Mail: The Sussexes’ Netflix trailer dropping last week was a ‘declaration of war’

Most of the Friday papers in the UK used photos from Netflix’s Harry & Meghan series on their covers. As in, the Prince and Princess of Wales were in the middle of their big “Earthshot is the Super Bowl” Boston tour and their domestic press was focused on the Sussexes. One of the funniest pieces – which I missed on Friday because I was so focused on Richard Eden’s nonsense – was Rebecca English’s coverage in the Daily Mail. I have two compliments for English: one, she at least managed to properly source the photos used in the Netflix trailer (unlike Eden) and two, this piece is hysterically funny. The drama never ends in Salt Island when you’re fanatically obsessed with two people who don’t give a sh-t about you. Some highlights from English’s piece:

The use of the Commonwealth Day photo in the trailer: The message, say royal sources, is unmistakable. ‘I don’t see how anyone could view it as anything other than a declaration of war,’ said one. Another said the timing of the trailer’s release had not gone unnoticed among palace staff, adding: ‘None of this is a surprise’.

The official royal insider reaction: Royal insiders reacted with horror and an increasing sense of anger yesterday as the trailer was released on social media ahead of the documentary being broadcast on Netflix next week as part of the Sussexes’ multi-million dollar deal with the streaming giant. There was also disappointment that it had been released to coincide with William and Kate’s trip to the US, their first visit to the country since 2014, during which the prince is hosting his major environmental project, the Earthshot Prize.

This is not the first time the Sussexes stole W&K’s thunder: The Sussexes’ biographer, Omid Scobie, directly referred to the fact that Earthshot is so significant to William that it is being billed as his ‘Super Bowl moment’. He crowed on Twitter: ‘If tomorrow is Prince William’s Super Bowl – then here’s your half-time show.’ It’s also not the first time this has happened. In 2019, while William and Kate were touring Pakistan, ITV released the trailer for a documentary on the Sussexes’ trip to Africa.

The Kardashian comparison: The Netflix series refers to the couple just by their first names – ‘Harry & Meghan’ – which has prompted some commentary in royal circles about their parallels with the infamous reality family the Kardashians. ‘It’s hard not to make the comparison, really,’ one insider said wryly.

A publicity drive!! ‘One can only conclude this is a concerted publicity drive on their behalf to stoke up interest in this documentary and is designed to clash with the Wales’ visit this week,’ said another well-placed source. ‘The prince and princess’s high-profile trip to the States to shine a light on community projects in Boston and the environmental crisis is being apparently used as a platform for the Sussexes to create the drama and attention they so clearly crave on a personal level, as well as content for the multi-million dollar deal they have signed since quitting as working royals.

[From The Daily Mail]

What’s hilarious about those last quotes is that Kensington Palace authorized no fewer than a dozen preview pieces ahead of their Boston trip, previews in which William tried and failed to embiggen himself and his Super Bowl-esque Keenshot. The Sussexes aren’t “using” the Boston Flop tour to get headlines – the Sussexes are acting like William and Kate’s tour is so unimportant that it’s not even worth adhering to a non-existent non-compete clause. It’s not a declaration of war because the “war” has been one-sided for years now – the Sussexes exist and thrive, all while William and Kate are screaming, crying and throwing up about it.

As for the comparison to the Kardashians… what’s funny is that Carole Middleton is just a Kris Jenner-esque momager with an accent. And besides that, the Kardashians are a national and international brand and there are multiple billionaires in that family. It’s not the insult the royals think it is.

Photos courtesy of Netflix, newspaper covers courtesy of the Sun, the Mail and the Mirror.

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53 Responses to “Mail: The Sussexes’ Netflix trailer dropping last week was a ‘declaration of war’”

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  1. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    I really admire Netflix’s pettiness on the timing of the trailer release!

    • thaisajs says:

      I mean, you could practically hear Netflix’s marketing team giggle as they pushed the publish button. They don’t give AF cause they don’t have to.

    • Becks1 says:

      I know, its cracking me up.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Honestly, I wish they had waited. Not a fan of petty, unless we’re talking Tom.

      • DK says:

        Here’s what I don’t understand about the timing debacle (and, really, all the “H&M stealing thunder” stories):

        How were Netflix and/or Harry & Meghan supposed to know when the Earthshot Awards were, or when (or even that) William & Kate were going to be in Boston?

        Did that Netflix climate advisor who is also on the Earthshot board notify Netflix that the Earthshot ceremony would be happening? (I assume not).

        Do W&K /KP still update H&M’s team on their schedule and politely ask H&M to work around their schedule? (I should hope not. Only if they’d kept H&M on as the part-time royals they wanted to be, would this be acceptable.)

        Or…do they just expect that H&M are keeping tabs on what W&K are up to? (Bingo! But also…how unbelievably self-centered!)

        I live in CA, also on the Central Coast (near Santa Barbara/Montecito), I regularly read the LA Times, and not only did I not see any coverage* of W&K’s trip OR the Earthshot prize – in LAT or the NY Times or even The Guardian, the major news sources I check regularly – but the only places where I’ve seen any mention of W&K’s trip or Earthshot was here on CB and on Twitter, where people were laughing at them for not inviting the nominees.

        My hunch is that H&M are living their lives, not actively seeking out news of the people who’ve caused them so much trauma in the past (in fact, for their own mental health, I hope they are actively avoiding any news of the BRF).

        So under what grounds would this release date be sincerely considered an issue/a declaration of war/[insert all the other hyperbolic tantrum descriptions the RR are having here], etc.?

        Only for people who think H&M are as obsessed with W&K as W&K are clearly are with H&M…

        *It’s possible these new sources did cover the trip, but it never made it to the main page, nor came up on the sidebars where they feature big news relegated elsewhere, so….media here DGAF

      • serena says:

        I wouldn’t mind if they did it out of pettiness but I don’t think that’s what happened. I believe they had already pushed it back when QEII died and weren’t keen (lol) to wait a later date again,

    • Cessily says:

      They have set the BRF, rota, courtiers and rags into a frenzy.. the headlines and attack articles are off the charts.

  2. TigerMcQueen says:

    Cry harder, Keens! Or should I say Wails. Hugely appropriate moniker lmao.

    That’s all I got. Too busy stocking up on popcorn to say much more.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    The hyperbole is embarrassing. The last declaration of war war from Americans was in 1773 when the all that tea was dumped into the Boston harbor. The Brits lost that war and they WILL lose this one too.

  4. ChillinginDC says:

    Does W/K not have PR people? Jesus. Shut up about this. Actually go out and do good works and act like it doesn’t bother you. And it’s not war on the RF, but war on the RR. Oh wait, I can see how everyone involved is confused on that point. Sigh.

  5. equality says:

    How does using just their first names make them like the Kardashians? I’m not seeing the logical progression of thought there. How is using a photo previously used by those whining about it, declaring war?

    • Amy Bee says:

      This is funny because this paper has been campaigning for them to be stripped of their titles ever since they left the UK. You would think they would be happy that they only used their first names.

    • Debbie says:

      @equality: It’s even better, the photo was actually TAKEN by those now complaining that it’s “an unflattering picture of Kate.” I mean, I know Meghan’s good but even she can’t re-arrange Kate’s face for you salty guys.

  6. Lorelei says:

    My god, the violent language that these people CONSTANTLY use to describe this situation. “Bombshells,” “war,” “grenades”… it’s gotten disturbing tbh. I feel like I’m desensitized to it by now, and we shouldn’t be.

  7. s808 says:

    it’s been war on the sussexes since 2019.

    • ashipper says:

      Accurate and the aggressors can’t handle it that the Sussex’s just took themselves out of the “war.”

    • swaz says:

      AMEN!! CRY ME A RIVER 🤣 Also the Kardashians work for their WEALTH, THEY DO NOT LIVE ON THE TAX PAYERS DIME, ITS REALLY NOT THE INSULT THAT THEY THINK IT IS. What about Mike Tindall???/ He’s reality show is conveniently forgotten.

    • Lorelei says:

      Honestly I think it’s been since late 2016, with a lot going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. (At least not yet.)

      They eased up a tiny bit on her wedding day, but that was it. Every other minute since it became public that Harry was dating her, she’s been absolutely relentlessly trashed online. It never stops. I can’t even imagine what that does to a person. Thankfully Meghan is strong, but she should not have to live like this for the rest of her life.

    • Debbie says:

      And, say what you will about the Kardashians, but they generally love and support their family members.

  8. IForget says:

    Oh no, an unflattering photo! Even though it was true, and there are so many pictures of Kate looking like that, and it wasn’t just a bad angle or split second. It’s so much worse than an untrue full-on racist character assasination by saying the mean black lady made the innocent white lady cry. Absolutely. 100%. This is just, so unfair y’all. An unflattering photo, how will her career or reputation ever survive??

    • Rapunzel says:

      The wailing over the pic is ridiculous. It was a public event. And the pic was already widely published. They didn’t just pull out an unflattering candid from a private event.

  9. OriginalLeigh says:

    Do they not realize that they are only guaranteeing that this series will be a huge hit? Netflix should send checks to these idiots.

  10. aka says:

    it’s always so funny as it’s the exact opposite that is true. every article about will and kate mentions harry and meghan – they need them to get any attention. if I was william I’d be so pissed the reporters won’t ignore meghan and harry (even though it is his fault largely).

  11. Jais says:

    Love the woman in that clip. When she says it’s smothered in hypocrisy and most of us Do Not Like That, I wanted to throw confetti into the air 🎉

    • Feeshalori says:

      I saw that clip last night and this lady was on🔥! “Y’all are tripping.” 😂 She said it like it is.

  12. windyriver says:

    It’s not the first time they did this! Those Sussexes just don’t learn! They did the exact same thing in 2019!

    OMG, as recently as 2019? How dare they!

    And once again, they don’t need a concerted publicity drive. You folks are doing the work for them.

  13. Lizzie says:

    Oddly, one thing has nothing to do with the other. Earthscam is a vanity project, no ‘winners’ attending although purportedly created to help solve the climate crisis, the Netflix docuseries is about Harry and Meghan’s story. Where in the world does one overshadow the other? If Harry and Meghan were a made-up award show, well then sure they would probably overshadow Earthscam.

  14. jan90067 says:

    From a marketing stand point, it’s sheer genius.

    The only ones who create the drama for ANY attention they “so clearly crave on a personal level” are W&K. They would KILL for this (and very nearly did have H&M’s blood on their hands by leaking their hiding place in Canada, and piling on when M was suicidal).

    The naked jealousy these two feel is beyond palpable.

  15. ThatsNotOkay says:

    If the Sussexes were going to refuse to allow the Waleses to steal their ideas, then the Waleses were going to refuse to allow them steal their nonexistent thunder. Hope I cleared that up for everyone.

  16. Wendy says:

    I love how the DM keep complaining about the choice of photo of Kate and continually splash that same photo around everywhere – here on the front page no less. It truly is unflattering with shades of bitter envy.

    • Nic919 says:

      They also made sure just to show Kate and not the others and add a “unflattering kate” title above just in case you didn’t see it. 😁

  17. Staci Atwood says:

    They took several tours that are offered to tourists every day. Boston doesn’t belong to the British and they did not shine a lite on Boston’s environmentalism and community projects…what they did do was cost us millions in protection so they could come over and try to one up Harry and Meghan in America…only to flame out.

    • Crys says:

      Exactly, they came to try and one up H&M. I feel like in LA they may have been received better attention for their fame and ‘power’ but Boston couldn’t GAF. And oooofffph no one gave them a history briefing? I wonder why they chose to stay away from California….. hmmm. The tabloids pretending this is it, now it’s war! I think that was declared when Harry asked his family to protect his wife and child they refused.

  18. Becks1 says:

    These reactions are cracking me up. If the British media actually wanted the Sussexes to fail, they could just not talk about them. but no! they’re on the front page of the papers! I’m sure Netflix is THRILLED with the free publicity.

    We all know the RRs cannot WAIT for this docuseries to be released. they are going to get so many stories out of this. They can try to hide it and act dismayed on behalf of W&K all they want, but they are so so so excited.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Exactly! Plus it gives them an excuse to throw huge, steaming piles of shade at the commoner they all deep-down despise—unflattering front page photos, and all.

  19. Sims4Life says:

    „to shine a light on community projects in Boston“
    Did they visit any????

  20. lanne says:

    This is red meat for the tabloids. I’ve often thought that the royals were fools to dance on the tabloids puppet strings. The tabloids care about themselves and their bottom line–they don’t give a shit about the royals. All these ridiculous headlines are proof. They will ride the hatred of Meghan all the way to the bank.

    The royals risk allowing the hatred of Meghan to a) tie them to right-wing causes b) sour a lot of people on the commonwealth and the royal brand globally.

    None of this is Meghan’s doing or Meghan’s fault. This is all on them, even though the royals don’t want to admit it. Their unpopularity is based on their own actions and their own short-sightedness. They have no one to blame but themselves.

  21. AmelieOriginal says:

    It’s funny because when Harry and Meghan signed their Netflix deal in 2020, the royal family never predicted this docuseries would be the first thing they would come out with. The criticism was omg they’re going Hollywood, Meghan must be going back to acting and they are desperate for cash. I also don’t think Harry and Meghan wanted to do this kind of docuseries either, they probably figured they were done with the Oprah interview. But the BRF didn’t stop attacking the Sussexes and now here we are. While I support the Sussexes, I do wonder what they will come out with after this. Any timeline on Heart of Invictus?

  22. Rapunzel says:

    I personally wonder if this doc wasn’t originally planned and came about after Harry/Meg learned certain thing while dealing with their various lawsuits against the press. The security issues probably led to it too. Call me crazy, but I think part of the reason for the doc and book are to increase their personal safety through widespread discussion of the threats. And to serve as evidence if anything mysteriously happens to them.

    • EPLFan says:

      Or tied into Harry’s work with Aspen and either USC/UCLA about media misinformation. When I saw experts talking in the second trailer I thought it would have some scientific analysis in it for racism in the press and how misinformation works.

  23. QuiteContrary says:

    “Projection smothered in hypocrisy” — brilliant.

    She read the BM for filth, and it was awesome.

  24. sparrow says:

    In the DM yesterday it was all about how William is going to fight back on every point he doesn’t like in the Netflix series. Gloves are off, etc. This has been a long-time brewing. It started the minute Meghan arrived and they realised they haven’t the charisma or competence to equal her. Does anyone remember the BBC doc about the press coverage of the two sides. Someone commented that Meghan was showered with shouts of popularity whenever she visited anywhere and that nothing like that had happened for Kate. It started there. The trailer picture of Kate at the church service must have riled her no end. A lot of this fight back is based on fear. What have they got to hide?! They will contend points and then they will be proved wrong but it’ll be long forgotten by the tabloid fodder who’ll have latched onto the contention only.

    • lanne says:

      The problem is that Harry and Meghan have nothing to hide while William and Kate certainly do. The Sussexes have already been put throught the crucible. They have been villified, demeaned, slandered, second-guessed, criticized. Their mistakes have been front and center–they have contended with them, and moved past them (I’m talking more about Harry here and his past). The worst thing they can say about them together is that they can be overly earnest and annoying. But there’s no grift, no skeletons in the closet, nothing hidden.

      The Wales are hiding behind a veneer of “respectibility and family values” that isn’t real. They are bound to that image–their entire public persona is based on them being dull and steadfast, the calming force of the family. They are the redemption for the Windsors, providing stability and supporting tradition. William desperately needs to tabloids to keep covering up his indiscretions, his rages, his laziness. Kate needs to be held up as “Most Perfect Woman” even though she’s never done anything to warrant that other than look the part.

      William can try to “fight back” against Netflix, but he does that at a serious risk. Right now, the powers that be on Fleet Street are willing to toe the line for him. But that was contigent on them having the Sussexes as cannon fodder. Now there are no Sussex deliveries in terms of scoops and stories. Will and Kate have to pay the piper somehow. What motivates the tabloids to carry water for them, especially the Murdoch tabloids? Murdoch hates the royals. Even if Rothermere at the Fail is a royal ass kisser, he’s going to make sure the Fail follows the money. Will-di Amin risks kicking a hornet’s nest. I still don’t think he, or Hate, realizes that the game has changed, and that they aren’t in control of the narrative. No one gives a shit that he’s a first born besides himself. No one really believes he’s special outside of his own head. I don’t even think his own father will intervene for him, so long as Bride of Chucky is satisfied. He may find himself truly on his own for the first time in his miserable life.

  25. Amy Bee says:

    It was the Windsor’s along with the press who declared war on Harry and Meghan ever since they got married. All they had to do was treat them well and this documentary would not be happening and they would be still working royals.

  26. Well Wisher says:

    Is this a cry for help from William and his enablers in the fail for help?

    Why would a corporation alter the due date to release a monthly listing of upcoming events, at a scheduled time to accomodate an uneccessary and poorly-timed public relations visit of two royals, when it has an obligation to its global customers?
    If it is the series that he has a problem, he has had several opportunities to tell his side as “palace source, royal sources” etc. which he did with compuncture; drip,…drip, drip, drip….

    He never expected that there will be a day when his bullying will become ineffective as a weapon of fear or a mask to hide his incompetence and cowardice.

    Voila, it’s here. It was here for a while…

    Deal with it, or do we now look forward to the shadow boxing?

    What about reality? facts????

    My word.

    • Well Wisher says:

      May I add, the war maybe? with whom? only where???

      Walesonline posted an image of the Sussexes visit a day ago. The visit was years old.

  27. smee says:

    Honestly, after the way K looked at M (& her body language) the day The 4 walked to the memorials at the gates after TQ died, I’d say war had already been openly declared. Must be weird not to accept your own face. Definitely exposes her true nature.

  28. AnneL says:

    “It’s hard not to make the comparison”…..between the Sussexes and the Kardashians?

    It’s so easy not to make the comparison that I had to read that sentence twice. They’re both rich and famous. That’s where it ends. There are many rich, famous people in this country who are wildly different. Hell, Obama and Trump were both POTUS and I don’t find it hard to separate them mentally. At all. They’re from different planets.

    To be fair, I try not to think about the Kardashians or Trump at all. I’m not comparing the Ks to Orange Julius, but I’m not interested in them.

    Very few British people really get American culture. Which is fine, as a rule. If they don’t live here why should they get it? But it’s a problem when they THINK they do. And there are so many Brits in print and TV media here it’s starting to get on my nerves. I love John Oliver in part because he DOES get it, but he also knows what he doesn’t know. And he has excellent insight into his own country and culture, which I always appreciate hearing.

    I hope Oliver comments on this whole situation. That would be the cherry on the cake for me.

    • Nic919 says:

      The Middletons are the British Kardashians. The only difference is that Kris Jenner help set up her kids with businesses and didn’t make marriage the top priority. Carole Jenner instead focused on placing her daughters in the path of rich titled men.

      Both James Middleton and Rob Kardashian are generally useless so they have that in common.