It is with hearts full of joy that we reach the last three episodes of the H&M show. The couple recently told us that they were advocates for healing, so this week they prized open the festering wound that is their relationship with the royals, rubbed it liberally with salt and ran cackling back to Montecito to count the cash. Let’s take it from the top, for the 4,000th and hopefully last time.
We learn that Meghan’s private secretary told her it would be hard for the family to adjust to her general fabulousness and legendary charm, and I paraphrase slightly, and perhaps it will turn out to be true, or the private secretary’s truth, or both, or neither.
The sun rises over Windsor, because Meghan is there and she is marrying Harry and the first of many town criers makes an appearance because nothing sums up 21st-century England like a town crier. Harry says that he had to have a big public wedding like his brother, when all his bride really wanted was to run away to Gretna Green and say “I do” over an anvil. Meghan credits him with choosing the music for her to walk up the aisle, but try as I might I don’t remember the Beastie Boys featuring that day. Silly me: it was Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine, an old favorite of Harry’s from his swastika days.
Someone called Lucy says the Palace was threatened by Meghan’s popularity, and that’ll tell ’em, Luce, and the subtitles say that melancholic music is playing. Silver Tree makes a welcome return to look serious and confirm that love won. Someone says that the royal family needed a boost of energy, and indeed the late Queen was a notorious sloth, and some bloke from Archewell tells us that it needed “a modernization that would speak to a new generation of people” and Paddington Bear doffed his cap and said “if only …”
H&M complain that they had to live in an idyllic little cottage with roses around the door, and later we cut to Grenfell Tower in flames, an unspeakable tragedy shoehorned in so that we can admire how caring they are as they meet survivors. We learn that Meghan is bringing “honesty and humanity to those spaces”, which is interesting, and then there’s more Diana, and H&M, and cheering crowds and booing Twitter trolls and Meghan weeping prettily and without shedding a tear or ruining her make-up about the injustice of it all.
Do you have any idea how low the ceilings were at that cottage? Or how disbelieving poor Oprah was when she came to tea, and witnessed their squalid living conditions? Tense music plays, a headline from the National Enquirer clinches an argument they had with someone, and over to the bloke from Archewell, who’s talking about power dynamics in a constitutional monarchy.
H&M complain that they had to live in an idyllic little cottage with roses around the door, and later we cut to Grenfell Tower in flames.
Meghan confirms that there is no connection between Harry having lots of friends before he met her and none after, apart from someone called Nicky, who declines to give his surname and probably wasn’t invited to the wedding on account of it not being Clooney.
I lost consciousness when Harry started talking about avocados, which Meghan confirmed are a fruit, and when I came round it had something to do with Kate wearing a one-shouldered ball gown. Harry accuses his brother of dark behavior, and Meghan complains that she wasn’t even allowed to text a photo to her friends, which is up there with her telling Oprah she had her passport taken away on arrival and only managed to take something like 400 foreign holidays in ten minutes. Does that sound true? It does? That’s good enough for them.
An actress from Suits says something and Meghan, never one to nurse a grudge, digs deep to feel bitter once again about the coverage of her $500,000 baby shower in New York, to which she flew on a private jet and oh look, another town crier. Poignant music plays and the précis of episode five reads: “After private correspondences [sic] with their families are leaked, the couple makes a crucial decision — and ensuing online campaigns turn chilling.”
They claim to love the peace and quiet they found in Canada after Megxit, which certainly chimes with everything they’ve said and done since, and Harry asks Meghan if she’s filming him as he jumps into the sea and duh, Harry, yes, she’s filming, otherwise what’s the point? And on and on through trolls, and privacy lawyers, and Grio, which might be a publication, or a Twitter handle, or a town crier, saying royal pundits amplify hate, and if Grio says it then it must be true.
A headline from The Mercury News is shown as proof of something, Janet Street-Porter says something on Loose Women and a columnist at The Yorkshire Post writes something they don’t like. H&M complain furiously that nobody wanted Meghan at the Sandringham Summit, and for once, I share her pain and fury. How was she supposed to record a private meeting for public consumption and personal gain if they wouldn’t even let her through the door? A lawyer adds: “Not that she would have done that and to suggest otherwise is untrue and grossly defamatory.”
Either way, the last few years have been so stressful that only an appointment with a guided meditation instructor could help. “Your work is not to prove your goodness,” she tells them, and having watched six hours of their work, I can confirm that it has not. Meghan talks about the sacrifices she made for this country and wistful music plays. Sentence of the series goes to Harry, who credits “another amazing friend who we’ve never met”, and in London, the Sussex Survivors’ Club wonder if never meeting H&M was perhaps the best, indeed only, way to be their friend.
How was she supposed to record a private meeting for public consumption and personal gain if they wouldn’t even let her through the door?
I’m tempted to call these moaning morons from Montecito the Moomins for short, but that would be defamatory to Moomins, who would be far too sensible to moan about the difficulties of finding a mansion to call your own just as Covid hit. They did, thank goodness — H&M, not the Moomins — and had a blissful lockdown dancing among wildflowers, while over in London Harry’s 95-year-old grandmother raised national morale with the speech of a lifetime.
We will close with a quiz. Who said the following? The prize isn’t me telling you the answer, it is you watching the documentary and knowing that you have been enriched by the wisdom of Moomins.
“We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt.”
“Keep your big girl panties on.”
“When we find each other and connect, we’re, like, it’s you, it’s you.”
“When you’ve lost a huge piece of yourself, getting that back includes getting back those friendships and things that anchor you to who you are.”
“Raise a glass to the astounding assurance that now life begins and the everlasting knowing that above all, love wins.”
“These claims are entirely false.”
“All small beasts should have bows in their tails/ Or they’ll find themselves locked in Hemulen jails/ If you make a mistake, get ready to pay/ You can’t blame another and then run away.”
Harry & Meghan is streaming now on Netflix
Hilary Rose is a longtime columnist for The Times of London and the author of the weekly column How to Get Dressed