Netflix Has Dropped Meghan Markle's Animated Kids' Show Pearl
Nothing is guaranteed in Tinseltown... not even if you’re a duchess.
Royal watchers and TV watchers alike were pretty psyched to learn that the Duchess of Sussex was all set to develop an animated kids’ show for Netflix. As a mom to 2-year-old Archie and 11-month-old sister Lilibet “Lili” Diana, it was no surprise that Meghan Markle might turn her royal sights towards children’s entertainment, and it sounded like a pretty cool mix of history and feminism too. But nothing is guaranteed in Tinseltown (not even if you’re a duchess). On Sunday, it was revealed that Netflix quietly canceled Markle’s upcoming cartoon for the streaming platform.
Deadline broke the story that Netflix nixed the show as the company is dealing with a plummeting number of subscribers, and even royalty wasn’t safe from the Netflix chopping block. Deadline reported that Pearl, the show’s working title, was still in “the development stage,” but it’s still a royal bummer that fans won’t get to see the completed project.
Markle is, of course, no stranger to TV. The Duchess of Sussex famously got her start as briefcase-popping model on the gameshow, Deal or No Deal. She later carried her own fancy briefcase when she starred in the popular legal show, Suits. So it makes sense that Markle would return to her small screen roots — as a show creator and executive producer.
Together with husband Prince Harry, the royal duo created Archewell, a multimedia educational brand in partnership with Netflix with the ambitious goals “to utilize the power of storytelling to embrace our shared humanity and duty to truth through a compassionate lens.” Pearl was one of Archewell’s first projects and supposedly based on Markle’s life. The kids’ show was set to follow the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who was inspired by notable women in history. “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Markle told The Hollywood Reporter last year.
Luckily the royal couple have plenty of good distractions these days to take their minds off this Hollywood setback. They’ve been busy in Europe lately, where they attended the Invictus Games for injured veterans, and Markle made headlines for supporting a fellow mom in need with a touching act of kindness. Of course, the former Frogmore Cottage dwellers also made time to visit the queen, and get in some good old-fashioned family time.
As a mom to two little ones and one of the most famous parents on the planet with a jam-packed calendar, Markle is probably used to plans changing all the time. While her animated series might have been scrapped by the streaming giant, no doubt the Duchess of Sussex will still be enjoying plenty of biscuits and Netflix at home in sunny California. In a “Stars, They’re Just Like Us” admission, Prince Harry recently revealed that Archie is over the moon for the underwater explorer show, The Octonauts. A relatable reminder for all of us regular folks that even royals can’t escape cartoons.