Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 5 Most Dramatic Lifetime Movie Moments: How Did They Really Go Down?

by 24USATVSept. 7, 2021, 6 a.m. 26
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Lifetime's Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace dramatizes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from life as working royals — here's how it unfolded in real life, including the Sussexes' own words

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 5 Most Dramatic Lifetime Movie Moments: How Did They Really Go Down?

Reflecting on that night years later, Meghan acknowledged, "I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn't say it — then I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore."

Meghan told Winfrey that when she looks at the photos from the night, she can see Harry's hand tightly gripped around hers: "[We were] both just trying to hold on." After they took their seats and the lights went down in the hall, she says she began "weeping."

"And that's I think so important for people to remember is you have no idea what's going on for someone behind closed doors. No idea," she said. "Even the people that smile and shine the brightest lights. You need to have compassion for what it actually potentially going on."

While it's true the younger princes and their wives did not walk with the Queen that day, that wasn't necessarily a sign of Harry's status (or lack thereof) in the family. In reality, the royals taking part in the processional changes each year, depending on who is in attendance and seniority. In the four years prior to the service dramatized in the Lifetime movie, Harry attended all four services but joined the Queen in her walk just twice. Similarly, Kate and William had also headed straight to their seats for services in the past.

And just the day before, Harry and Meghan had joined the Queen for a church service in Windsor. A source told PEOPLE at the time: "It was a really sweet gesture that the Queen asked them to church. It's telling in the sense that these two are still her family. And as a family, they all love each other."

Just as the Sussexes were ready to set up their new life in the Commonwealth country where Meghan had lived for years, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into their plans. Instead of a leisurely search for homes in Meghan's hometown, plans to make a home in the States had to be expedited.

Though the the couple's interview with the TV powerhouse clearly served as a cornerstone for the Escaping the Palace script, the revelatory interview itself only lasted for a few moment's in the Lifetime's retelling. That might have been intentional — and if nothing else, the actors made a conscious choice not to be constrained by to every breath and tic from the March 2021 broadcast.

"There's pressure to the Oprah interview, I think, because so many people had seen it," Dean told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview ahead of the movie's premiere. "But I tried not to let that sway me or put any undue weight, tried to make my own interpretation of it and not be bogged down with like, 'Oh, well he crossed his leg on this word,' or 'He would have done this.'"

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