Lifetime's third film about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle explores the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's rift with the royal family

By Janine Puhak
June 03, 2021 04:30 PM
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Harry and Meghan: Escaping the Palace
Credit: Lifetime

Lifetime fans saw Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Royal Romance play out in 2018, a year later they watched as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex set about Becoming Royal and soon they'll get a breakdown of the couple's dramatic retelling of their exit from royal life in Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace.

It was announced earlier this year that the network's third film focusing on the pair's imagined life behind closed doors was in development, and while much about the project remains under wraps, here's what we know so far.

New actors will take on the royal roles

Newcomers Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton are set to star as Harry and Meghan in the latest installment of the royal-inspired franchise — and it won't be the first time they've acted together!

Jordan Dean - Sydney Morton
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty

Dean, 32, and Morton, 37, recently appeared on Broadway in American Psycho, A+E revealed in a statement.

Teasing the film, Lifetime released a photo of Dean and Morton in outfits similar to those worn by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their last official royal appearance in the U.K. in March 2020.

Dean previously appeared in the second and final season of Marvel's The Punisher on Netflix as well as Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon. In addition to starring in Macbeth on Broadway, his television credits include HBO's High Maintenance, USA's The Sinner, CBS's Bull and USA's Royal Pains.

Morton was also in the original companies of Memphis, Evita, Motown the Musical, The Secret of My Success and the national tour of Flashdance. More recently, she's been seen in a recurring role on NBC's Manifest and starred in two seasons of Netflix's She's Gotta Have It and Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker.

Harry and Meghan Lifetime MovieCR: Michael Courtney
From left to right: Burgess Abernethy, Laura Mitchell, Parisa Fitz-Henley in "Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance," released 2018.
| Credit: Michael Courtney

The actors will pick up where Charlie Field and Tiffany Smith left off in Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal in 2019. The torch was passed to Field and Smith by Murray Fraser and Parisa Fitz-Henley, who co-starred of 2018's Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance.

Archie will make an appearance!

Photos released in June showed that the couple's son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who turned 2 on May 6, will be seen in his new home state of California.

"To have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie and we go for walks as a family and with the dogs. You know, we go on hikes or go down to the beach, which is so close," Harry told Oprah Winfrey in their sit-down interview that aired in March.

*EMBARGO UNTIL 4:30 PM EST 6/3/21* Actors Portraying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Film Beach Scenes in Canada
Credit: The Image Direct

It's likely that Meghan's pregnancy will also be featured in the film. The couple is expecting their second child, a daughter, this summer.

Cast members from the first two Harry & Meghan movies are returning

Many actors who previously appeared in the fictionalized films will reprise their royal roles for Lifetime's latest Harry & Meghan installment.  

For senior royals, the film will see Jordan Whalen as Prince William, Laura Mitchell as Kate Middleton, Steve Coulter as Prince Charles, Deborah Ramsay as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Maggie Sullivun as Queen Elizabeth once again.

Bonnie Soper is set to star as Princess Diana, while Melanie Nicholls-King will play Meghan's mother Doria Ragland.

Behind the camera, executive producers Merideth Finn and Michele Weiss, director Menhaj Huda and writer Scarlett Lacey all also return for Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace.

The storyline may be the most searing yet

Ready to spill the royal tea once again, Lifetime described the film as imagining "what really happened inside the palace that drove Harry and Meghan to leave everything behind in order to make a future for themselves and their son Archie."

With no topic too taboo, the network alluded that the made-for-TV movie will explore some of the most shocking headlines involving the world's most famous family in recent years.

Lifetime said the film will reflect "Meghan's growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that 'The Firm' was not defending them against the press's attacks and Harry's fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that may have contributed to his mother's untimely death."

"Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace will examine the dynamics between Will and Harry, Kate and Meghan, and Harry with Will and Charles, that lead to the ultimate break from the royal ties," the network said.

The small-screen debut is slated for fall

Production began in late May in Vancouver, not far from Vancouver Island, where Meghan and Harry briefly found haven after ending their tenure as official working royals, and while an exact date has not been set, Lifetime has confirmed the movie will make its debut this fall.

Though Lifetime referenced Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace as "the third installment of the franchise," the network has stayed mum on whether any more films inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's life and times are in the works.