Considering the publics fascination with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, it did not come as a complete shock that Lifetime wanted to double down on its fantasy-fiction treatment of the royal couple. So, following the cable channels sudsy smash sensation Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance—which tracked the couples whirlwind courtship—Lifetime has fast-tracked a sequel, Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, which will cover Meghans first year as a duchess.
In anticipation of the new film—and with two Becoming Royal stills, shared exclusively above and below—Vanity Fair spoke to screenwriter Scarlett Lacey and star Tiffany Smith (Supernatural), who takes over as Meghan this time around. Below, Lacey and Smith tease what audiences can expect from the sequel—hint: multiple weddings, behind-closed-doors conversations between Meghan and Kate Middleton, and an unexpected bonding moment between Meghan and Queen Elizabeth!
The Royal Wedding (and Celebrity-Studded Guest List) Will Feature Prominently
“The wedding certainly looms large,” promised Lacey, of the couples widely watched Windsor nuptials. “Like any movie in the wedding genre, however, the buildup and the aftermath matter as much as the wedding itself . . . This film deals with the drama of planning a wedding: the moment youd much rather elope, the moment your family might mess it all up—and they nearly do! The moment you actually walk down the aisle, the moment you first wake up as husband and wife, the realities of your new life hitting you hard, the first big fight, the first big make-up.”
“We definitely get to see parts of the wedding,” confirmed Smith, who clarified that the film does not, however, include a peek into the wedding reception. “That was probably one of the most surreal days of shooting for me—just putting the dress on and the tiara,” said Smith, before hinting that she had the opportunity to film another wedding for the Lifetime movie: Meghans on-screen Suits wedding, which the actress filmed shortly before retiring from the cable series. “It kind of kicks things off. So that was kind of fun and weird. I was acting as Meghan as an actress.”
Lacey also confirmed that the A-list celebrity guests Meghan and Harry invited to their wedding—including George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Victoria Beckham, and Idris Elba—“definitely play a part in the movie!”
Kate and Meghans Relationship Will Be Explored
Smith said that—in spite of reports that there has been drama between Kate and Meghan—the relationship portrayed between royal sisters-in-law in the Lifetime movie is sympathetic and supportive. “We got to do some stuff with Kate, which I really liked,” said Smith. “I think one of the biggest things, obviously, about Meghan is that shes such a supporter of other women and womens empowerment. That was something I think was important for all of us to focus on, myself included.”
The message in those scenes, according to Smith, is that “women can support women and uplift each other. Tabloids and magazines can say whatever they are going to say, but I think seeing those women and how we may have misinterpreted what maybe went on, its going to be exciting for fans . . . What I loved about the script is that its really positive and uplifting and paints [the royals] in a really, really beautiful light.”
Lacey said she relied on a smattering of sources—from real life and reports—for her screenplay. “Some of the people I talk to are close to the royals,” she explained. “Others are Hollywood friends of Meghan, and others are journalists and experts in the royal field. But, at the end of the day, the truth is subjective, and Im using my imagination. In the first movie, we combined the things we knew were fact with universal things that happen to any couple, from the first time they meet to the moment they get engaged. In this movie, we did something similar: we combined events we knew to be true with the universal things any new couple experiences. Then, theres all the stuff about finding out youre going to have a baby, and what that means to any two people making a new life together.”
Puppies! And Charades
Asked which scenes Lacey thinks will surprise audiences the most, Lacey countered by sharing the scene that might surprise the real Queen Elizabeth the most. “I hope she will be amused when she hears about the scene of herself and Meghan playing charades,” said Lacey. “But once we knew our theme was Becoming Royal, we chose events that best explored that notion. We also knew that adjusting to life in a new culture and a new family would be a huge challenge. And as a Brit who moved to California [myself], I know how truly different the two places and the two cultures are. Trying to blend families from different cultures is also something to contend with. And how! So while we saw the first movie as a romance, this one is more of a fish-out-of-water story. There are tears! There are fights! There are make-up kisses! There is also . . . a new puppy!”
“Apart from the puppy and the Queen playing charades,” continued Lacey, “perhaps whats surprising is how much the movie gets into the real human emotions of the story—we werent just interested in the tabloid aspects. These characters are real people living in extraordinary circumstances at a crucial time in history. A personal surprise for me while doing research was to learn about the authentic connection between Meghan and Prince Charles, not just as people, but as rebels who see eye to eye on so many things.”
Markle Family Drama Abounds
“The film definitely addresses a lot of the family stuff,” said Smith, alluding to the drama around Meghans father, Thomas, and half-sister, Samantha, in the lead-up to the royal wedding. “Those were some of the hardest scenes to film—because Im really close with Read More – Source