someone who….has made a difference for the environment? Or someone who submitted a plan to help the environment (And the money is meant to help implement that plan?)

        It basically just sounded like William wanted a big glitzy awards show to attend so he and Kate could dress up and be treated like….well, royalty.

        It’s the kind of thing you shouldn’t announce until you have it all mapped out and ready to go. There shouldn’t be 10 months of “what IS earthshot, anyway?”

      • Kalana says:

        I went back and looked at the original post here. “We will be awarding a prestigious prize to 5 winners per year over 10 years. Through this, and the winners work following each initial challenge, we hope to be able to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030. An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030.”

        All that travel seems very environmentally sound. 🙄

        So clearly all that is not happening this year. But maybe they will still award 5 prizes. It’s a mess. But who knows, there was speculation about the Gates Foundation so maybe William along with Attenborough and Gates will manage to put something together.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Becks, yes, he is totally jealous that the Swedes and Norwegians have their Nobel prizes and wants something as great and prestigous as that to be his legacy. And Kalana, yes to that, he has been courting Gates for some time now.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “all while Prince William is promoting his ITV documentary, where cameras followed him around for two years.”

      If this “William documentary” fails to achieve good ratings and over-the-top universal critical praise then I am sure William will cook-up something causing the Sussexes more hell. Hell hath no fury like William when he is on a rampage against his brother.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think the nature docu-series (featuring them) is a distinct possibility and I think that’s what set off the british press last week. I also think it triggered William because he knows it will be better than his documentary and will be more popular, so I wonder if he leaked the “reality show” bit.

    • Becks1 says:

      Also FF mentioned that Meghan had been discussing a possible travel/food series before meeting Harry, so I wonder if something like that is still being discussed, possibly as a way to promote travalyst.

  3. lanne says:

    All the Sussexes have done is shown how classy they are, and how they go high when others go low. I would ask this question to any Meghan hater:
    If Meghan is a gold-digger, then why would they leave the royal family, where they literally had the wealth of kings?
    If Meghan was a drama queen who wanted attention for herself, why didn;t she take the cover of Vogue for herself?
    If she wants to be a superstar actor, why hasn’t she signed with a superagent and openly stating she’s looking at scripts?
    If she wants to hate on the RF, why hasn’t she done a burn-it-down interview with American TV in the style of Diana?

    What has she done to deserve your vitriol, other than not being the white Disney Princess of your dreams? What “protocol” has she broken that others (including the Queen) haven’t “broken” first?

    What does your hatred of Meghan really say about YOU?

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      That article was done in Grazia last week discussing how Meghan and Harry are no longer the problem.

      • mytwocents says:

        Grazia has done a few other articles in their defense, one about the real cost of the trips abroad, basically, Kate and Will’s cost more per day since it was half the time of H&M’s.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      I’m not a hater, but let me take a swing at this. Maybe because gold diggers also strive for status or being adjacent to wealth. Future inheritance is also a factor.

      Everyone is really reaching for anything to insult this lady and her family. Petty.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Reading this and reflecting requires self awareness and even a scrap of decency and the people who relish attacking Meghan for anything doesn’t possess those qualities and are proud of that because they are joined by literally dozens of others who are also immune from such reflections.

  4. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    This just makes sense.

    David Attenborough won’t live forever and someone needs to carry on his broadcasting and tele work with the public. It may as well be Harry and Meghan. I must say that I’m impressed at the way they have found business niches to fill. I think they have wonderful inspirations for their production company and look forward to seeing what they come out with.

    • Yvette says:

      @NotSoSimpleTaylor … Well said, and I completely agree. 🙂

      I’m curious if it would be possible for William to obtain some manner of ownership of David Attenborough’s brand, after his passing, in such a way as to prevent Harry and Meghan’s move into Mr. Attenborough’s august brand themselves. Not that William would do much with the brand, other than use it for praise.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Katie Nicholl just copied the statement that was put out when Netflix announced the deal earlier this month. It said that they have an animated series and a nature series in the works. She just added the possibility of them going to the African continent. How much does she get paid for this work? And she keeps pretending she has contacts with the Sussexes but it’s clear that she doesn’t. Furthermore, Harry and Meghan’s values are much higher than the Queen’s so they don’t need to worry about the type of shows that would be put out.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      Do we know what is in their pipeline for the production company? The animated and nature series in the pipeline sounds legit. Nothing else does.

    • Kalana says:

      Surely there must be people with talent who want Katie Nicholls’ job. Her articles are just commitments to the required word count. There’s literally no insight or access. How did she scam her way into writing for Vanity Fair?

  6. Noodle says:

    I love the idea for an animated series of inspiring women. I bought my kids the “Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls” books, and they read often about women in history who accomplished great things. My oldest daughter reads it to my youngest son (age 6) at bedtime now, and they talk about history. I would love to see some of these women highlighted and have their stories told. Many of the stories were new to me, and they were written so well it was easy to dive in and not want to stop reading.

  7. fluffy_bunny says:

    Can Harry narrate the nature docs? I prefer docs that have a British narrator. I find the accent soothing.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      Nature docs are so much more soothing in English than in Danish or German. It’s a known fact across the continent. 🤗

    • Nic919 says:

      I thought Meghan did a good job narrating the elephant documentary for Disney. She has excellent elocution skills and her voice isn’t high pitched or off putting.

  8. Miss617 says:

    I don’t know what the nature documentary will end up focusing on, but I would love it if someone made a nature documentary about what we colonizers can learn about conservation from indigenous people who successfully have kept the rich biodiversity surrounding them intact. I know Harry’s always spoken highly of the Tswana.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      I could see these two touching on what we can learn from indigenous people as an angle. They both seems to be interested in being mindful on all fronts so this might be something they pursue.

  9. booboocita says:

    For some reason, I’m really excited about their planned programs for children and young people. There’s not a lot of high-end, quality programming for children. There’s popular stuff, like Adventure Time, but not a lot of really good educational stuff — stuff that’s equally entertaining, inspirational, AND teaches something. Blue’s Clues is pretty good, and Carmen Sandiego, Peppa Pig, and others (I’m sure I’m missing a few). We need more in that vein. I’m thinking Harry, Meghan, and whatever creative team they assemble will come up with some pretty choice shows. And yes, I’m looking forward to the conniptions that KeenKweenKate will have over those shows, too. “Programming for children? But — but — children are MY thing! No one’s a better mom than MEEEEEEE!”

  10. Mariane says:

    Again they are projecting. The court circular shows that the keenbridges talked with a entertainment company which mainly releases music. Either they are releasing a Christmas album or KeenKueen kate will hijack a Christmas fundraiser and pretend she set it up. We’ll see.

    That vapid loser hatie knows nothing. I cant believe VF is still employing her to write nonsense and rehashing already known facts as “exclusive”. Any sussex fan could’ve predicted that they would highlight their patronages or charities (just as harry already did with Rising Phoenix)