‘Harry & Meghan’ is Netflix’s largest documentary premiere of all time

Harry & Meghan Vol. 2 drops tonight – or tomorrow morning, depending where you are in the world. East Coast gets it at 3 am, I believe, and I will be able to watch two episodes or more before I start work. I’m hoping that we start getting to the meat of the story quickly, after a three-episode love story wind-up. While I think there are a lot of bad takes about the series thus far, I also think some people have some nuanced analysis and even some good-faith criticism. My good-faith criticism is that their courtship up to their engagement should have been two episodes, not three. Still, you can’t deny that people are watching and that everyone has an opinion. As such, Netflix released some astounding numbers:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial Netflix special Harry & Meghan was the second most-watched English language television show on the streamer over the past week, the platform announced Tuesday, with 81.5 million hours watched since the first half of the documentary series premiered Thursday.

The debut represented the largest premiere in Netflix history for a documentary in its first week, according to the platform, with more than 28 million households tuning in to the first three episodes. In the U.K. alone, more than 2.4 million people tuned into the first episode when it first began streaming on Thursday.

The series was overshadowed only by Tim Burton’s smash series Wednesday, which brought in nearly 270 million hours of viewership, marking the third consecutive week the show was part of Netflix’s top 10 English-language programs.

Harry & Meghan was listed as Netflix’s top television series on Friday, the day after it premiered, before being replaced by Wednesday again.

[From Forbes]

To be fair, Wednesday is a lot of fun! It doesn’t have to be either-or. I loved Wednesday and I get why that show hit the audience sweet-spot of appealing to tweens, teens, 50-somethings and everyone in-between. Now, I would love to see a demographic breakdown of the viewership for Harry & Meghan, and I strongly suspect that many people will pick up the series and watch the whole thing in one weekend once Volume 2 comes out. Especially if it’s as explosive as everyone thinks it will be.

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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88 Responses to “‘Harry & Meghan’ is Netflix’s largest documentary premiere of all time”

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  1. Enny says:

    Id love to know how many of those views came from within palace walls. Also, Dan Wootten and Piss Morgan themselves must have watched at least 50 times while wallowing and wailing, as they do.

    • Eurydice says:

      They’d have to watch it multiple times in order to nitpick every word and photo.

      • CECIIVA says:

        I binged the first 3 episodes last week, the instant they were available for streaming. As soon as Vol I finished, I looked at the DM’s website and it was already full of hate pieces about the episodes (including the 3rd, which had just that moment concluded). It certainly seemed as though most of them had to have been pre-written and approved. (I didn’t click on any of them, because they disgust me.) Maybe some re-watching was done to pick apart the details, but the tabloids didn’t need it to air at all to have their say.

        It brought to mind the “experts” who filmed their commentary about the Oprah interview days before it aired.

    • anne says:

      This most hilarious/pathetic headline I saw on the Fail last week was “Harry & Meghan doc FINALLY hits #1 on Netflix after 24 HOURS!!!!!!”

      Um, weird flex, but OK? There were 3 hour-long episodes released on a work day, so yeah, it’s gonna take 24 WHOLE HOURS for the streaming numbers to build up. If anything, hitting #1 in SPITE of those hurdles means that it’s HUGE.

      Do they really not understand the self-owning that’s happening when they write these nonsensical headlines?

  2. Becks1 says:

    this is why i’m laughing so hard at the haters, saying no one cares and no one is going to watch and its boring etc.

    You all lied! You all watched it!! Hell Piers Morgan is probably responsible for half those UK numbers, LOL.

    I am REALLY excited for tomorrow. I’m annoyed its 3 am, I’ll probably do what I did last week and start watching an episode on my phone as I start work around 630, LOL. so I’ll be behind everyone.

    • Amy Bee says:

      All the haters watched it. Harry and Meghan says thanks for watching and Netflix says thanks for the free promo British press.

      • Becks1 says:

        Right? This is why they don’t need to promote their projects. the British press does it for them lol.

    • Debbie says:

      I know. To me, all the Karens and the Sternses are like people who eat every morsel on their plates, they lick the plate clean, then ask for seconds, only to turn around and say they didn’t like the food. Believe me, they will be first in line to watch the second volume. They can’t help themselves. That and that’s the only way they can get the media to pay attention to them.

    • Meghan says:

      My kid took over my TV all week to watch YouTube, but thanks to my 2nd round of Covid I was finally able to watch the first 3 episodes today! Which is good timing because I can watch the last episodes tomorrow and not forget things.

  3. Seaflower says:

    Who’s irrelevant now?

    Mark Cuban saying he would by anything they sell as they have star quality.

    • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

      I saw that Mark Cuban video and he predicted they could potentially become billionaires. I’d love to see them become wealthier than the Royal Family.

  4. Heather says:

    Saw someone on Twitter saying they initially lied (in their engagement video on the day it was announced) about how they met saying they didn’t meet through a friend but rather H sent her a DM. This person was essentially saying they met on social media. Wrong. Their mutual friend sent Meghan an email letting her know he was interested so they were in fact introduced by a mutual friend as they’ve said all along. THEN Harry messaged her directly.

    This person also said she lied about wearing muted colors and then posted all these photos of her in colors as proof. The problem is the photos she shared were A) events she did when she knew know other senior Royal women would be there, or B) after they had announced they were stepping back and at that point she didn’t give AF. This person posted a photo of Meghan at Louie’s baptism in an olive green dress which IS a muted color that Kate would not wear.

    These people. If this is your proof of them being liars, you’re pitiful.

    • Ginger says:

      Meghan said their engagement interview was a scripted reality show. The palace probably didn’t want their initial meeting to have Harry looked at her Snapchat filter and thought she was cute. They did have a mutual friend that was the go between.

      My husband wants to watch this but is waiting till they are all out. I am curious what he will think. He is very neutral when it comes to them.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        I didn’t know there was anyone alive on this planet who is very neutral about H&M. He should will his brain to science.

      • Amy Too says:

        Scripted reality show and they made sure to include the line about how “Catherine has been such a big help” to Meghan, lol. Scripted reality show could’ve just been about the timing of the engagement, and that’s what I originally thought, but they made sure to include the whole “my family has been so welcoming to her, especially Catherine. Catherine has been so sweet/helpful/whatever”

      • Normades says:

        Right? The palace probably thought it was too crass that Harry wanted to slide into her DMs or had a finsta. They slightly fudged the story but it’s really not a big deal. It wasn’t a lie just a PR edit.

    • artemis says:

      they are grasping at straws

    • Isabella says:

      Also who cares exactly how they met or what colors she wears. We’re not talking about world politics here.

  5. Alexandria says:

    We all know the rats pretend they are mad but they’re actually so happy because they can write more dumb articles about HM.

  6. Neners says:

    Mr. 302 is seething right now.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    Last week the reporter from the Sun was saying it was a flop. If the British press really wanted the docuseries to flop they should have ignored it.

    • Laura D says:

      There was also an Express “journalist” telling their readers that Netflix should ask for a refund because it was a flop! These people are making themselves look sillier by the day. 28 million households is a huge audience and the reaction from the tabloids is supporting everything H&M are saying about them. Their nonsense may work on their noisy right-wing readership but, silent majority in 28 million households obviously haven’t bought into it otherwise they wouldn’t have watched. It says a lot about the treatment of H&M by the press when you have someone like Geraldo tweeting about press bias towards them. I for one never thought I’d find “liking” a tweet by someone so closely associated with Fox! 😆

    • LBB says:

      I just saw an article in Forbes saying what a disappointment it must be for Harry and Meghan and that it is on 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. I have no idea what kind of source Forbes is? I stopped reading.

      • Emily says:

        Forbes online just uses random commentators and doesn’t fact check articles so it’s not very reliable. Whilst the print magazine is well regarded a lot of the online only articles aren’t great. Best to ignore and not give it clicks.

      • LBB says:

        Good to know, thank you Emily!

    • Thelma says:

      And The Times had an article last week saying that it was a snooze fest in the UK. Then I saw it was fending on Netflix and wondered whether the British media live in an alternative universe?! Or whether they think if they repeat lies enough, people will believe it. SMH

  8. Welp says:

    As they say bad press isn’t always bad!! Reality is the irrational bullying and harassing of Meghan and Harry has only elevated their platform. They are truly the most famous royals now that the Queen has died.

    A few years ago I don’t know if they would have gotten these kind of numbers for their series. (Before they left to America).
    People liked them but there wasn’t that much of a compelling story beyond we fell in love etc.
    But with elevated status also comes lots more haters. I hope they can ride that wave all the way to the bank.
    I wish them many more years of success.

  9. Jais says:

    Love ❤️. Am sure BM will still somehow say it’s a flop but um clearly it isn’t.

  10. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    Oh wow. I knew it would do numbers but I didn’t expect biggest documentary debut ever especially considering the other celeb docs on Netflix where the celebrity in question has huge fanbases.

  11. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Yes, Piers Morgan watched. He was waiting for Meghan to mention him and talk about their “date” the night she met Harry. But Meg blanked him in her doc too, lol! You know ALL these people are watching just to see if they are mentioned so their engagement numbers can go up. Every Rota and Royal is a narcissist.

    • Lady Digby says:

      Was he just present at a press junket for Suits or did Pisspoor actually have a drink with her b4 putting her into a taxi for her first date with PH as he claims?

      • Jan says:

        He met her at a press junket for suits, then claimed she came to his Pub, and never posted a picture, and he will take a picture with ingrown hair for publicity.
        Then there is a video of him saying Meghan missed a great opportunity to visit his Pub because she had plans, then he turned it into he put her in a cab to meet Harry.

  12. Maxine Brnch says:

    Excited to watch this series wind up. Thought giving their back story was a great way to clarify the “how did they meet “ narrative. Also hoping clarification will be given re the gaslighting. Many of us witnessed it through the tabloid coverage but would like to see Harry’s interpretation. Simply stunning to me how these folks are on record stating how they were given negative information to report re the Sussexes but are now acting surprised that Harry is slamming them for doing this. Also will be interested in seeing how far Harry will go in explaining the gaslighting and planting of stories. Love how he stated “this is a dirty game,” In the trailer. Did these folks actually think this man would allow them to get away with “feeding his wife to the wolves,” without using his platform to set the record straight? Not only are these folks dumb they are reckless and vile. Hopeful Meghan’s mother comments on the effect of seeing her child evicerated daily by that gutter UK press and gossipers.

  13. GrnieWnie says:

    This is turning into the highlight of my week. I’ve gotta say, I don’t really understand why random American celebrities have strong opinions about H&M. Objectively speaking, Megan just…existed. She was seen in photos. She married a prince and advocated for some causes. She didn’t actually do anything, so I don’t know why random Americans strongly dislike her…for Harry leaving the monarchy?

    I happen to be obsessed with them due to my own experiences with British institutions/background. I had a feeling that a young American + institution of British monarchy would not mix and learning about how the UK press works around the royals has been amazing! Watching her experience really helped me feel vindicated about some of my own. So my stake is personal. Why do other people hate her, especially in the States where British tabloids don’t have much reach?

    (I know: racism, misogyny, etc. But just on the face of it, how can random celebrities justify their intense dislike of her? That’s what I don’t get. Where do they think that comes from? Exactly what did Meghan do that was so awful?)

    • Concern Fae says:

      The top people in the BRF are really pushing this “minor royals” thing. I think it’s an ultra snobbish thing, that these members of the freaking royal family are just sort of losers and nobodies.

      As someone was saying on Twitter, they’ll never actually take the titles away, the aristocracy will have a huge pushback. There is no way that they will allow for there to be any sense that you have to “earn” your title. The whole point of it is that the titles are your right because of who your parents and grandparents were. Saying that you need to do anything beyond that destroys the whole point of the thing.

      But Charles really is that petty and stupid, so who knows.

      • Cessily says:

        I saw an interesting saying in an article regarding Royals and aristocracy it was roughly that their lives and what they should be known for is the titles they have and just being, and certainly not for doing. That is why so many are upset at Prince Harry because he chose to do something and others might expect them to also.

    • equality says:

      Maybe they think I was more famous why didn’t he want to meet me?

    • Laura D says:

      @GrnieWnie – “””how can random celebrities justify their intense dislike of her?”””
      M O N E Y. I can’t remember who it was but, there was an actor who was asked to make up stories about her. There’s also a clip going around by a respected journalist who was asked to make up stories about her. The best example was the Youtube video by the young lads who asked well known royal “experts” to comment on the Oprah video before it has been aired. I think they were paid £200 for the participation. “Hating” Meghan Markle is a multi-million pound industry and they ALL get paid.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        @LauraD Omg you’re right, Simon Rex! He turned down money to say sh*t about her! THAT guy ended up having morals…man, that was a wild story.

    • dee(2) says:

      Tabloids don’t have much direct reach, but the fluffy publications pretty much report their articles verbatim. Look at the coverage in soft “women-focused” magazines like Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmo. They report exactly what the Express or Sun does, sometimes with a caveat that so and so is a vocal critic so take it with a grain of salt, but most of the times without. So, if you are just glancing at the MSN homepage, all you see is the UK Tabloids narrative, and if you only glance at the headlines it paints a grim view. I started coming to this website because I don’t have social media and the articles I saw were all just reprints from the Daily Mail, which I knew wasn’t to be trusted from my days as a teen deep in the HP fandom.

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      Ok I have dying to share this. I’m watching the Serpent Queen and there’s a whole story arc about how the younger brothers war heroism makes the hero look weak and like he shouldn’t be king.

      The younger war hero made the heir look bad so a lot of people thought the spare was in danger.

      Shared in wrong place! Sorry!

    • Emily_C says:

      The random American “celebrities” who hate her are either incredibly minor or on a serious downslide, and they all have a history of misogyny and racism. The only reason anyone will even talk about these nobodies is if they say something about her. You are not going to see any big celebrities’ negative opinions about her unless they’re MAGA — and the only major MAGA celebrity is Kanye, and he’s lost every ounce of cred he ever had.

  14. Jan says:

    Control is in your hand, no one is forcing you to watch, Netflix, Harry and Meghan thank you for your support.
    It is funny the people writing bad reviews, don’t realize how much Netflix don’t care, because they’re watching it.
    Quoting Jay Z, men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

  15. Sindy says:

    Wednesday is 10 episodes so 10 hours long, Harry and Meghan is only 3 hours long so Wednesday has more minutes viewed. The household numbers are more reliable ratings wise.

    • Yami says:

      Wednesday is a comedy/ drama/ young adult show, not a documentary. They aren’t the same. To compare the two isn’t apt since the audiences aren’t likely to go to each show for the same things.

  16. GrnieWnie says:

    On another note, I remember the UK tabloids used to mock Harry and say he wasn’t qualified for any job because he hadn’t worked outside of the military. He *had* to stay royal (this was either in the early stages with Meghan or maybe even before she entered the picture). They kept up with that mockery throughout, basically saying Harry had no credentials other than royalty. I remember thinking are you crazy? This man has been pressing palms with the most powerful people in the world since he was a child. He’s been performing for cameras since birth.

    This documentary reminded me of what a public speaker he is and how carefully he chooses his words. Someone in his position can do practically anything and you can’t possibly separate his royalty from his skills (as the tabloids insist he has some obligation to do) because the two are interlinked. In his case, from birth.

    I get the sense that he’s VERY good at communicating. But what struck me way back when is how obtuse the UK tabloids were. Like did people actually believe Harry was somehow unemployable? (Apparently). He’s SO good at engaging his audience. It really is an abusive relationship wherein the press basically gaslights/abuses the royal family and the institution is so desperate to hang onto its existence that it actively participates.

    • equality says:

      Do these people think before they speak. That is a slap in the face to all those who are career military.

      • Debbie says:

        Exactly. I mean, I’m no military buff but even I know that people in the military learn all kinds of skills and can make a decent living whether they were in medicine, engineering, pilots, mechanics or even snipers who can teach about firearms in the outside world. How limited are those royal “experts”?

      • Terik says:

        Exactly Equality. In addition they clearly have no idea of what a Military Academy education consists.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Meanwhile, Harry stepped out of the royal bubble and not only got a job with Better-Up but gave a speech at a JP Morgan-sponsored conference or something like that. I can’t imagine anyone employing the Other Brother since he barely worked twice a month when he worked for the Emergency Air Corps.

    • Laura D says:

      @GrnieWnie “””It really is an abusive relationship wherein the press basically gaslights/abuses the royal family and the institution is so desperate to hang onto its existence that it actively participates”””

      They hand on to their existence by encouraging the media to “gaslight/abuse” a member of the royal family! They didn’t “gaslight/abuse” Andrew for his association with Epstien. They find someone who they’re prepared to feed to the wolves and let the press do what they will. There’s a clip on Twitter where a journalist tells the story of one of the papers he was working with told him you can say what you want about H&M but, leave William and Kate alone. There are other clips where journalists say outright that the “leaks” are coming from Kensington Palace. Yes, the press might “gaslight/abuse” individuals in the royal family but, when you look at origins of the “gaslighting/abusing” it’s usually from the royal family themselves.

      • Jais says:

        Harry and Meghan knew that the next person to be fed to the wolves would be Archie and then Lili. No way would they stay there and allow that.

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      In fact it seems it was just the opposite! I’m watching the Serpent Queen and there’s a whole story arc about how the younger brothers war heroism makes the hero look weak and like he shouldn’t be king.

      The younger war hero made the heir look bad so a lot of people thought the spare was in danger.

      (I shared this above by mistake)

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        Ugh autocorrect got me. the war hero brother made the heir look weak (French monarchy). That’s the point.

        So they’re attacking Harry for his military service because it makes Billy look weak.

    • booboocita says:

      I think it was Gayle King who said that most people would be ASTOUNDED if they knew how well-connected Harry was. And he obviously had — HAS — the charisma and charm to keep and nurture those connections, and the intelligence to realize their importance and grow them into fruitful relationships. He’s definitely the smarter brother.

  17. Tessa says:

    I guess the ones on dm comments section who were so outraged they cancelled Netflix did not stop the program from being a success

  18. Flowerlake says:

    I loved Wednesday!

    But it makes sense it has more hours of viewership as it’s longer than the 3 episodes of Harry and Meg so far.

    • MY3CENTS says:

      It’s a good week when a series with a goth female lead and our favorite royal couple are top 2.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Both Wednesday and Harry&Meghan are excellent content, well worth watching by wide demographics. They’re a great top 2 series to end the year on.

  19. Renae says:

    Maybe, just maybe if the palace didn’t carry on so much about what H&M Might day…..the numbers wouldn’t be quite so high. But good for KP/CH etc. You played yourselves.

  20. Normades says:

    My daughter had me watch Wednesday with her and I had her watch H&M with me. We watched all the things and enjoyed them both.

    In the beginning the Mail was gleefully saying it didn’t break the top ten. Now that the official numbers are out they can only say it “failed” to reach the top spot. As if that takes away from the fact it’s a massive ratings success.

  21. Chantal says:

    Lol! I love to see it. Streisand Effect all day every day. Netflix really should put them on payroll bc no PR/marketing dept could do a better job than the clown factory aka the RRs and their recently acknowledged overlords (thanks Scrappy Dan).

  22. girl_ninja says:

    You know those racist haters where hitting refresh on their Netflix app at 12 midnight waiting for the doc to drop.

    Beth Frankel was getting roasted because she watched the first half and was bored. Saying that Harry and Meghan just want to be famous, that this was a money grab and of course misquoting the desire for “privacy” Harry and Meghan have.

    Frankel like the others haters are so blinded by envy, jealous and racism they can’t see straight when it comes to Harry and Meghan. More so Meghan because she is the WHOLE package that they THINK they are but know they aren’t.

    Eat shit haters.

    • Eating Popcorn says:

      ‘Frankel saying they just want to be famous’ can’t get any richer coming from a Bravolebrity who it to sell her brand. Needless to say, they were already famous, LOL.

  23. ChillinginDC says:

    A flop that people are watching? Okay then.

  24. Lili says:

    My take they have earned the 100mil from Netflix, if they were paid $1 for every view of the docuseries at 81mill views they are pretty damn close.

  25. Temple says:


  26. Eating Popcorn says:

    One of Charles’s biographers is a friend of a friend. She is constantly telling friend how dim/stupid Harry is and how is so easily manipulated. I did not see that at all in the documentary. In fact, he was well-spoken, kind, and seemed very thoughtful. If this isn’t the classic palace briefing against Harry, I don’t know what is.

    • Emily_C says:

      My father’s constantly telling his friends how terrible I am, and has my whole life. Narcissistic fathers do that.

    • Princessk says:

      I think l know who the ‘biographer’ is. I used to like her but some of the things she has said about Harry are below the belt in my opinion show she is not a good person. I bumped into her in the main high road in Windsor during the wedding, she tried to avoid eye contact with me but l gave her an eye full.

  27. Susie says:

    I think one other thing people are forgetting which makes this even more amazing is that it’s only 3 hours of show. Wednesday is more than double that amount of time meaning people who started it probably watched every hour. Unless you watch it multiple times you are restricted to only watching 3 hours.
    Also while the reviews aren’t good I think that’s cuz reviewers were looking for more spicy content. It’s like saying the Christmas romance movies are all boring with the same tropes. Yes that is true but the feeling you get from it is why many people watch them around this season. They aren’t looking for
    Game of thrones with complex themes. The aims of the Sussex and the wants of tv reviewers are not the same. I truly think the Sussex are getting want they want out of the show. Money sure but also being able to present themselves without the filter of the British media. Everyone says oh why can’t they go away. But in 3 years they have done only 4 real interviews everything else is daily screeching by the British press. So it seems like they are constantly talking. And that has contributed to the fatigue. But their story is definitely appealing and cute to watch and I think many that watched that were in the middle or even leaned towards hate come out saying awwwww aren’t they cute. I think also the way they obviously and genuinely are in love means a lot of people who may even think they “disrespected” the queen will be like the hate they get is disproportionate. Even if every single thing the British media said was true it does not make sense how much hate and focus they get. Plus starting from the beginning and the part about their childhoods really helps show that they had pretty lonely and sad childhoods and they have found each other and just want to be together . Outside of the hardcore haters who give the energy of stans with their hate, the bots and people with a financial stakes it will be hard for the middle that only kinda knows the story thru the media to maintain the strong hate for the Sussex’s. I mean their love story feels like it should be fictional. It’s an updated Cinderella story for 2022 where the black princess saves the prince and they live happily ever after with their ginger kids in sunny California. I mean the birdwatching scene alone with Archie is pure cuteness overload.

  28. Klara says:

    I would love an article about Dominion’s 1.6 Billion $ suit against Fox and Rupert Murdoch. It’s connected to Harry’s war against the UK media, which includes Murdoch press. If either Dominion or Harry wins their case it would benefit the other, right? Rupert Murdoch was questiojed this week. Wish that had been public. Hopefully Fox has to pay up hig time and goes bankrupt. That would be absolutely wonderful!

  29. Helene says:

    Never doubted that this docu would be a hit. They are A list, the Windsors are just overglorified anachrojistic parasites. There is no competition. Never will be.