Having been given the green light by streaming giant Netflix for her animated children’s television series, the Duchess of Sussex has now seen that same bulb blow out completely as the show is cancelled

What was it?

Titled Pearl, it centres on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl of that name as she explores the lives of famous women throughout history.

Tell us more …

In a statement released when the hook-up with Netflix was announced last July, the Duchess said: “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges.” The show was to be made by Beverly Hills-based Archewell Productions, part of the Archewell Inc. organisation set up by the Duchess and her husband, Prince Harry, in 2020. The Duchess was to serve as an executive producer alongside Elton John’s partner, David Furnish.

And now?

Now it has been announced that the show has been shelved, alongside two other animated series in which the Duchess has no part at all, Dino Daycare and Boons And Curses. However there is some good news for Archewell Productions: Netflix is standing by a deal it inked with the royal couple for a documentary series called Heart Of Invictus which will follow the journey of athletes competing in the Invictus Games, the sporting event for injured ex-service personnel founded by Prince Harry in 2014.

Should we be sad?

Depending on how appealing an animated show cooked up by Meghan Markle sounds to you, take your pick from: (1) It’s A Tragic Loss To The 21st Century’s Televisual Landscape, (2) It Could Have Been The New Bojack Horseman, or (3) Phew! That Was A Close One. The Duchess, presumably, prefers option one.

Why the U-turn?

While cynics may suggest that Netflix executives have seen the finished product and suddenly got cold feet, the more likely explanation is the streaming company’s much-publicised fall in subscribers as the cost of living crisis starts to be felt around the world. Last month Netflix revealed that it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, a fact which has resulted in what the company describes as “revenue growth headwinds”. In plain English, they’re not making money with quite the sickening speed they used to. This stormy corporate weather has since wiped $50 billion (£39 billion) off the company’s market value, with one high profile investor dumping a $1.1 billion (£880 million) investment he had bought only a few months earlier. Moreover, it’s thought Netflix could lose another two million subscribers in the second financial quarter. Unsurprisingly they are now hinting at a crackdown on password sharing – using one account to access the service on multiple devices.