Less courageous television channels would never attempt what Lifetime has done two times now—aiming to recreate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship milestones, in all their palace pomp, almost immediately after they happen and on a meager budget. And with Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal , premiering Monday, Lifetime doubles down—digging into the myriad controversies and scandals that surrounded the couple in the whirlwind lead-up to their 2018 Windsor wedding , daringly theorizing about what actually happened behind closed doors.
Adolfo Henrique Ledo Nass
Ahead, how Lifetime answered some of royal-watchers’ greatest Meghan Markle mysteries—from Meghan’s relationship with sister-in-law Kate Middleton to just who planted all those negative reports about Markle in the press.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
What happened to Bogart, Markle’s rescue dog left behind in Toronto?
When Markle moved overseas to live with Prince Harry, she left behind one of her cherished rescue dogs, Bogart—who had been a regular on her late Instagram page and even made a cameo in Markle’s 2017 Vanity Fair cover story . It was later reported that Bogart was deemed “too old to travel.” But Bogart’s Canadian whereabouts remained such a mystery that the royal press secretary felt inclined to release an official statement assuring the concerned public that Bogart was living with “very good friends.”
Becoming Royal —God bless it—wastes no time in attempting to solve this mystery , asserting before the two-minute mark that Bogart has moved in with Markle’s best friend Jessica Mulroney in Toronto. And according to Lifetime, Markle and Bogart stay in touch—with “lots of FaceTime.”
How did Harry welcome Meghan to Kensington Palace after her official move?
This was not reported on—which doesn’t mean royal watchers weren’t wondering how Harry eased Meghan’s transition. After all, how do you appropriately express your appreciation to and for the woman who has left behind her career, family, friends, cherished rescue dog, ability to express herself on social media, and privacy to move across an ocean and start a new life with you?
According to Lifetime, Harry eased the heartbreak with a homemade “Welcome To Your New Home” banner, flowers, candles, and champagne. Lifetime Harry is sensitive like that.
How did the queen react to Meghan and Harry’s decision to include an African American preacher in their wedding service?
Bishop Michael Bruce Curry proved to be the breakout star of Meghan and Harry’s nuptials—delivering a passionate homily inside St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle that seemed to shock certain members of the royal family. Audience members at home delighted in the reaction shots—Kate Middleton’s side-eye to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall , among them—of the stiff Brits struggling to stay composed in the presence of an American bishop so uninhibited. But what did Queen Elizabeth think of this decision to integrate some American energy into the service?
According to Lifetime, the queen was all about it. “I love to see someone who is really passionate about the gospels,” Her Majesty tells Harry and Meghan after they suggest incorporating an African-American preacher. “Good old-time religion! A bit of raw God.”
How did Meghan and Harry handle their wedding guest list?
First, by fiercely scratching out the name of Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle . Lifetime’s Markle was also totally chill with Harry inviting his ex-girlfriend Chelsea Davy . And in return, Harry helped broker Oprah Winfrey’s invitation—convincing Buckingham Palace that she is “American royalty” and “a friend, and must come.” (Sadly, Lifetime did not venture into the George and Amal Clooney of it all.)
Who was leaking those negative reports about Meghan Markle to press?
Even after Meghan and Harry’s wedding, reports continued to surface in British press about Meghan’s American habits and work ethic (how annoying!) ruffling the feathers of palace staffers. One item dubbed Markle “Hurricane Meghan,” citing the fact that she regularly woke up “at 5 A.M., bombarding aides with texts and her eyebrow-raising fashion.” But Lifetime posits that Markle’s palace aides were actually Team Meghan—even if it took a beat for the queen’s (fictional) secretary to warm to her
Instead, during one of Meghan’s Kensington Palace walks in workout gear, the soon-to-be-duchess suggests that it isn’t the staff but the other Kensington residents who might be leaking negativity to the tabloids. “Kensington Palace is basically a huge apartment building with minor royals around every corner,” Lifetime Meghan states knowingly to her personal assistant, “keeping their beady eyes open for anything untoward. Harry calls it a fishbowl.”
The assistant, meanwhile, pledges her allegiance to Meghan—in all of her 5 A.M. e-mailing glory: “The American spirit of entrepreneurialism really inspires me,” the assistant tells Markle
What was with Meghan’s dress ?
As soon as Meghan surfaced in her custom Givenchy gown on her Windsor wedding day, some catty critics speculated that designer Clare Waight Keller had not adequately fit the gown for the duchess. But Lifetime Meghan explains that there was a reason why her gown was not-quite-skintight—namely, that she once saw a bride faint in her corseted gown, and “specifically” requested a looser fit so that she could “breathe” on her wedding day
Becoming Royal suggests that there was even more gown drama behind-the-scenes, though—the first controversy being that Meghan’s dress was, well, so very white when Meghan had already been married once. “Even Kate put ivory in hers,” argues a palace minder. There is also a bit of grumbling about the fact Markle chose a dress from a French fashion house, even though its designer Clare Waight Keller is British
How did Prince Charles and Camilla handle all of that last-minute Thomas Markle drama?
Find a future King of England chiller than Lifetime’s Prince Charles ! Just try! In Becoming Royal , after the palace discovers that Markle’s father Thomas staged some truly ridiculous paparazzi shots and then lied about it in his many interviews with press, Charles waves off the humiliations as though they were nothing
“I wasn’t always the best father myself,” Lifetime’s Prince Charles says, with Guinness World Record-qualifying sympathy. “One day you’ll forgive him and he’ll forgive you.”
“Worse things have happened,” agrees Camilla, before the couple present Markle with an alternative option for walking down the aisle: Markle can walk herself down the first half of the aisle to show she is “a strong and dignified woman who chooses to give herself away.” For the second half, Markle can let Prince Charles escort her. “I never had a daughter,” Charles says, “which makes it a very wonderful—if unexpected opportunity—for me.” Give us whatever Lifetime’s Prince Charles is having!
How well do Meghan and Kate get along?
When Meghan and Harry first became engaged, many royal watchers wondered whether Meghan might become close with her soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton—echoing the close friendship between the previous generation’s wives of Windsor, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson . Though Meghan and Kate made a few public appearances together, they did not become best friends—and for understandable reason. “You can look at Meghan and Kate and see that they’re two very, very different women, with different backgrounds, different interests, temperaments, and personalities,” explained royal biographer and Vanity Fair contributor Sally Bedell Smith . “Diana and Fergie had a genuinely very, very warm friendship. They got up to all sorts of hijinks together and had huge amounts of fun together. It was silly and they had spats and they played pranks.”
Becoming Royal suggests that Meghan and Kate are close—or at least, as close as they can be given Kate’s busy schedule herding her three children. Kate even invites Meghan over for tea, at one point, and begins to dispense some invaluable advice—“You’ll never be able to control everything,” she tells Meghan—but then Prince Louis wakes up from a nap and quashes the sisterly moment
How did Meghan tell Harry she was pregnant?
Well, Lifetime Meghan did not really even need to tell Harry—she just needed to look at him a certain way, and the sensitive cable prince intuited the news. That the reveal happened while Harry was presenting Meghan with a puppy , and against swelling background music, made the moment more Lifetime special. Harry celebrated by sparking an intimate conversation with his offspring , still in-utero
How did Meghan maintain her sense of self, even while adapting to life in a foreign, oppressive, monarchial framework?
Lifetime’s Meghan has a moment where she risks losing herself—realizing that her press coverage is best when she just smiles and stays quiet. Fortunately, however, her mother Doria Ragland is available for remote wisdom via FaceTime. When Meghan tells her mom she is opting for an uncontroversial cookbook cover, Doria sagely responds, “I don’t want you to shy away from the truth of who these women are.”
“You mean the truth of who I am?” Meghan replies
The words resonate for Meghan, and within two scenes, the duchess is throwing the palace’s suggested pantyhose in the trash. “I can’t sit back anymore,” Meghan says, alerting a palace aide that things have to change “beginning with these .” She throws the offending accessory into the wastebasket with the same force used to scratch Samantha Markle’s name from her wedding guest list. “I’m not wearing them on the tour, and I’m not wearing them to the Hamilton event tonight. . .For the sake of this baby, I have to live up to who I want to be.”
This will begin happening immediately , Meghan decrees. “I want to wear a black tuxedo dress as a reference to menswear and a statement that women can do anything that a man can do,” the Lifetime duchess announces, explaining one of her boldest fashion statements to date. For Meghan, the clothes are just the the first change—she snappily informs the palace aide that she will also be inviting her mother to events, regardless of whether the palace deems such an invitation acceptable. And when Prince Harry tries to convince Markle not to wear black nail polish , well Lifetime Meghan rightly gives her husband an earful too