We’ve long maintained that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story has not-so-subtle echoes of the teen movies we grew up on. Commoner falls in love with tearaway Prince? It’s a storyline straight out of The Prince and Me. Californian learns the ins-and-outs of a stuffy European monarchy? Paging Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries… It’s hardly a surprise, then, to learn that the Lifetime Channel are pulling together a made-for-TV movie about the Prince and the Suits star’s courtship, set to broadcast on May 13th, just six days ahead of the royal wedding.
Now, with less than two months to go before the film's release, the Lifetime Channel has dropped a 30-second trailer, which is just as speculative as the previously released teaser. Featuring some corkers from the character of Kate Middleton ('She's divorced, she's American - are you ready for this?' plus 'Peter Pan can't stay in Neverland forever, and marriage isn't so bad''), plus a crescendoing soundtrack and cheesy moments a-plenty (hello, giraffe scene), it's more than whet our appetite for the whole thing, due out 13 May.
This follows on from the 20-second teaser that dropped earlier this month, which manages to cram in all the heavy-handed dialogue ('I don't need my life to be this perfect royal picture. I just need you,' fake Harry declaims at one point), sweeping backdrops, Sheeran-esque guitar pop and sunset kisses that we could ever have hoped for. Now all we need is a glimpse at the film's Cambridge family stand-ins (hi,small screen Prince George and Princess Charlotte!) in action.
Lifetime may be less familiar in the UK, but across the Atlantic the channel has become synonymous with schmaltzy based-on-real-life fare. Harry & Meghan: The Royal Love Story follows in the hallowed footsteps of William & Kate: The Movie which, despite covering the now-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s relationship from St Andrew’s (famously in Scotland) to Westminster Abbey (famously in London), was almost entirely filmed in Los Angeles. Per The Guardian’s 2011 review, it also featured scenes of London buses driving on the right hand side of the road.
NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'
'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'
Casting details for the project were announced by Lifetime earlier this year, revealing Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser as our small screen Meghan and Harry. According to her IMBd page, Fitz-Henley has had a string of roles in American TV shows, the most prominent being in Netflix’s Jessica Jones and NBC’s supernatural drama Midnight, Texas. Fraser’s listing, meanwhile, features just two roles: in ITV’s Victoria and The Loch. In Fitz-Henley’s case, the resemblance is certainly there; in Fraser’s case… the jury’s out.
According to Deadline, the film will follow Harry and Meghan’s romance from the moment they met on a ‘blind date’ (how blind can a date be when one of the participants is the fifth in line to the throne of Great Britain?) through the early stages of their relationship, when they were able to keep things low key, and moving on to deal with the explosion of media attention which culminated in an engagement announcement from Clarence House last November. The industry bible also reveals that the film will deal with Meghan’s ‘life as a divorced American actress,’ whatever that means.
Of course, Lifetime is famed for casting relative unknowns (side note: Meghan has featured in a handful of movies broadcast on its near relation, the Hallmark Channel), but that can’t stop us wishing for Helen Mirren to drop in as the Queen 2.0, the lookalike from the infamous I Wanna Marry Harry reality show as the Prince and Meghan played by… Meghan Markle…