On Wednesday, the streaming giant—who signed a multi-million-dollar content creation deal with Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions company after the couple’s split from the royal family in 2020—released a new trailer for the project that has been three years in development. As one expert told Newsweek, “Harry’s involvement in the series showcases him at his best.”
The limited series will follow injured, sick and wounded ex-servicemen and women from around the globe and their journeys of recovery leading to their competition in the 2022 Invictus Games, which was held in The Hague last year.
Harry founded the games in 2014 to provide a platform for wounded veterans and serving armed forces members to display their mental and physical achievements. The event has been held in a number of different world cities including London, Sydney and Toronto. The 2023 games will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany, in September.
The release of the new trailer comes at an important time for Harry in his post-royal life and burgeoning Hollywood career, which has suffered a number of recent setbacks.
In June, the Sussexes split with podcasting partner, Spotify, the announcement of which was followed by an executive at the company branding the couple “f****** grifters” on his own show. Then came the news that the couple’s first docuseries for Netflix, titled Harry & Meghan, had failed to secure a nomination at the 75th Primetime Emmys.
Harry’s work with the Invictus Games is one of his most-popular professional projects to date. Two experts have told Newsweek that it has the potential to turn things around for the royal whose popularity has taken a nosedive since the beginning of the year. However, the real test will be whether audiences tune in.
“The recently released trailer for Heart of Invictus series is a truly inspiring glimpse into the lives of veteran athletes. The trailer effectively captures the challenges they face on their journey, echoing Prince Harry‘s insightful remark that ‘everyone is going to struggle at some point,’” Mark Boardman, entertainment expert and founder of MarkMeets, told Newsweek.
“Harry’s involvement in the series showcases him at his best, offering a more personal and candid perspective on his commitment to the Invictus Games,” Boardman added. “His passion shines through as he takes pride in the transformative impact of the games, which provide valuable opportunities and motivation for participants to achieve their goals.”
Boardman said that Harry’s own experience as a former soldier in the British Army brings a perspective to the show that is unique to him, adding another layer of narrative interest to audiences.
“In terms of Harry’s involvement, Heart of Invictus seems like a definite step in the right direction,” Boardman added. “And it will help make his path clear as to the direction he needs to take on future projects, both on his own and with his wife, Meghan.
“This project appears to be a passion project for him, something he is genuinely invested in,” he said. “As a viewer, I’m excited to tune in.”
The show has the opportunity to score points for the prince in terms, not only of popularity but also credibility within the Hollywood industry he now orbits with Meghan. However, the absence of royal bombshells, which have been a feature of their previous projects, could see its appeal diminished.
“This is likely to be a constructive and interesting documentary. It is, however, difficult to see it attracting a large audience,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Newsweek.
“After their failure at Spotify and the inability of their previous Netflix project Live to Lead to appeal to audiences, they need good ratings, but this will also have a special cachet as it is so personal to Harry.
“Their six-hour marathon documentary, Harry & Meghan, released last December, was Netflix’s second-highest ranked documentary ever, but left them open to accusations of overexposure and hypocrisy,” Fitzwilliams said of the royal couple. “Their biggest challenge is to find a crowd-pleaser that does not involve criticizing the royal family.”
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