From left, from ITV/REX/Shutterstock, by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/, by Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s actual courtship unraveled like the plot of your favorite Lifetime movie: handsome, eligible royal meets beautiful American commoner. Soon, he sweeps her off her feet with romantic overnight trips, top-secret dates, and unprecedented P.D.A.s—seeing past her plebeian pedigree (and previous divorce) to propose marriage after more than a year of dating. Never before has a real-life romance been so perfect for a television-movie adaptation—so naturally, Lifetime is re-creating the magic in Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. And today, the network announced the lucky actors who will role-play this most magical of love stories.
Meet Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser, who have been cast as Lifetime’s Meghan and Harry. Fitz-Henley is best known for playing Luke Cage’s onetime love interest Reva Connors in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, and for playing what Wikipedia describes as a “quirky free-spirited witch” on NBC’s supernatural drama Midnight, Texas. Fitz-Henley’s Instagram proves that the gorgeous actress bears an uncanny resemblance to Markle.
Murray Fraser, meanwhile, is a British actor with only two credits to his name—as PC Jason Denny on the Scotland-set ITV crime series The Loch and a bit part on an episode of Victoria. But he also sports dashing, Harry-adjacent looks.
Adding to the meta-nature of this Lifetime movie about what is essentially a Lifetime movie the universe willed into real-life existence: Markle herself played the love interest in two romantic television movies like this one, not long before manifesting the role in real life. In 2014’s When Sparks Fly. Markle played “a big city journalist sent back to her small hometown to write a Fourth of July story [only to] discover [that] the life and love she left behind are exactly what she’s been missing.” In Dater’s Handbook—released on Hallmark the same year she met Harry—Markle played “a successful business woman [who] appears unsuccessful in her personal life and decides to try The Dater’s Handbook at her sister’s encouragement and dates several guys to test the process.”
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance will debut this spring, presumably around the same time as the couple’s May 19 wedding.
The project will be directed by British filmmaker Menhaj Huda, who has fittingly directed an episode of E!’s The Royals, as well as episodes of Queer as Folk and Coronation Street. Huda said on Twitter that he is “so excited to be helming such an inspirational love story of our time.” The script is from Scarlett Lacey, an executive story editor and staff writer on The Royals, and Terrence Coli, who has written for Switched at Birth and One Tree Hill.
The network notes that the movie will “examine the history of Prince Harry (Fraser) and Meghan Markle (Fitz-Henley) from the moment they met after being set up by friends, through their initial courtship when they were able to keep their romance under wraps, and ultimately the intense global media attention surrounding their relationship and Meghan’s life as a divorced American actress.”
Production begins this week in Vancouver and Los Angeles.
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