The hotly anticipated royal wedding drama, Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance, debuted on US network Lifetime – purveyors of fluffy melodrama – on Sunday night, and viewers were impressed with both the casting and the way the show tackled the racial discrimination Markle has faced since their relationship was announced.
The one-off film, which puts a heavily fictionalised spin on Harry and Meghan’s romance from first date to engagement, refused to shy away from the issue of race, addressing some nasty comments made towards Markle by people in the royal orbit, and the hounding from the national press which caused Harry to release a statement asking for her to be left alone.
It also features Markle (Jessica Jones’s Parisa Fitz-Henley) telling Prince Harry (Murray Fraser) about a time that she witnessed a white man calling her mother the n-word (a real story which she has recounted in the past).
“Lifetime coming on strong with the racial and cultural undertones that try to take away from #HarryandMeghan and I appreciate that they don’t fluff away from it,” Twitter user @Lexniko wrote.
Check out the best reactions to the drama below.
They really pulled no punches about the racism she faced. I'm glad they didn't sugar coat this movie. Lifetime surprised me.
Thoughts on #ARoyalRomance so far: – Parisa is an amazing Meghan Markle. Harry's actor is great, too. – Someone at Lifetime reeeeally doesn't like Kate Middleton. I mean damn. Leave my girl alone. – I love the issues they're addressing. – The romance is believable & sweet.
There was also plenty of praise for Jamaican-American actress Fitz-Henley (best known for her role in Netflix’s Jessica Jones) for both her likeness to Meghan and putting in a powerful performance to boot.
“The actress playing Meghan Markle is spot on,” Simone Scott wrote, “she even sounds just like her.”
To get a feel for how the wonderful cheesiness of the drama, check out the clip below, which features Prince William explaining to Kate Middleton that Harry has “Botswana-ed” Meghan, followed by footage of the pair in Africa…