Actors playing Harry and Meghan in new Lifetime's movie seen on set
PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Stepping into the Sussexes’ shoes! Actors playing Prince Harry and Meghan in a new Lifetime movie about the couple’s ‘escape from the palace’ are seen filming for the first time
- Actors Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton, who were unveiled as the stars of the new movie Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace earlier this month, have been seen for the first time on-set in Vancouver
- They were pictured on Wednesday filming several scenes, including one that looked as though it may have been set during Prince Harry and Meghan’s official tour to Africa in September 2019
- In those images, Morton is seen wearing khaki trench-style dress similar to several of the designs that Meghan, 39, modeled during the tour, while Dean, who plays Harry, 36, wore khaki pants and a dark shirt
- Other photos show Dean wearing Harry’s trademark grey suit and white shirt – very similar to the ensemble he modeled during the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey
- Morton was also pictured in a pale blue coat, simple shirt and jeans, while Dean stood alongside her in a khaki jacket and a blue button-up shirt
- Filming on the movie started last week, just days after the first official image of Dean and Morton as Harry and Meghan was released by Lifetime
- Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace is the third Lifetime movie about the Sussexes, and Dean and Morton are the third pair of actors to play the couple
- In 2018’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, Parisa Fitz-Henry and Murray Fraser starred as the couple, while Tiffany Smith and Charlie Field landed the roles in Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal in 2019
The two actors who are set to portray Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an upcoming Lifetime movie about their dramatic exit from royal life have been spotted on set in Vancouver for the first time since their roles were announced earlier this month.
New York-based Broadway actor Jordan Dean and actress and blogger Sydney Morton were seen stepping into the Sussexes’ shoes on Wednesday while filming several different scenes for the network’s latest royal-themed flick, Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace.
One set of images shows the actors wearing outfits that look very similar to ensembles worn by Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, during their September 2019 tour to Africa, which took place just four months before the couple publicly revealed that they were quitting the royal family and relocating to the US.
It was during their Africa trip that Meghan and Harry gave now-infamous interviews to their journalist friend Tom Bradby in which they first made clear their unhappiness over their royal roles.
Many have suggested that the interviews – which featured in an ITV documentary about the Sussexes – were an indication of things to come, and it may be that Lifetime has chosen to include the tour for that very reason.
By royal appointment! The actors who were chosen to play Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a new Lifetime movie about their exit from the royal family have been pictured on set in Vancouver for the first time since filming began last week
Ready for their starring turn: Jordan Dean will play the role of Prince Harry, 36, alongside Sydney Morton’s Meghan, 39, in the upcoming movie Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace, which is due to be released in the fall
Matchy matchy: Dean, who is based in New York, has natural red hair, just like Harry, and he was pictured with a closely-cropped beard – the same style that the Duke has been modeling for several years now
Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace promises to offer viewers a fictionalized account of ‘what really happened inside the palace that drove Harry and Meghan to leave everything behind in order to make a future for themselves and their son Archie,’ and will ‘detail Meghan’s growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that “The Firm” was not defending them against the press’s attacks and Harry’s fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that caused his mother’s untimely death.’
The movie is the third instalment in a series of films about Meghan and Harry, and Dean and Morton are the third set of actors to take on the roles of the Duke and Duchess, having only been publicly unveiled as the stars of the latest movie days before filming began last week.
However it looks as though the duo have thrown themselves into the swing of things – and at the very least they have managed to copy the couple’s clothing choices almost to a T.
On-set pictures obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com show Dean and Morton modeling a variety of ensembles, including snaps that feature the pair strolling towards a trailer while sporting coordinating outfits that appear to have been chosen to replicate looks from Harry and Meghan’s Africa tour wardrobe.
Morton’s outfit is comprised of a khaki-colored trench-style dress and black heels, and it is incredibly reminiscent of the ensemble modeled by Meghan when she visited ActionAid in Johannesburg. The actress covered up her costume with a puffy purple coat, and was seen carrying a face shield and a water bottle as she and her co-star walked side-by-side towards their trailer.
The actress and blogger also carried a brown leather tote bag that had a white cord hanging out of it – although this may well have been a personal item rather than a piece of her on-set ensemble.
Meanwhile Dean looked safari-ready in his khaki green trousers and dark shirt – and he sported the same red locks and facial hair that Harry modeled throughout the couple’s tour.
Dean also stepped into his own version of Prince Harry’s trademark grey suit, modeling a design that is almost identical to the one worn by the Duke during the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March.
The actor carried a plastic face shield in his hand as he stood by himself on-set, seemingly waiting for filming to begin.
He looked slightly stressed at certain points during the filming process, and was seen running his hands through his hair and attempting to tuck his shirt in at the back of his trousers with a concerned look on his face.
The gesture revealed another key piece of his costume however: a gold wedding band. Morton was also seen sporting a large diamond and matching wedding ring on her left hand while shooting another scene.
Dean’s costume also featured a clip-on microphone, which was attached to the left lapel of his suit jacket, and looked near identical to the tech that was used during Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey – suggesting that the upcoming movie may well feature its own take on the primetime sit-down.
Travel? One set of photos shows Dean and Morton wearing outfits that look incredibly similar to those donned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their September 2019 tour of Africa
Starting point? It was during their Africa trip that Meghan and Harry gave now-infamous interviews to journalist pal Tom Bradby in which they first made clear their resentment and unhappiness over their royal roles
Taking a break? The actors were seen strolling towards a trailer, with Morton covering her costume up with a warm pink puffer coat, while Dean chose to leave his own outfit on full display
Accessories: The actress also toted a brown leather handbag, which had a white cord hanging out of it
Chit chat: The actors have been filming in Vancouver together for about a week, but they already seem relaxed in one another’s company
Inspiration? Morton’s outfit was comprised of a khaki trench-style dress and black heels, and is reminiscent of the ensemble worn by Meghan when she visited ActionAid in Johannesburg (left), while Dean’s outfit also seemed to be inspired by the tour
The interview has certainly played a pivotal role in the Sussexes’ relationship with the rest of the royal family – and saw the couple making several damaging allegations about ‘The Firm’, including claims that an unnamed member of the monarchy made racist remarks about the color of their son Archie’s skin tone.
Lifetime has not yet indicated the time frame of the upcoming Escaping the Palace movie, only teasing that the flick will give viewers a dramatized take on what led to Megxit, however if producers have decided to include more current events, the Oprah interview would likely be a key moment that they’d be keen to feature.
The new on-set images were taken one week to the day after Lifetime publicly announced that Morton and Dean had been cast in the roles of Meghan and Harry, while sharing the first image of the duo stepping into their royal roles.
Although their physical similarities with Harry and Meghan are not entirely spot-on, the actors certainly dressed the part for the photo, which showed them posing in near-identical ensembles to those worn by the Sussexes for their final official engagement as senior members of the royal family in March 2020.
Dean – who has a number of small on-screen roles to his name, including a turn in Netflix series The Punisher – is seen wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and mint green tie, while Morton – who is best known for her part in Netflix show She’s Gotta Have It – is pictured in a bright green caped dress that appears to be designed after the Emilia Wickstead number worn by Meghan on last year’s Commonwealth Day.
Harry actor Dean is also sporting bright red hair and a beard, while Morton has her locks pulled back in a low updo, a style often sported by Meghan during her brief time as a royal.
Support: At one point, the actors were flanked by a burly-looking security guard, however it is unclear whether he was a member of the cast, or whether he had been hired to look after the stars themselves
Chic: For one scene, Dean donned a khaki jacket and a blue button-up shirt, while Morton looked effortlessly cool in a pale blue coat, shirt, and jeans
What’s up? Dean looked slightly stressed as he paced about the set in his Harry-esque suit, rubbing his face in a concerned gesture that also revealed his gold wedding band
Hint? The actor had a microphone attached to his lapel, which looked very similar to the tech used during Harry and Meghan’s primetime sit-down with Oprah – and may well be a hint that the network will feature the interview in the movie
Uh oh: The couple’s explosive interview, which first aired in March, saw the couple making numerous damaging allegations about the royals, and it has caused serious fall-out for The Firm
Co-star? Dean was also seen standing alongside another woman who looked elegant in a teal suit. It is not known whether she is a member of the cast, or whether she is part of the crew
Shortly after the announcement was shared, Morton marked the occasion on her Instagram account, where she revealed that she and Dean are actually old friends.
‘The cat’s out of the bag!’ she wrote. ‘Very grateful to be working with these wonderful people! AND I get to be on this wild ride with an old friend?? Literal dreams! Thank you everyone for all your kind words! Let’s goooooooo.’
Both stars have a handful of small on-screen roles to their names, and they have each made appearances in Netflix series in the past; Dean featured in 2019 show The Punisher, while Morton snagged parts in 2020 mini-series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, and She’s Gotta Have It, which ran from 2017 to 2019.
On her website, Morton describes herself as an actress and blogger, which is eerily reminiscent of Meghan’s life before she met Harry and joined the royal family. When the couple began dating, the Los Angeles native was starring in hit show Suits, and ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig.
Dean meanwhile has made several appearances on Broadway in hit shows like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mamma Mia!, and Cymbeline.
The on-screen couple are the third pair to portray Harry and Meghan for Lifetime – which has already released two other movies about the Sussexes in the last few years.
Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace follows 2018’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, which covered the early days of their relationship, and 2019’s Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, which focused on the royal wedding.
Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser played Meghan and Harry, respectively, in the first biopic, which explored how the couple’s relationship blossomed from their first date in 2016 to their engagement in November 2017.
It aired in May 2018, just days before the couple’s royal wedding.
First look: The new on-set snaps were taken exactly one week after the first photo of Dean and Morton as Harry and Meghan was shared by Lifetime, showing them wearing outfits that look just like those sported by the Sussexes last March
The Duchess of Sussex: Actress and blogger Morton is best known for her roles in Netflix shows She’s Gotta Have It
The Duke of Sussex: New York-based Broadway actor Dean has made several appearances on Broadway in hit shows like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mamma Mia!, and Cymbeline
The second movie offered a playful, fictional account of the events immediately leading up to Harry and Meghan’s May 2018 wedding and their first few months as husband and wife. It aired in May 2019.
Actress Tiffany Smith played the Duchess of Sussex, while British star Charlie Field took on the role of the Duke of Sussex in the film.
Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace will offer a fictionalized account of ‘what really happened inside the palace that drove Harry and Meghan to leave everything behind in order to make a future for themselves and their son Archie,’ according to Deadline.
Like Netflix’s The Crown – but on a much tighter budget – the movie will feature actors playing senior members of the royal family including Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, all of whom will be portrayed by the same actors who appeared in the earlier installments.
Producers will no doubt draw heavily on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s explosive Oprah Winfrey interview, which aired in March, although it remains to be seen if it will go near controversial topics such as the alleged racist remark about Archie.
Speaking to Vanity Fair about the second film, screenwriter Scarlett Lacey – who has returned for the third installment – explained that the plot features a mix of truths and fiction.
According to Deadline, the new film will ‘detail Meghan’s growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that “The Firm” was not defending them against the press’s attacks and Harry’s fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that caused his mother’s untimely death.’
It will also look at ‘family feuds’ between Kate and Meghan, Charles and Harry and Harry and William, it is reported.
The movie will be directed by Menhaj Huda and executive produced by Merideth Finn and Michele Weiss.
Speaking on the release of the second film, Lacey suggested she had gained access to some of Meghan’s and the royals’ inner circles, although she did not name any names.
Debut: Dean and Morton are the third pair to play Harry and Meghan; Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser debuted the roles for Lifetime in 2018’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, which covered the early days of the couple’s relationship
Next up: In 2019’s Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, the main roles were played by Tiffany Smith and Charlie Field
Back again: Several actors are returning for the third movie, including Deborah Ramsay as the Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Steve Coulter as Prince Charles (center left)
Trouble: According to Lifetime, the upcoming movie will offer a fictionalized retelling of the events leading up to Megxit (Harry and Meghan are seen during their last royal engagement)
She told Vanity Fair: ‘Some of the people I talk to are close to the royals. Others are Hollywood friends of Meghan, and others are journalists and experts in the royal field.’
However she acknowledged that the movies – which portray Harry and Meghan in a highly favorable light – are definitely a mixture of fact and fiction.
Airing on Lifetime five days before the pair married in real life, the first movie charted the whirlwind romance of Meghan and Harry by mutual friend Violet von Westenholz, to their time in Botswana where they fell in love.
It culminated in Prince Harry going down on one knee in his Kensington Palace apartment to ask Meghan to marry him.
It also featured other members of the royal family, including Kate Middleton, who will no doubt play an even bigger part in the third film.
The second film touched on the lead up to the wedding, and touched on Meghan’s relationship with her father.
Lacey said at the time: ‘This film deals with the drama of planning a wedding: the moment you’d much rather elope, the moment your family might mess it all up – and they nearly do.’
Star Tiffany said in the same interview: ‘We got to do some stuff with Kate, which I really liked.
‘I think one of the biggest things, obviously, about Meghan is that she’s such a supporter of other women and women’s empowerment. That was something I think was important for all of us to focus on, myself included.’
What happened in the first two Harry & Meghan Lifetime movies?
HARRY & MEGHAN: A ROYAL ROMANCE (2018)
Airing on Lifetime five days before the pair married in real life, the movie charted the whirlwind romance of Meghan and Harry by mutual friend Violet von Westenholz, to their time in Botswana where they fell in love.
Things eventually heat up as the young couple are filmed seemingly naked and entwined in bed until Harry can take it no more, going down on one knee in his Kensington Palace apartment to ask Meghan to marry him.
It also featured other members of the royal family, including Kate Middleton.
Kate was depicted as the grim common sense throughout the film, who pops up seemingly with the express purpose of throwing cold water on Harry’s fun.
HARRY & MEGHAN: BECOMING ROYAL (2019)
A scene showing the actors playing Meghan and Harry kissing after their wedding in Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal
Becoming Royal promised to ‘pull back the curtain to reveal untold joys and challenges’ faced by the couple, as well as key moments like their pregnancy announcement.
British actor Charlie Field, who appeared in an episode of Poldark, was cast as Prince Harry, while American actress and presenter Tiffany Smith, who has had minor roles in shows including Jane the Virgin, played Meghan.
Other key moments included Meghan’s first solo royal engagement and their first royal tour.
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