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Meghan Markle: Expert discusses background of ‘Pearl’ project

Last week the Duchess of Sussex announced she is producing a new animated series for Netflix, called Pearl. The family-oriented show will follow a 12-year-old girl’s “heroic adventures” as she is inspired by famous women in history. Though the news was announced just days ago, it has emerged the production has been years in the making – with Meghan first entering talks with Netflix three years ago.

The new animated series, which forms part of the couple’s multi-million deal with the streaming giant, has been in the pipeline for years, the Telegraph reports.

This comes in stark contrast to Harry’s claim that signing lucrative commercial deals was “never the intention”.

The Duke told Oprah Winfrey during their bombshell two-hour interview: “We didn’t have a plan.

“That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us.”

He added: “We hadn’t thought about it… there were all sorts of different options.

“And, look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe.”

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Meghan Markle started talks with Netflix about her new TV series in 2018, it is claimed (Image: Getty)

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Meghan Markle has produced a new animated series, Pearl (Image: Getty)

But Meghan and Harry’s team have insisted that any discussions with Netflix in 2018 were exclusively about the Pearl project.

The animated series was originally just one of many “one-off creative advocacy projects” brought to the Duchess as a working royal.

Other projects included the Together cookbook that raised money for the victims of the Grenfell fire and Vogue magazine’s September issue, which she edited in 2019.

David Furnish, Sir Elton John’s husband, will also be an executive producer of the series.

The Canadian filmmaker, who is a close friend of the Sussexes, hinted that Pearl had been a long time in the making.

He said in a statement that he was delighted they were “finally able to announce this exciting animated series”.

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0.22am update: Prince Harry ‘throwing goodwill away’ with Netflix deal says Tory MP– ‘We’ve heard enough’

Prince Harry has been attacked by Tory MP Richard Holden for “throwing goodwill away” since he quit royal duties with Meghan Markle last year.

Prince Harry has been attacked for throwing away the “goodwill” of the British public following his exit from the Royal Family.

Conservative MP Richard Holden was invited to give his view on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent media ventures on LBC crosstalk with Iain Dale.

Mr Holden said  Prince Harry and Prince William had done a lot of good work in the past around mental health and the Invictus Games but warned the Duke was wasting that legacy.

11.20pm update: Camilla exposed for dodging royal duties for ‘a hair appointment’ in early days of work

The Duchess of Cornwall has come a long way as a working royal since she requested a day off for a beauty appointment, according to royal expert Angela Levin.

Speaking to True Royalty TV’s Royal Beat, Ms Levin explained how Camilla, who married Prince Charles in 2005, once requested to skip a day off royal duties so she could have a hair appointment.

The amusing comes as the royal expert looked back on Camilla’s life following the Duchess’ 74th birthday on July 17.

Ms Levin went on to praise the Duchess for working “day in, day out” as the future royal consort and expressed her admiration for Camilla’s belief in the role of a working royal with public duty.

Ms Levin said: “I think that she has become increasingly admired by people for her hard work.

“The last few weeks she has been non-stop.

“Now here is a woman who once said when she first joined the Royal Family…

“‘I have got a hair appointment on Monday, I won’t be able to do anything’!”

Isabella Marsans is taking over from Katie Harris.

Royal Family tree

Royal Family tree (Image: Express)

10.35pm update: Harry hires ‘award-winning ghostwriter J R Moehringer’ to pen his ‘intimate’ memoir

Prince Harry has hired an award-winning ghostwriter to tell his “intimate” life story, according to reports.

The Duke of Sussex is said to have enlisted the help of J R Moehringer, a Pulitzer-winning American novelist and journalist to pen his memoir.

The book, which has yet to be titled, is set to hit shelves in late 2022, publisher Penguin Random House said on Monday.

9.15pm update: George taking on official duties at the age of 7

Prince George’s introduction to public duties by way of his Euro appearance has been praised as “very clever” by a royal expert.

Sunday Times royal editor Roya Nikkah said: “A very clever way of introducing him to public duties at such a young age, because this is an official duty for Prince George at the age of seven.

“It’s lovely and happy and there’s a lot of emotion.”

7.50pm update: Piers Morgan fumes as Harry announces memoir

Piers Morgan has been left fuming after news was announced about Prince Harry landing a memoir book deal.

The outspoken presenter reacted to the news earlier today in view of his 7.9 million followers.

He penned: “You’ve got to be f***ing joking?????” as he retweeted the news.

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Prince Harry is set to open up about his life in a bombshell memoir, it has been announced (Image: GETTY)

7pm update: Harry to publish memoir to ‘share what I’ve learned’

Prince Harry is set to open up about his life in a bombshell memoir, it has been announced.

The Duke of Sussex – who quit royal duties with Meghan Markle last year for a new life in America – is penning his book “not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become”.

In a statement, Harry said he will share “the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned” in his memoir, which is being published by Pengiun Random House next year.

The Duke added that he hoped his book will show that “no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think”.

He promised it will be an “accurate and wholly truthful” account of his life.

6.25pm update: Meghan warned she faces ‘awkward’ royal reunion

Meghan Markle faces an “awkward” reunion with the Royal Family if Lili is christened in the UK, a royal expert has said.

Russell Myers told Today: “It will be definitely awkward. Meghan isn’t flavour of the month with the family.

“Certainly, the family have always said they will be much-loved members of the family.

“However, we’re still talking about the fallout of the Oprah Winfrey interview, Emmy or no Emmy nomination.

“The tensions are still running very, very high within the family, indeed.”

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The Sussexes reportedly want to christen their daughter Lilibet Diana at Windsor Castle in front of the Queen (Image: GETTY)

6.05pm update: Kate ‘plays by rules’ like Queen

The Duchess of Cambridge shares a few key traits with the Queen, a royal expert has claimed.

Royal watchers have often drawn parallels between Kate and Princess Diana.

However, Los Angeles-based royal correspondent Kinsey Schofield believes the Duchess of Cambridge has far more in common with the Queen than her late mother-in-law.

Kate, the expert argued, is “low maintenance, comes from a strong loving family, and plays by the rules”.

5.15pm update: Meghan and Harry’s Netflix hopes on brink after ‘novelty of royals’ set to ‘wear off’

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will have to stun Netflix and Spotify with quality content before the streaming giants grow old of the “novelty” of having a Duke and Duchess among their ranks, a commentator claimed.

Writing for news.com.au, royal expert Daniela Elser said: “When the Sussexes do start unveiling their slate of TV and podcasting projects they will get one shot; that is, one chance to impress audiences and make their mark either in terms of steaming figures or critical plaudits.

“When the novelty and the lustre of working with members of the royal family wears off, if they don’t have streaming counts or a clutch of awards to show for themselves, then will their contracts be renewed? Essentially, they will have a brief window to prove they are worth the hundreds of millions that corporate behemoths have bet on them. No pressure now or anything.

“The fact is, even billion-dollar companies can’t afford to keep ploughing truckloads of cash into two very, very famous contractors if they do not prove to be a sound investment.”

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Charles is “determined” that Camilla will take the Queen Consort title when he becomes King, royal expert says (Image: GETTY)

4.30pm update: Charles ‘determined’ over Queen Consort title for Camilla

Prince Charles is “determined” that Camilla will take the Queen Consort title when he becomes King, according to a royal expert.

Clarence House has always insisted the Duchess of Cornwall will be known as Princess Consort when the Prince of Wales takes to the throne.

But royal biographer Brian Hoey insisted Charles wants his wife to have the Queen Consort title.

Mr Hoey told the Sun: “Prince Charles is determined on this and nobody — family or officials — will persuade him otherwise.”

3.30pm update: Queen had ‘no intention’ to see Edward ‘humiliated’ over title

The Queen did not want Prince Edward “to be humiliated” due to his current royal title, a royal expert has claimed.

Royal biographer Brian Hoey told the Sun: “Edward is the first royal prince since the Tudors to be made an Earl and not a Duke.

“The Queen had no intention of allowing her baby son to be humiliated by being of lower rank than his brothers.

“So, at the time of his marriage to Sophie in 1999, she immediately made it known that eventually Edward would be awarded the title Duke of Edinburgh.”

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Reports claim Charles does not want Edward to have the Duke of Edinburgh title (Image: GETTY)

Katie Harris taking over live reporting from Emily Ferguson.

2.10pm update: Meghan Markle ‘needs to come up with the content’ as children’s book was ‘a flop’

Meghan Markle’s children’s book didn’t get ‘anywhere near the best-selling list’ in the UK although Americans continue to favour the Duchess.

Meghan Markle’s illustrated book for young children, The Bench, was branded a ‘flop’ by a Today host.

The Duchess released the 169-word book on June 8, 2021 but was met with disappointing sales as the book ‘wasn’t a best-seller’ in the UK. The Bench was inspired by Prince Harry’s relationship with the couple’s son Archie Harrison.

Today host Allison Langdon said, “Meghan Markle plans to create a new animated kids show, we know her book was a flop – it wasn’t a best seller was it.

1.35pm update: Kate and William among royals to ‘brace’ for mask-wearing backlash after Freedom Day

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William are among the members of the Royal Family that should “brace themselves” for criticism over their use of face masks following “Freedom Day”.

The lifting of all COVID-19 legal restrictions means people are no longer legally required to wear face masks in any setting.

However, many shops, transport companies and venues have announced they will continue to ask their visitors and staff to wear face coverings for weeks to come amid fears of the rising Covid infections.

According to Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer, members of the Royal Family will wear face masks when asked to do so by their hosts.

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Camilla and Charles sign the visitors book at Exeter Cathedral today (Image: Getty)

1pm update: Charles and Camilla embrace Freedom Day as royals snub masks in first public engagement

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, ditched face masks during an engagement taking place on the day England officially dropped all COVID-19 restrictions.

Prince Charles and Camilla did not wear face masks during their engagement in Exeter this morning – as it had been anticipated by reports. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall appeared in high spirits as they arrived at Exeter Cathedral.

Camilla carried an umbrella to screen herself from the sun while Prince Charles wore sunglasses.

The royals were welcomed by dozens of well-wishers who gathered outside the cathedral.

12.15pm update: Meghan Markle’s ‘secret squirrel plans’ orchestrated in US years before royal exit

The Duchess of Sussex has been accused of plotting her and Prince Harry’s signing with Netflix for years, with insiders claiming Meghan had been “orchestrating” the move while she was still a senior member of the Royal Family.

It comes after the royal unveiled her new animated series, Pearl, last week – which is understood to have been in the pipeline since 2018.

The Telegraph reports the idea was first discussed with Netflix in 2018, the year of Meghan and Harry’s wedding and two years before the couple decided to step down as senior members of the Royal Family.

A royal aide told the newspaper Meghan’s team had been working on the deal, which was dubbed a “secret squirrel”.

They said: “A lot of it was orchestrated by Meghan’s people in America. It was a bit of a secret squirrel.”

11.40am update: Meghan Markle’s former friend shares hidden detail from royal wedding to Prince Harry

Meghan Markle’s former friend has shared a hidden detail from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s lavish royal wedding.

Jessica Mulroney, who lives in Toronto, has been friends with Meghan for years after the Duchess moved to Canada to film television show Suits.

Her daughter Isabel was a bridesmaid at Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry in 2018 and her twin sons, John and Brian, were page boys.

She also stunned in a blue dress while arriving with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and escorting her three children into St George’s Chapel.

Now the 41-year-old stylist, who is married to Ben, the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, also recently shared another secret about the wedding.

She posted a picture to her 416,000 followers on Instagram yesterday of the gorgeous floor-length beaded gold gown she wore to the evening reception at Frogmore Cottage.

She captioned the black and white photo with: “So many of you asked about the designer of this dress.”

She then tagged the designer of the dress, Naeem Khan, before then adding: “It weighed 30 pounds.”

Camilla and Charles visited Exeter Cathedral on Monday

Camilla and Charles visited Exeter Cathedral on Monday (Image: Getty)

11am update: Queen forced to ramp up security as Royal Family deemed ‘high risk’ in new warning

The Queen has been forced to ramp up security as one of her in-house experts has warned the Royal Family is a “high risk” target.

The Queen’s team of cyber security experts have warned Her Majesty the Royal Family is a prime target to hackers, after the Firm stepped up virtual engagements during the pandemic.

The team of experts have written a new report, informing the Queen the risk of cyber attack has risen from medium to high.

10.35am update: Princess Anne on brink of tears as she recalls Olympic legacy: ‘I’m sad’

Princess Anne shared a deeply emotional message to Team GB ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Princess Anne shared a poignant and personal message of support and good luck to the British team taking part in the upcoming Olympic Games. In her video message, the Queen’s daughter said to be saddened she can’t attend the Games in person this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Japan.

The Princess Royal said: “As your President, I would like to wish you every success for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Although I am sad not to be there in person, I and the whole nation will be cheering for you and proudly supporting you from home.”

10am update: Prince Harry ‘put in place’ by Queen for ‘rude language’ during row over Meghan Markle

Prince Harry was “put firmly in his place” by the Queen after using “rude language” during a row over Meghan Markle’s wedding tiara, a royal source claimed.

Omid Scobie claimed that the Monarch’s dressmaker and close friend, Angela Kelly, made things very difficult when it came to arranging to practise fittings for Meghan ahead of her wedding to Harry in May 2018.

This resulted in Harry intervening, the expert said.

A royal source told the MailOnline in May: “Angela essentially said, ‘I’m very sorry, that’s not how it works.’ There’s protocol in place over these jewels.

“They’re kept under very tight lock and key. You can’t turn up and demand to have the tiara just because your hairdresser happens to be in town.”

The insider claimed the Duke used “rude language” in his response, which prompted the Queen to pull him into a private meeting.

The source added: “He was put firmly in his place. He had been downright rude.”

9.20am update: Meghan Markle and Harry hit ‘in hip pocket’ as Megxit bill may top £16million

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been hit “in the hip pocket” following their decision to step down as senior royals, according to a commentat

Since quitting as full-time working royals, Meghan and Prince Harry have had a series of eye-watering expenses to deal with, royal commentator Daniela Elser said. And they also lost the financial support offered by being key members of the Royal Family and heir to the Prince of Wales.

The royal expert wrote in a comment piece for news.com.au: “Harry and Meghan finally have the life they wanted but their emancipation from the Royal Family has come at a steep cost, both in a personal sense (Harry’s relationship with his family seems to have only fractured further) and in a far more literal sense.

“Flying the coop would appear to have hit Harry and Meghan in the hip pocket – and hard.”

8.40am update: US pressure mounting on Harry and Meghan over work ethic ‘Where is the money going?’

Pressure in the US is mounting on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to a leading royal expert, who warned Spotify and Netflix will soon be “wondering where the money has gone”.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are under pressure “to produce the goods,” according to a leading royal expert.

It has nearly been a year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed a with Netflix, thought to be worth up to $150 million. However, the couple has only announced two series for the streaming giant and has yet to release any content.

The couple also signed a huge deal with Spotify worth up to $50 million – and has only produced one podcast so far.

The Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers told Australia’s Today programme that bosses from both Spotify and Netflix would soon be “wondering where their hard-earned dollars are going exactly”.

8.05am update: Protective Queen stayed in Windsor rooms ‘close to’ Princess Margaret after divorce

Queen Elizabeth II “embraced” and sought to protect Princess Margaret in the wake of her marriage breakdown to Lord Snowdon, according to a royal butler.

Her Majesty’s younger sister wed society photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones on May 1960, in what seemed like a fairy tale marriage at the time.

Their marriage appeared at first to be one made in heaven, with a friend telling the writer Anne de Courcy “they could hardly keep their hands off each other.”

But clashes of personality and extra-marital affairs soon put strains on the marriage which eventually led to their divorce in July 1978.

The Queen was quick to throw a protective cloak around her sister as she went through the painful process of separating from her husband.

Paul Burrell, a former royal butler, told Closer Weekly: “When Margaret’s marriage was ending, the Queen embraced her. Margaret would spend weekends at Windsor Castle in rooms close to the Queen, which she had specially decorated for her. The Queen always protected her sister and I think at times she wished she could have been more of a free spirit.”





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