Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ripped on SNL after Netflix documentary

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were mocked on Saturday Night Live during an opening monologue by comedian Martin Short.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the British media of racism, described difficulty in dealing with the paparazzi, and said there was unconscious racial bias in the royal family during the opening three episodes of their long-awaited Netflix docuseries.

Harry & Meghan also triggered a backlash, including after Meghan re-enacted an exaggerated curtsy she said she performed on first meeting Queen Elizabeth II, comparing her perception of the royal tradition to medieval times.

Short took a light-hearted swipe at the couple during an opening monologue as he hosted the show alongside actor Steve Martin.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, seen visiting Edinburgh, in 2018, were mocked on Saturday Night Live by hosts Steve Martin and Martin Short [inset]. Part II of Netflix documentary ‘Harry & Meghan’ drops on December 15, 2022.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

He said: “You know Steve, we are like Harry and Meghan. No one’s rooting for us but you’ll tune in to watch anyway.”

It is the latest jibe on Saturday Night Live after Colin Jost poked fun at the Sussexes during a discussion about Elon Musk buying Twitter in April 2022.

“Come on, Elon built electric cars,” Jost said. “He’s going to Mars. Why is he even involving himself with Twitter? It would be like if the Prince of England gave it all up just to marry an actor from Suits.”

U.S. Attitudes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Short’s jibe was lighthearted in its delivery but may be on the nose for Harry and Meghan as it suggests a wider U.S. opinion may not be on their side.

Mainstream American reaction to the documentary may prove more significant than Britain’s response which was likely to be hostile to the couple, who have polled badly in the U.K. for almost three years.

Americans still feel more positively about the couple, according to polling by Redfield & Wilton for Newsweek, though Meghan is viewed less favorably than Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Meghan was viewed positively by around 43 percent of Americans and disliked by 20 percent, giving her a net approval rating of +23, in data collected on December 5.

Among British adults, her net rating was in November at -32 after YouGov data suggested 28 percent liked her and 60 percent disliked her.

American opinion on the couple is particularly important due to the way it intersects with the couple’s argument about what happened to them in Britain.

A key component of their narrative is that the British media, fuelled by racism, turned against them creating a hostile climate in which they had no choice but to leave for a new life in America having received little to no help from the royal family.

Meghan told Oprah Winfrey in 2021: “It’s been so spun in the wrong direction, as though we quit, we walked away.”

If American society were to drift toward a similarly hostile position on the couple, the risk would be the perception that the problem was not with Britain but with the couple themselves.

The U.S. does not currently hold a predominantly negative view of them, although Britain’s view of Harry and Meghan was also more positive than negative right up until the moment they announced they were stepping back as senior working royals.

America remains a key battle ground, however, including commercially, as it is a major audience for their Netflix and Spotify output as well as Harry’s memoir.

Prince William and Kate Middleton also showed an interest in winning over America as they took the Earthshot Prize to Boston earlier in December.

Meghan Markle’s Curtsy Sparks Backlash

Harry & Meghan‘s first three episodes triggered a media frenzy in Britain when they dropped on Thursday, December 8.

One widely debated moment came when Meghan described curtsying to the queen during their first meeting at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew‘s house in Windsor.

Roya Nikkhah, royal editor of U.K. broadsheet The Sunday Times, told the Today show on NBC: “It’s fair to say I don’t think anyone would need a body language expert. Harry looked kind of uncomfortable and a little bit embarrassed at that point. And it’s sort of been interpreted here as slightly disrespectful just to, sort of, royal protocol around the queen.”

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