The Sussexes executive-produced an inspirational docu-series called ‘Live to Lead’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a brand new project coming out and we didn’t know anything about it before now!! They have executive produced Live to Lead, a docu-series about inspirational people in the world right now. I would assume each episode focuses on individuals like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Greta Thunberg, Jacinda Ardern, Siya Kolisi, Gloria Steinem and Albie Sachs. The series includes in-person interviews, meaning they interviewed RBG in 2020, before her death that fall (before the election). In the first trailer for the series, it’s very Sussex-forward:

Netflix notes that the series is “inspired by the iconic legacy of Nelson Mandela, Live to Lead highlights the fundamental values, daily disciplines and guiding principles that leaders employ to motivate others and create meaningful change.” It definitely feels like it’s equal parts Harry and Meghan too – Meghan is a big champion of Jacinda Arden, RBG and Gloria Steinem. Harry has known Siya Kolisi for years. The series is also a project created by the Nelson Mandela Foundation… the same foundation which asked Harry to speak at the United Nations on Nelson Mandela Day over the summer.

Anyway, it looks good, educational and inspiring… but completely uncontroversial. I can’t wait to see what negative talking points are issued by the Windsors about this. One hilarious thing I will admit is that I was wrong and Tom Bower was right about one small thing… Harry probably was invited to speak at the UN because of Netflix. Meaning, Harry and Meghan have clearly been working on Live to Lead for years, and the project originated with the Mandela Foundation, and the foundation clearly thought Harry would be the right person to represent them at the UN over the summer. Therefore, NETFLIX WAS BEHIND EVERYTHING. Did I just blow your mind???

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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98 Responses to “The Sussexes executive-produced an inspirational docu-series called ‘Live to Lead’”

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  1. Neners says:

    I’m really proud of Harry and Meghan and their whole team at Archewell as well. No leaks, no keenery, just a finished project that reflects everything they stand for. I can’t wait to watch! What a relief it must be for them to finally have a team of PROFESSIONALS.

    • Chloe says:

      Can you imagine the culture shock both of them had? First Meghan going from a professional environment to the palace and then Harry going from the high schoolers that seem to work for KP to a professional environment.

      Imagine Harry’s shock when he found out you CAN do big things without leaking and negative briefings?

    • Yup, Me says:

      Exactly this. And I hope that one of their future drops shows some of the behind the scenes on putting together and delivering a project- from conception all the way through to celebration. I’ve wished that for years.

  2. GuestWho says:

    This looks like exactly the kind of content I thought they would create going forward. Wonderful to see.

    Variety had an article out about how Netflix and Spotify shouldn’t count on the Sussexes for any content going forward as they had no second act. LOL. An hour later they had an article up about this new series. The dragging was sublime.

    • IForget says:

      LOL I love this. The projection is real.

    • Lili says:

      That was hilarious, within an hour they had to post about the new documentary series

    • Becks1 says:

      I wonder if any other projects are wrapped and ready to be released. Netflix has probably been laughing at all the “they have nothing to offer” commentary, knowing that this was waiting in the wings.

      • Chloe says:

        Well Heart of Invictus was announced around the same time as Pearl. We know Pearl has been scrapped but as far as I know HoI is still set to go. Although it would make sense for that to air around the 2023 Invictus Games.

      • Becks1 says:

        yeah I’m thinking HoI will come out closer to the games to build interest and publicity. I’m just wondering if there’s something else that will be announced with a very close debut date.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I wouldn’t count ‘Pearl’ out completely yet. Yes the entire animation division of NetFlix was dumped. IF Pearl was already fairly far along in production, with some episodes nearly done? I could see Meghan and David Furnish lobbying to have it continued under contract animation another place.

    • Jan says:

      That was funny, Variety trying to ride the the Sussex train, oops a derailment less than an hour after posting a made up story.

    • C-Shell says:

      Yes … so much for the narrative that Netflix was all frustrated with the Sussexes’ failure to produce the content they contracted for LOL. This is an awesome project to have been working on and putting together during a pandemic. Their ability to build and polish impressive works without any leaks and then drop a jewel on the public without any hype is incredible.

    • Anne says:

      When will the anti-Sussex talking heads learn? Every time they say, “well, what else do they have to offer???,” H&M SHOW what they have to offer — with whole-ass, completed projects. EVERY time. They are not the Keen Kouple who like to talk about things and not do things. H&M get things DONE — no leaks, no keenery, just work.

      • Christine says:

        By my count, The Wails’ accomplishments this year boil down to a Christmas recital and an award ceremony that wasn’t actually celebrating any of the award winners. Other than that, they got a “promotion” when grandma died. That’s it.

        Meghan had already worked more than them by the end of her first podcast.

  3. Seaflower says:

    I love this for them. Perfect follow on project, focus on the amazing leaders in the world while the RF trips over their own feet again.

    • Sam says:

      Just… WOW!! They’re amazing! They chose really great personalities. I especially love Gloria Steinem and Greta Thunberg. Greta in particular is a leader and a hero for me and my generation!

  4. Lili says:

    I can see the headlines now they didn’t even bother to interview the Queen, she should have been on the list having ruled for 70 years 😂🤣😂. That is some huge shade not having interviewed the Queen.

    • Chloe says:

      I can actually see them do this…

    • North of Boston says:

      Maybe another thing the RR accidentally got right: the Sussexes could have considered bringing a Netflix camera crew when they visited the palace, just not for the reasons the courtiers and RR thought.

      Though TBH, I don’t think she’d be on their short list; Harry seems to have adored her as his gran, but was less a fan of The Firm.

    • Kate says:

      I mean…what did the Queen actually do? Don’t all the royals just shake hands, wear outfits and give speeches?

      • TeamMeg says:

        The Queen was the monarch, and a motherly symbol for Great Britain, but she did little in the way of actual leadership, right? Her job was to remain neutral and maintain the status quo.

    • SarahLee says:

      I thought the same thing. And if they had managed an interview, then they would have been trading on their royal connections. Ugh….Meghan’s line though about the life we lead being the true measure of impact though….Wow. The Windsors are going to love that one. LOL!

  5. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    Interesting that not one of the 7 featured are British, it’s almost like they have no true leaders across the pond.

    • Lili says:

      It’s very interesting I’ve been racking my brain to think of inspirational British women and I am having a hard time, so I googled and checked out vogue’s list. Not that I agree with the list but that is the cultural limits of who should inspire us

      • Jane says:

        Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland. While people may not agree with her politics, she is quite simply head and shoulders above any other politician currently operating in the U.K.

    • susan says:

      England has been a world leader in mediocrity for more than a generation. Outside of the Beatles and Prince Harry it’s really hard to pick out a world-changing figure that was an unalloyed force for good.

    • Bonsai Mountain says:

      I would say there are many inspirational figures in Britain – but they’re Black British and British Asian, people of color. It’s just that they get sidelined because of racism.

      • SaraTor says:

        Just a note that they didn’t actually conduct the interviews..Jacinda Arden said she did the interviews in 2019 for the Mandela foundation and never had contact from the Sussexes that she would be involved in a docu series. She said the Mandela Fund has the right to use those interviews for any purposes and she thinks this is a legitimate one. That’s how they have RBG in it too.

  6. girl_ninja says:

    This doesn’t look really good and probably inspirational. It’s clear that Meghan and Harry are always working on something. Looking for ways to encourage and inspire. I really respect that.

  7. Mtl.ex.pat says:

    Wow – talk about stealthy! This is great – very much looking forward to it. And I was saying the other day – would it have killed anyone in the BRF to congratulate Harry when Invictus went so well? And now – would it be the end of the world for them to wish them well in their new project? At least on a family level?! Such dysfunction.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      It just makes the BRF look soooo bad, like petty, petty, shortsighted a$$holes. Because not only did they not congratulate Harry (which, okay, fine) they didn’t even congratulate the British veterans who were competing in the IG! That institution and “family” really are cutting off their nose to spite their face! Taking their hatred of all things Sussex so far that they snub their country’s own veterans. And then they dress themselves in unearned military uniforms and fake medals! How are they just so stupid?

      • Mtl.ex.pat says:

        @sussexwatcher – excellent points. Ignoring veterans is a bad look – compounded by the fact that, as you noted, they prance about in unearned medals looking like cruise ship directors (which is an unfair slight to cruise directors I guess)

      • booboocita says:

        Oh, it gets worse. The UK organization that sponsored and trained UK vets for the Invictus Games was a nonprofit called Help for Heroes (H4H). It’s been involved with IG since its inception. But in May 2022, H4H was rudely pushed aside by the UK Ministry of Defence. Going forward, the Royal British Legion will be responsible for UK Invictus athletes’ training and support. The ostensible reason is that H4H doesn’t have the funds or infrastructure needed to support a big team, but H4H leadership has made it very clear that they were not consulted or offered assistance with their alleged shortcomings.

        I’m guessing that the reason for this was twofold: to insult and disrespect an organization (H4H) that has always been a strong supporter of Harry, and to give the RF an excuse to interfere in Invictus. I don’t know who the royal patron of the Royal British Legion is, or if the Legion has one, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if IG Team UK shows up at the next IG in Dusseldorf with Peggy or Chucky Boy in tow, trying to rub off a little of Harry’s shine and spread it on themselves.

      • windyriver says:

        It’s not clear if they have an official patron at present, but the previous patron was TQ herself. The website says Anne is president of the Women’s Section, whatever that means.

      • Robert Phillips says:

        Harry is making the royals and a lot of others finally get that “royal” and other titles is meaningless. So they have to destroy him. Because if he can succeed without them. Then they are nothing. And it’s all play acting.

  8. Becks1 says:

    I love how they operate in stealth mode. Clearly lots of people involved knew about this, and no one leaked (not anything serious anyway that I can remember.)

    I also love the timing of this – less than a month after their first docuseries, and before Harry’s memoir, so interest in them is high right now, and this seems so different from what the first docuseries was – I think its a good move. They’re like “we’re telling you why we left in the first docuseries, and now we’re giving you proof of the kind of work we want to do.”

    The easy criticism will be that it does not feature the Queen or any other royal, lolol. Remember how mad they all were that the Queen wasn’t on the Vogue cover?

    • Snuffles says:

      Oh, they will definitely whine that the Queen isn’t featured or any Brit. They will cry “woke!”, as always. They especially despise Greta.

      • North of Boston says:

        But weren’t they also screaming that the Sussexes should not be allowed to bring cameras when they were around the Queen?

        Can’t have it both ways buttercups.

      • SussexWatcher says:

        Becks – It’s hilarious that they simultaneously want to be included, even as they decry the project for being too woke. So pathetic. Cry more, Salty Isle, cry more.

        And I completely agree with you that the timing is perfect and their ability to move with stealth and just present finished products is *chef’s kiss*. This has been Meghan’s hallmark since the Together cookbook. Harry must be over the moon to have a staff that doesn’t leak like a sieve to the press! I just imagine Harry to be in such a state of feeling a weight’s been lifted from his shoulders. Like he can finally exhale 🥰

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        I could see them complaining because Mutton Buttons and her ‘groundbreaking’ early childhood ‘research’ isn’t included.

        In my dreams, they DO include her along side the likes of RBG, Jacinda Ardern, etc., and she looks all that much worse by comparision. Like, 100x worse than she did next to Dr. Biden at the roundtable.

    • Bean says:

      What I really love is that this is the sort of thing that can be shown in schools.

    • windyriver says:

      Don’t forget Archetypes; since the last episode at the end of November, something is dropping about every two weeks through Harry’s memoir. That’s four major finished projects in the four months since TQ died. In those four months the RF has accomplished – ?

      Well, Kate did plant a tree today, and I think finally she’s rewearing something (the coat?) Does that count as two engagements as per the Middleton method of padding the court circular?

      • Becks1 says:

        Yes, its an event for the tree planting and then an event for releasing the picture, LOL. (I’m kidding but not by much.)

  9. Jais says:

    RBG! Love how they do their work undercover and then do a surprise drop. So cool. I’m ready to watch.

    • Snuffles says:

      I’m especially impressed they got RBG. It must have been mere months before she passed away.

      • nutella toast says:

        My immediate reaction to seeing and hearing RBG was, “Gah – I miss her”. She was everything good in the world and the original Queen – she wore her crown around her neck, but it was better than any stolen jewel. She was willing to risk it all and fight all the way to the end.

      • HamsterJam says:

        There is a house down the street from me where their kids painted little signs to hang on their fence, my favorite is a very sweet and colorful rendition of “RIP RBG”

  10. C-Shell says:

    At my advanced stage in life, I am pleased and a bit flummoxed to report that following the Sussexes and their causes and projects has opened my eyes and mind to so many new things, renewed my interest in **learning** about new things and people who are shaping the world in the present and future. I know I’m not alone in this, so they are accomplishing their greater goals. Netflix (and Spotify) is a perfect platform for the Sussexes to get their mission out globally. Brilliant.

  11. Amy Bee says:

    The press are probably going to complain that the Queen is not included in this new project. Apparently this shows how ambitious Harry has become, in a negative way. The announcement of this project makes it clear that KP was the one who leaked to the press that Harry and Meghan was going to do their docuseries.

    • susan says:

      “No Netflix cameras!!!” they cried as they stomped their feet. “But Her Majesty’s not included!!!” they cried as they stomped their other feet.

    • windyriver says:

      Good, more free publicity, whichever way they spin it. Has the brain trust over there figured that out yet?

  12. Heather says:

    I love how they are so successful here and doing the things they wanted to do all along. And doing it quietly, discreetly and producing top notch material. Can’t wait to see what else they put out in 2023.

  13. Nerd says:

    They can’t really be mad about the Queen not being included, after they went on and on saying they shouldn’t even have access to their phones because of the possibility of them filming or taking photos of the Queen. So there being no footage of the Queen is the RF and medias doing. I love it. They are so fixated on telling the Sussexes what they should or shouldn’t do so when it happens and the royals miss out on a great global opportunity, they always end up on the losing team. The “Go back to America”, “No half in and half out”, “ Only working royals can be on the balcony” and “Don’t film the Queen” are just a few examples of them shooting themselves in the foot, while the Sussexes come out victorious.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      And, they never, ever seem to learn from their foot-shootings and own goals. They just continue making the same mistakes again and again. Don’t get me wrong, I love that for them. They deserve every single mistake and egg on face, but, wow, it’s wild to watch.

      (Lol, how many more oops they did it again metaphors can I put in this post?)

    • Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

      Honestly how could the queen be included? She (or the king) isn’t a leader, never has been, in her long reign she only addressed her “subjects” 4 times I believe (aside from her yearly Christmas message), she did nothing to make life better for those who have her as a head of state.

      • Rnot says:

        Her address in April 2020 during the height of the covid chaos was a rare example of leadership. It was the right moment for her to play the nation’s grandmother. Hearing from the woman who lived through WWII and the blitz was a reminder to have perspective during a moment that felt very frightening and out of control. She reassured people in a way that none of the other big players had done. But that action only stands out because there was such a glaring lack of leadership from her government (and most others) at that time. There shouldn’t have been a leadership vacuum for her to fill but there was and she did.

      • equality says:

        Basically saying “there, there, it will get better” is leadership? I would think leadership would be seeing that vaccinations were available and that people were aware of how to avoid getting sick. And setting an example of masking and seeing that her family did so and seeing that her family observed the rules instead of sending two of them on a tour.

  14. Kingston says:

    I’ve always felt that after their love story, their next projects wth Netflix (in addition to Heart of Invictus) wd include: a multi-part series on the work tht Archewell Foundation has been doing with its various partners.

    Foe eg: they hv 4 locations in diff countries in partnership with WCK; they hv pioneering g research going on abt the digital world; the gender equity work they’ve botth been doing; plus M’s work in female entrepreneurship; Harry’s conservation work in Africa (that tour he convened with some US congress people was videotaped); the 2 awards they recently launched with RFK and the NAACP I feel strongly will get a Netflix behind the scenes feature (like Beyonce’s “Homecoming,” or Michelle Obama’s” Becoming”)

    And that’s just off the top of my head. PLUS: they said they’ll be doing some children’s entertainment shows.

    And all that’s just some of their Netflix projects. They also hv more spotify projects coming up.

    • MsIam says:

      Meghan also said she would like to do rom-coms and other projects. I hope they really build the company into a major player.

      • Snuffles says:

        I’m waiting for that Rom Com! Or they can do a Madea movie with Tyler Perry where “cousin Doria” calls Madea to help her daughter escape the royal plantation.

  15. B says:

    Love this! It reminds me of what Meghan said in the H& M doc which is if they were going to have this intense spotlight then they were going to show everyone what they were seeing. Make the people watching them look at what Harry and Meghan are looking at.

    This kind of positive media and content is sooo needed right now.

  16. thaisajs says:

    This looks deeply, deeply boring to me. And that’s okay! I’m always going to be Team Sussex, but I wish they’d produce something a little deeper and complex (a la NOVA or American Experience). But I’m also a PBS nerd, so.

    • notasugarhere says:

      IMO this show is the type of content that would show up on PBS. For something similar, but in smaller bites, try the NHK series Direct Talk.

    • Eurydice says:

      I think the individuals highlighted are interesting and inspirational enough on their own – they should just tell their story in their own words. To me, stories like this become boring when there’s an editorial voice reminding me – “see how worthy this is? see how inspirational?”

  17. equality says:

    Has the Mandela Foundation produced with Netflix before? If not I’d say that PH is the connection between the Foundation and Netflix and so, no, Netflix didn’t get him the UN invite.

  18. NightingALE says:

    Did they produce it themselves or was it already produced and they acquired it after the fact? RBG died around the time their deal with NF was announced, it is sort of unlikely they interviewed her. It seems like what the Obamas did with American Factory, they acquired and released it.

    • MsIam says:

      It could be a combination. Like someone was planning on doing a project on RBG but she died and there wasn’t enough footage for a full documentary. So the Sussexes acquired the footage. The other people covered in the doc have a more personal connection to the Sussexes.

    • notasugarhere says:

      They announced their exit plan Jan 2020, RBG passed in September 2020. Harry and Meghan would have already been brainstorming for months before hand how they would earn a living, Archewell in general, possible productions and shows, things like that. They may have started working on filming those things right away in January 2020. It could be they interviewed RBG as part of an independent production for their own company spring/summer, then they made a deal with NetFlix later. An already-filmed interview with RBG would be catnip for NetFlix in the negotiations.

      • Smices says:

        Mandela Foundation started the doc. They approached and filmed Jacinda and probably RBG. I’m guessing Archewell came on board and then added people like Gloria Steinem and the guy from the NAACP.

  19. Abby says:

    Sometimes the Facebook posts linking to these posts pop up on my Facebook newsfeed. It is ASTOUNDING the different response Celebitchy gets on those posts. This one is a primary example. People are vile toward the Sussexes. It’s really something. I feel like I live in two alternate universes. People who love the Sussexes and people who vehemently hate them.

    I’m team Sussex, for what it’s worth. I am cheering them on to every happiness. I just can’t understand the turning a blind eye to the RF and how they’ve treated them, and the BEC hatred toward Meghan.

  20. Polly says:

    I got goosebumps watching this. They are truly in their own league. As others have stated already: how wonderful it must be and feel for them to work with an actual team. That is also professional, efficient, trustworthy and competent. They are just going to keep showing their excellent work, a steady flow of outstanding output and projects. While the Keens can only talk a lame game, and only have useless vanity d-list level grift projects to show. The Rottweiler has been demasked, by her own petty,ugly stupidity and cruelty. We don’t need Harry to tell us what an evil abuser she is. The world knows.Through her own actions. One could even make the case the Rottweiler has had enough and wants out, so she is actively sabotaging Charles’s reign. Ha!

  21. Julia K says:

    As someone with zero knowledge of the world of documentary film making, is there any money earned from executive producing? They obviously need to be paid for working but how does this generate income? Anyone know?

    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      I just googled that and it seems that Exec producers get paid a flat fee up front (sometimes) along with a percentage of profits or profit points (also sometimes in a combination).

  22. Sue E Generis says:

    The scope of what these two have accomplished in just 2-3 years is breathtaking. All the different projects in the foundation – that lengthy list of partnerships with results to show for it. Invictus Games. – an enormous global undertaking in itself. Two television projects and a podcast – all global successes. Two toddlers and a miscarriage. They are a really impressive couple.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      This is so true! Impressive is the best adjective to apply to them.

      They are just in a whole different league than the rest of the royals, who couldn’t executive-produce a TikTok video.

  23. Nicegirl says:

    Will watch!

  24. Feebee says:

    You say totally uncontroversial and one would think that but the trolls in NZ will be out over Ardern and I can’t expect the pale, stale males that got their knickers in a twist over Thunberg before will sit quietly.

    Having said that I’m hoping the trolls (for want of a better term) will be mostly in their own little pockets because the series looks good. Contrary to the noses that were put out of joint by ‘service being universal’, it really is and even when the BRF get their shit together and have a really good day, they are but a small, really small part of it.

  25. Annalise says:

    Im going to be honest, my first impression just from the title of the article- cheesy

  26. Saucy&Sassy says:

    I read where Blackwell and Ruth are the ones who conceived of the idea and contacted the Mandala Foundation. This was an article I read where I think it was Blackwell speaking. It’s something they’ve really wanted to do. I can see Archewell wanting to become part of this because it aligns with what they do. Blackwell directed it I believe.

    I am really looking forward to this and can’t wait to see RBG’s interview. We’re really fortunate to have that!!

  27. blunt talker says:

    Positive stories and people are truly needed in this world now-glad Harry and Meghan are a part of this project to show how human and relatable we all really are-as some one stated above-I don’t want to hear any crying about not involving the late Queen-that salty isle screamed louder than a banshee about not allowing the Sussexes to bring camera anywhere near the Queen-they got their wish-you skate you donate.

  28. Crystalline says:

    From what Ardern has said, it doesn’t sound as though H or M were involved in the production of this. It looks as though they perhaps just recorded introductions/voiceovers once the piece had been made.

    • benda says:

      That’s my understanding too, especially as most of the interviews were conducted by the Mandela Foundation back in 2019. Whilst H and M are among the executive producers as well as the presenters , the Mandela Foundation have said the project didn’t initially start out as a Netflix special . Nor has the Foundation confirmed or denied H and M’s involvement at the planning stages either,

  29. sweet.persuasion says:

    Really makes all the royal family ribbon cutting and hand waving look like the fake bs it actually is, huh… that’s why they’re mad. For centuries, they’ve existed on the premise that just showing up while white and rich is enough… but H&M are showing them what *real* work and really changing the world looks like.