in that moment Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dramatically announced their exit from royal life, Lifetime’s powers that made a stream of phone calls. On Labor Day, the Soap Water Channel premiered its third film in the Sussex trilogy—Harry & Meghan: Escape the Palace, starring in franchise beginners Sydney Morton and Jordan Dean.
While Netflix is Kronen gets some distance from the time periods it depicts, Lifetime’s trilogy covers the story as it is being written. Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, which explored the couple’s origins and commitment was aired just a week before the couple’s real Windsor wedding in 2018. Then came 2019’s Becomes royal– a look into the royal weddings and Markle’s first year as Duchess. Manager Menhaj Huda and author Scarlett Lacey has shepherded all three ripped-off headlines, albeit with different actors in the lead roles for each iteration. Naturally, Escape the palace imagines the familial and societal pressures that caused Meghan and Harry to deliberately detach themselves from the British monarchy.
Ahead of how Lifetime’s trilogy film depicts Meghan and Harry’s exit will hurt Prince William, and (cunningly) addresses Prince Andrew scandal.
Escape the palace Can’t shake Diana’s ghost
This film, which was released on the 24th anniversary of Lady Di’s funeral, goes a long way in drawing parallels between Princess Diana and Markle. The opening scene shows paparazzi bulbs flickering over an overturned vehicle in a tunnel. A man fights to get the car door open while a woman fights for her life inside. While the moment reflects Diana’s tragic death in 1997, it is actually Prince Harry who fights to save a wounded Markle before waking up from his nightmare. “You’ve had a lot of bad dreams, H,” Morton says in his absolutely perfect Meghan voice.
Diana’s shadow is cast throughout the film, which often flashes back to painful moments in her royal life. The most harsh and potentially exploitative of these parallels is to portray both Diana and Megan’s suicidal thoughts. In the couple Oprah interviewed Meghan that her notions of ending her life were “real and scary and constant” and became unbearable the night she and Harry attended a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2019. In Escape the palace, a pregnant Meghan appears contemplating her fate over a steep staircase, just as Diana reportedly did. (The film also does not end with a Harry and Meghan moment, but footage from the July unveiling of Diana’s statue to honor her 60th birthday.)
One character represents all of the company’s evil actors
To hear Meghan and Harry tell, several palace assistants quarreled with them and leaked negative stories to the tabloids. Lifetime throws fictional Cambridges aide Victoria as an amalgamation of them all, as the Sussexes never named names. With a heavy trouser suit and dark shades (the universal sign of a corporate error), Victoria is blamed for omitting Meghan and Harry from Queen Elizabeth‘s filmed Christmas address and hiring bots to increase Kate and Williams’ presence on Instagram.
But Victoria’s most insane moment comes when she decides to remove all mentions of Harry and Meg from the Royal Foundation website. “We need to use what I think is called ‘canceling culture,'” she says, following the couple’s emotional ITV documentary during their tour of Africa. William (played by Jordan Whalen) repeats: “You are not exactly canceling the most awake guy and his feminist bride.” Victoria ensures that the palace “can cancel their royalty” and adds: “You are leaving the company, you are leaving the family.”
Lifetime tackles royal racism
From the start, Harry and Williams’ royal feud is linked to the racist treatment Meghan receives from the British press. While the palace prefers that its figures remain neutral, a passionate Harry tells William: “You must bloody well make a statement with me rejecting racism. As a future king, you have to push this horrific bullying on.” William rejects “His cause is not color, it’s culture,” he argues. “Me is American. She behaves more like a celebrity than a royalty, and she does not seem to appreciate the difference.” What Lifetime does not do is wonder who asked “how dark” Archie‘s skin can be, as shared in Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview. Instead, William refers to only that person as “they”.
Prince William is the No. 1 enemy
As shown above, William does not come in well Escape the palace. From outrage that Meghan and Harry are choosing a non-royal name for baby Archie to visiting the newborn without his own fry, fictional William is positioned as the couple’s biggest opponent. The feeling seems to be mutual. “He’s the king of the castle, and I’m the dirty rascal,” Lifetime’s Harry says at one point, referring to both a nursery rhyme and a Dave Matthews Band lyrics in one go.