Prince Harry speaks about his family's surprise and reticence when he first introduced them to Meghan Markle, soon to be his wife, in the couple's new Netflix series.
In six-part series Harry & Meghan, the first three episodes of which were streamed on Thursday, the prince says the fact that the future Duchess of Sussex was an American actress “clouded” his family’s view of her.
He also talks about the couple's treatment by the press ― claiming his wife suffered racism from the outset ― his troubled childhood after his mother Diana died, and the Duchess of Sussex falling out with her family.
The Duchess of Sussex, talking about meeting Queen Elizabeth II, in episode two of the documentary, said: “I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Prince Harry added: “I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed. Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves.
“Because, I think, they were surprised. They were surprised that 'a ginger' could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman,” the red-haired prince said.
“But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning. ‘Oh she’s an American actress; this won’t last’.”
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex through the years – in pictures
The Duchess of Sussex added: “The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough. There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint ― Hollywood ― and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that.”
The prince's appearance was also referenced by Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, who tells of her first impressions.
“He was this 6ft 1in handsome man with red hair and great manners,” she said. “He was just really nice. They look really happy together.
“He was The One.”
Prince Harry said there is a temptation in the royal family to marry someone who “fits the mould”.
In the first episode, he said: “I think for so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould, as opposed to somebody who you perhaps are destined to be with.
“The difference between making decisions with your head, or your heart. And my mum certainly made most of her decisions — if not all of them — from her heart.
“And I am my mother’s son.”
American film writer, producer and director Silver Tree said her friend the Duchess of Sussex was crazy about Harry after meeting him.
Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras, a friend of Prince Harry, told the show: “Right after they met, my wife, me and him, we had dinner together, and he sat like that, he looked at us and he said: ‘Guys, I’ve met a girl. We’ve just met, but I think this may be the one.'
“You could tell right away that those were the eyes of someone who had fallen in love.”