Lifetime channel's fascinating fictionalization of the whirlwind romance between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aired Sunday, and it left us with a lot of things to think about -- and to be absolutely confounded by.
From the bizarrely surreal use of lions as symbolic representations of Princess Diana, to a warm, motherly representation of Queen Elizabeth II -- who really does not appreciate Netflix's The Crown -- to overtly insulting remarks about Markle's legal drama Suits, Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance covered a lot of ground while also being disconcertingly self-aware.
So, after a nearly two-hour made-for-TV movie about the royal family (several members of which are depicted in less-than-flattering, borderline reality TV villain ways, to put it mildly), here's a look at a few of the night's biggest takeaways and most head-shaking scenes.
1. Princess Diana Has Some Really Questionable Advice
The movie starts in 1997, following the death of Princess Diana, when Prince Charles took Harry and William to Africa to avoid the media spotlight.
During one flashback scene from before Diana's untimely demise, the beloved Princess (played by Bonnie Soper) is speaking with a very young Harry, where gives her son some super questionable advice: "It's OK to be naughty sometimes, so long as you don't get caught."
Which -- if Harry's wild clubbing and Nazi uniform-wearing party days that are depicted later in the film are any indication -- was a motto the impressionable prince took to heart (except the "not getting caught" part).
2. Prince Harry Is a Lion Whisperer
While in Africa as a child, Harry is sitting under a tree when a lion approaches and just looks at him. While Charles takes aim with his rifle, Harry angrily pushed the gun away, saving the wild beast.
Later in the film, Harry (Murray Fraser) awkwardly tells Meghan (Parisa Fitz-Henley) that he thinks the lion was actually a vessel for the reincarnated spirit of his late mom, which she is fully on-board with.
Months go by and, on the anniversary of Diana's death, Harry and Meghan travel to Africa together, where she pushes him to talk about his grief. In a fit of rage (and classic avoidance) Harry storms out of their tent, with Meghan in tow.
Soon, they come face to face with a lioness, who stares at them peacefully -- which symbolically serves as Diana approving of their relationship.
3. 'Harry & Meghan' is Bizarrely Self-Aware
From the first moments of seeing Harry and Meghan as adults, it's hard to avoid the unsettling realization that this is a biopic depicting events that happened within the last year or so. Meghan is even introduced filming an episode of Suits.
In fact, this Lifetime movie really makes a point of insulting Suits as often as possible. One character says it's "not exactly Shakespeare," while another scene tries to show how much of a self-possessed badass Meghan is by having the writers change a line in a scene because she feels like she says it "in every episode" -- then they change the line to something even more cliched.
Meanwhile, when Meghan and Harry meet with Queen Elizabeth (Maggie Sullivun), the insanely friendly monarch asks the actress if the actress was involved in the Netflix mini-series The Crown, and then complains about people making biopics about people who are still alive.
4. Meghan's Casting Was Amazing (Other Royals… Not As Much)
When Lifetime turned to Parisa Fitz-Henley to play the stunning Meghan Markle, they couldn't have asked for a better actress (apart from getting Meghan to actually play herself, because again, all of this happened within the last two years, so she'd be perfect for the part).
Parisa looks remarkably similar to Meghan, she's got the strong, determined air and she added a lot to the role.
As for Harry, casting Murray Fraser was a decided compliment. Sure, he looks like a soap opera version of the 33-year-old royal, but you can't expect a Lifetime movie to go any other way. At least he's handsome and talented.
The strangest casting was probably Prince William, played by Burgess Abernethy. While the guy does an admirable job, the decision to give the Prince more hair than he has in real life, but still partially balding, never stopped being distracting.
5. They Addressed the Racist Brooch
One of the major turning points in the film came when Harry was sulking at Pippa Middleton's wedding reception, where he was unable to invite Meghan, and runs into some older royal relative wearing a racist "blackamoor" brooch -- which is a pin designed to look like a stereotypical depiction of an African native, representing the English empire's colonialist roots.
Harry tells her off during the party, which leads to her drunkenly insulting Meghan's biracial ethnicity. The heated exchange eventually leads Prince Charles to understand the dangers of steadfast adherence to tradition and he tells his son to bring Meghan to the party so he can meet her.
In real life, however, there are a few things that happened differently. While the Queen’s first cousin, Princess Michael of Kent, did wear a blackamoor brooch to a royal event where Meghan was, the incident occurred in December 2017, over a month after Harry and Meghan were already engaged. So that incident really had nothing to do with anyone suddenly accepting Meghan into the family.
Also, in real life, Meghan was invited to Pippa's wedding reception. Also, Princess Michael of Kent didn't belligerently defend her decision to wear the problematic jewelry, but instead released a statement, saying, "The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense."
6. Kate Middleton and Prince William Don't Come Off Great
While both William and Kate eventually befriend and support Meghan and Harry by the end of the movie, their attitudes throughout most of the film could best be described as Mean Girls-esque.
From making them both look pretty conniving to Kate straight-up manipulating people multiple times, it felt like someone at Lifetime really wanted to knock the Duchess of Cambridge down a peg.
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