Following up on the fascinating Harry & Megan: A Royal Romance, Becoming Royal is a fictionalised real-life romance that takes viewers into the couple’s first year of married life. Screenwriter Scarlet Lacey recently revealed to Vanity Fair that her access to many of the new Duchess’ Hollywood friends allowed her to create a story that is the perfect blend of fact and fiction.
What it’s really like ‘Becoming Royal’
Meghan Markle was a laid-back, Californian vegan and is living life as a London-based Royal. It has been anything but a fairytale.
The story of Harry & Meghan is more than a story of boy meets girl. It’s about the pressure of royalty to change with the times, about a biracial woman going where none have gone before her, and it’s a fairytale about anyone, no matter their colour or background, being able to attain royalty.
And it’s this that Harry and Meghan: Becoming Royal focuses on: from the moment the couple announced their engagement, to the wedding and beyond. At the screening event of this made-for-TV movie, media were served dishes inspired by a royal luncheon at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex call home.
These types of movies are huge favourites of royalists, and have been cleaning up at the Emmys. Becoming Royal comes off the back of last year’s Lifetime smash hit, Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance. It follows the first year of Harry (Charlie Field) and Meghan’s (Tiffany Smith) marriage, and while their love story is certainly shared, it’s the minefield of traditions that Meghan has to navigate as she gives up her career, her life in the States, and everything that she is to fit into the Royal Family.
As the movie shows, she’s not one to go down without a fight. From her choice of wedding cake (lemon and elderflower cake from an LA-based pastry chef instead of a traditional British fruitcake) to the choice of white as the colour of her wedding dress (“she’s not a virgin”, they gasped) and the tussle for her tiara (it turns out the one Meghan selected had in fact been “booked” by Princess Eugenie for her own wedding).
Then there were the tabloids and the messy affair with her father Thomas Markle, and the pictures he staged for money from the paparazzi. And the mother of the bride had dreadlocks and a nose ring! It’s actually the moments with Meghan’s mom, as she drives to the cathedral to get married, that are the most touching in Becoming Royal.
Laura Mitchell as Kate Middleton, Maggie Sullivan as Queen Elizabeth II, and James Dreyfus as Leonard the “Leopard” aka the Queen’s assistant, are all convincing in their roles.
But it’s Tiffany Smith who steals the shows as Meghan Markle. She’s more than a dead ringer for the American actress; she also embodies the determined, compassionate spirit of the new Duchess of Sussex. You feel every small victory as she fights to retain her sense of self - from refusing to put her face on the cookbook she produced for victims of the Grenfell Towers fire to wearing black nail polish to the fashion awards. Even when the vicious British tabloids labelled her the “pushy princess”.