ROYALS and reality TV are having a moment.
Next week, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s fly-on-the-wall documentary series, part of a rumoured £88m deal with Netflix, is set to show parts of their life they have “never been able to share”.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new docu-series will soon air on Netflix
It comes shortly after Mike Tindall came in fourth place in I’m A Celebrity
It comes hot on the heels of Mike Tindall’s well-received appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which say the ex-rugby ace, 44, come fourth.
When Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, stepped back from royal duties in 2020, commentators claimed they wanted to take inspiration from the Tindalls, who are not working royals.
But while Mike and wife Zara have remained close-knit with the likes of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Sussexes have been embroiled in controversy after slamming the Royal Family in a bombshell Oprah interview.
With fears the new documentary could reopen rifts, royal experts share the lessons Harry and Meghan could learn from Mike’s reality TV stint – from hiding any “dirty laundry” to showing he’s a doting dad.
Showing love for royals
Ahead of the Netflix release, Meghan said “love” was “the baseline” for all the shows and documentaries they planned to work on.
Yet royal biographer Angela Levin disagrees, arguing that “they have not shown much love for the Royal Family”.
Contrasting this with Mike, she said: “Ahead of going into the jungle, Mike said the Royal Family ‘is a fantastic family’ and spoke about how welcoming they were to him.
Mike was described as ‘supportive’ of the royals by Angela Levin
The Tindalls often appear happy when photographed together in public
“He’s always tried to fit in, which I think Harry and Meghan should have taken note of, because they have gone the complete opposite way and attacked them.”
Angela believes Mike has won over his in-laws by “getting on with it without having an ego, rather than complain”.
She added: “Mike is the sort of man you can imagine fitting in anywhere, he seemed very popular in the jungle and is very well-liked by the Royal Family,”
“You see it when he and Prince William hug and he always seems to be smiling around them, whereas it feels like Harry’s in competition with his brother and Kate.”
Mike and Zara have three children, whom they are often seen having fun with in public
Meghan with rarely seen Archie in a screenshot from a Zoom video call and his grandmother Doria Ragland
Harry and Meghan have previously expressed concern about their security and, as a result, are rarely seen in public with their children.
While Angela understands their worries, she believes being more open – like the Tindalls – during their Netflix series could have worked in their favour.
She said: “They didn’t feel comfortable being filmed in their home, which would have been a more intimate portrait of them and allowed the public to see what they are like in their home surroundings.
“We don’t see Archie or Lilibet, they are hidden away, which is a shame because Harry has always been very good with children.
“We don’t get to see the ‘family man’ side to him and it’s all kept very private.
“With the Tindalls, Mike’s often seen in public with his kids on his shoulders.”
See the funny side
In the jungle, Mike “managed to walk a delicate tightrope without falling off”, according to royal expert Ingrid Seward.
She was impressed with how he spoke about the Royal Family, which didn’t bring them into disrepute.
While in there, Mike confirmed details of his early romance with Zara and later joked that she “nearly choked me to death” while giving birth to their third child.
He also caused a mini-commotion after wearing a tiny pair of swimming trunks that Ant and Dec joked were Zara’s bikini bottoms.
Angela believes showing this lighter side was the best approach and claims Harry and Meghan have “gone the other way”.
Mike revealed some cheeky stories about his life with Zara in the I’m A Celebrity camp
She said: “Mike can have a joke and say some deprecating things but it’s always funny and not harmful, he’s not washing the Royal Family’s dirty lining in public like Meghan and Harry.
“For them to have said so many things about the Royal Family, some of which has not even been true, is shocking and yet they continue to go on and on looking for trouble.”
Since appearing in skimpy speedos on I’m A Celebrity, Mike’s launched a ‘budgie smugglers’ range to raise money for charity
Down to earth approach
Angela believes Mike is popular with the public because he “is not superior” and acts like “one of the lads” while remaining professional and respectful.
She said: “Mike appears to be pally with everyone, he’s a good laugh, has a good chatter and speaks to anyone, he’s not a snob in any way.”
The royal commentator contrasts this with Meghan and Harry’s regular appearances with A-list pals, which can come across as “quite superior and patronising.”
Ever since Sussexes’ first child Archie was born, there have been debates surrounding whether he would receive a royal title.
Meghan famously caused a stir by claiming he was denied his “birthright”.
It is yet to be seen whether under King Charles III either of their children will receive a title and Angela believes the couple should take heed from the Tindalls.
She said: “Mike’s not jealous, he’s very positive and feels no resentment over him or his children not having royal titles.
“Whereas Harry and Meghan do moan, do feel resentment and do go on about their titles, even though they have disapproved of the whole Royal Family.
“Previously, Harry spoke about inheriting this terrible and dreadful royal gene. Why does he want to give that to his child? It doesn’t make sense to me.”