Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's step back from life as working royals is fictionalized in Lifetime's Escaping the Palace, which will premiere on Sept. 6

By Lanford Beard
July 15, 2021 02:00 PM
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Harry Meghan Lifetime movie
Prince Harry (Jordan Dean) and Meghan Markle (Sydney Morton) in Lifetime's Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace
| Credit: Lifetime

Lifetime's third movie about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has a premiere date.

Harry and Meghan: Escaping the Palace will follow in the tradition of the trilogy's previous installment, Becoming Royal, and premiere on a holiday — Sept. 6, Labor Day in the United States.

In a new trailer exclusive to PEOPLE, the fictionalized version of Meghan (Sydney Morton) and Harry (Jordan Dean) are at a crisis point — along with the entire royal family.

The trailer opens with a palace aide advising Prince William (Jordan Whalen) and Kate Middleton (Laura Mitchell) to "let it be known who the real royals are."

Separately, Morton–as–Meghan says, "We have to protect our family," and Dean's Harry vows, "I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum" as bulbs from paparazzi cameras flash around what appears to be a re-creation of car crash in which Harry's mother, Princess Diana, in Paris in 1997.

From there, a montage teases out the movie's take on Harry and Meghan's physical and formal separation from life as working royals leading up to their "plan" to share their perspective on the fracture in a now-Emmy-nominated interview with Oprah Winfrey this past March.

While the couple are still in the U.K., Lifetime's Queen Elizabeth (Maggie Sullivun) warns, "You have fueled uncertainty," as another royal aide tells Meghan: "The palace would prefer you to remain neutral."

In a beach scene set after their relocation to California, Harry tells Meghan, "We need to let people hear our truth." Shortly after, he says 'The Firm' is "making out that we're not part of this family."

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend Totem by Cirque du Soleil
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: The Image Direct

In real life, Meghan has opened up about how the growing pressure and scrutiny she experienced, coupled with an alleged lack of support from palace staff, negatively impacted her mental health. One of the crisis points she mentioned in the televised sit-down with Oprah is shown in the trailer as the movie's Meghan says to Harry, "If I'm left alone, I don't know what I'd do."

Meghan, 39, told Winfrey, 67, in March that at times she "didn't want to be alive anymore" and that she attended a January 2019 outing at Royal Albert Hall because she and Harry, now 36, feared for her own safety if he went without her.

In the interview, Meghan recalled later seeing photos from the night and said that despite their smiles, "[We were] both just trying to hold on."

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

The trailer wraps in typically full-drama Lifetime mode, with a shot of the actors re-creating the Winfrey interview underneath a voiceover of the on-screen Harry saying, "We're stopping them from destroying us like they have so many others."

Harry Meghan Lifetime movie
Prince Harry (Jordan Dean) and Meghan Markle (Sydney Morton) in Lifetime's Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace
| Credit: Lifetime
Will and Kate Lifetime movie
Prince William (Jordan Whalen) and Kate Middleton (Laura Mitchell) with child actors playing Prince Louis, Prince George and Prince Charlotte in Lifetime's Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace
| Credit: Lifetime

Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace premieres Sept. 6 on Lifetime, preceded by a marathon of the network's previous royals movies, which are also available to stream on the Lifetime Movie Club app.