Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inspired ‘national conversation’ and ‘polarized opinions’ like Princess Diana, director claims

Ed Perkins has expressed his belief that the reaction to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'reminded' him of what Princess Diana faced...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inspired ‘national conversation’ like Princess Diana, seen here side-by-side at different engagements
(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty // Image 2: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could reportedly be seen to have sparked a “similar national conversation” and “polarized opinions” like Princess Diana, according to the director of HBO’s The Princess documentary.  

Whilst there have been countless movies and documentaries made focusing on the late Princess of Wales since her tragic death in August 1997, the latest offering has used clips “solely from contemporaneous archival audio and video footage”. The new Princess Diana documentary, The Princess, landed on HBO on August 13th. The extended Royal Family haven’t commented on the release as of yet, though Ed Perkins, the director of The Princess, has explained the reason behind exploring Princess Diana’s story. 

Now he’s expressed his belief that the response to Princess Diana throughout her life where people were “dissecting everything” is similar in many ways to what her son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been through. 

Back in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepped back” as senior members of the Royal Family and have since started afresh in their Santa Barbara mansion. The couple have previously opened up about the intensity of the media scrutiny they faced in the UK and Ed Perkins has drawn a comparison between this to Princess Diana’s experience. 

Remarking upon this to People, Ed revealed that his foray into the archives for the documentary solidified this parallel for him as he declared, “For a space of about a month or two, it seemed like [Harry and Meghan] were the only thing people were talking about.”

He claimed, “Very few people were apathetic and it reminded me of the response I was seeing in the archive from 25, 30 years previously, where, for the entirety of Diana's public life, we were dissecting everything."

Diana, Princess Of Wales At Luanda Airport

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess director also suggested that whilst people had radically different opinions about the late Princess of Wales, he found it “interesting” to see how her son and daughter-in-law have also been at the center of a “national conversation”.

"People had strong polarized opinions all the way throughout her life and after her death, and it did feel interesting that there was a sort of similar national conversation happening 25 years later,” he alleged.

The similarity between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan and Princess Diana being the focus of such strong opinions and attention is something that the Duke of Sussex himself discussed during their interview with Oprah Winfrey last year. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Prince Harry opened up about Princess Diana’s pain in the trailer for the interview and reflected that his “biggest concern” was “history repeating itself” with Meghan, seemingly referring to his mother’s death. 

“I can't imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other,” he poignantly declared at the time.

The Princess tells its story exclusively through commentary and archive footage and explores Princess Diana’s life as if it was unfolding in real-time, helping audiences to get a sense of what her life was truly like. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!