Prince Harry stars in Netflix documentary about the Paralympics

The Duke of Sussex has made his Netflix debut in a new documentary as he urged society to ‘encourage and accept’ people with disabilities.

Prince Harry, 35, who is currently living in a $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, has a starring role in a new Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, which was released today and shares the history and stories behind the Paralympic Games.  

The Duke follows in the footsteps of Meghan Markle, 39,  with the move to documentary work coming after the Duchess offered a voiceover for a Disney film earlier this year. 

While it is not known whether Prince Harry was paid for his appearance in the film, sources revealed in January that he and Meghan plan to make a living by providing voiceovers and producing documentaries on ‘worthy’ issues such as mental health and climate change

Prince Harry, 35, plays a starring role in a Netflix documentary about the Paralympics which was released today on the streaming service

Prince Harry, 35, plays a starring role in a Netflix documentary about the Paralympics which was released today on the streaming service 

In the film, the Duke of Sussex exalts the success of the London Paralympics, claiming that many people thought the event would be ‘a failure.’

He said: ‘A lot of people, based on what they’d been told, thought it was going to be a failure and that they weren’t going to be able to sell tickets.’

He added: ‘The stadiums were packed. The sport was incredible. And what they saw was undoubtedly better than the Olympics themselves.’

Meanwhile he continued: ‘For me and for so many people out there especially young kids to see individuals like that go on and achieve what they have achieved…

The Duke appeared relaxed in the documentary and spoke about the success of London's 2012 Paralympic Games

The Duke appeared relaxed in the documentary and spoke about the success of London’s 2012 Paralympic Games 

‘No amount of books that you read or teaching or class that you can have is going to give you the same inspiration as being able to watch something that you have been told is impossible.’

The Duke later hailed the significance of sport in changing lives, saying of the stadiums: ‘There’s thousands of seats there that could change those people’s lives because don’t forget, yes lives are being changed on the track but lives are also being changed in the stands as well.’

Meanwhile the royal also added some final comments to the film’s finale, and spoke of his admiration for Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who established the Paralympic Games in England.

He said:  ‘Sir Ludwig’s vision has not really been completed because still those that are referred to as being disabled are not being encouraged or not being accepted back into the society at large.

The royal is following in the footsteps of his wife Meghan Markle, 39, who offered a voiceover to a Disney documentary earlier this year

The royal is following in the footsteps of his wife Meghan Markle, 39, who offered a voiceover to a Disney documentary earlier this year 

‘What Sir Ludwig was trying to do back then is needed more now than it’s ever been.’    

Appearing in the film, the Duke can be seen wearing a relaxed green shirt and a pair of simple grey jeans and reclines on a green sofa as he speaks from within a studio space. 

The sporting subject of the documentary is a passion of Prince Harry’s, with the royal setting up the Invictus Games in 2014.  

Rumors of Harry and Meghan seeking to gain a foothold in Hollywood have run rampant ever since the couple announced their plans to quit as senior royals, seek financial independence and move to North America in January. 

The Duchess signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity (pictured, promoting the documentary)

The Duchess signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity (pictured, promoting the documentary) 

Meghan’s first post-Megxit job in showbiz was as a narrator of the Disney Plus docuseries Elephants, which came out in April. 

The 39-year-old Los Angeles native nabbed the job after Harry bragged about her voice-over skills to Disney chairman Bob Iger at the London premiere of The Lion King live-action remake last summer. 

Her fee for the project went entirely to the Elephants Without Borders charity – an organization dedicated to conserving wildlife and helps protect the animals from poaching.  

The film’s release comes after reports emerged Prince Harry and Meghan are quietly shopping a top secret project to network executives as they settle into their new life in Hollywood.

The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who are currently working with Netflix on several documentaries, sources revealed

The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who are currently working with Netflix on several documentaries, sources revealed 

Sources told Variety that the former royal couple began pitching their idea to ‘numerous’ media companies back in June, around the time that they purchased a sprawling estate in Santa Barbara.  

Very few details are known about the project, including the concept behind it and whether it would be a TV series or some other format.  

However, one source with knowledge of the idea said Harry and Meghan intend to serve as joint producers on the venture should it get picked up.  

Last year Harry announced that he was partnering with Oprah Winfrey on on an Apple TV+ docuseries about mental health. 

Since leaving the White House the Obamas have begun to earn a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix

Since leaving the White House the Obamas have begun to earn a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix

Shortly after the Duke and Duchess announced their intention to step back from royal duty, a senior Netflix executive said the streaming giant would like to work with them. 

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January that the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan, adding: ‘Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.’ 

The decision to work with Netflix is also a move reminiscent of former President Barack Obama and his lawyer wife Michelle. 

In January, sources confirmed the couple had discussed their plans with the Obamas and wanted to mimic the way they had managed to build a successful, but dignified, life for themselves after the White House.

The documentary release comes  after it emerged the Duke and Duchess have snapped up a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara, California (seen above)

The documentary release comes  after it emerged the Duke and Duchess have snapped up a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara, California (seen above) 

Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have earned a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix. 

After stepping down as senior royals, Meghan and Harry signed with New York-based Harry Walker Agency in June, which represents the Obamas and the Clintons. 

Meghan has made several appearances as a speaker at various online summits, however it is understood that she did not receive payment for these engagements. 

Experts estimate that the Sussexes stand to earn an impressive sum from public speaking however, with one agency estimating that the couple could rake in up to $500,000 each from a single appearance.  

The Sussexes have been living in the Montecito home since mid-July. They are pictured above with Archie in September last year

The Sussexes have been living in the Montecito home since mid-July. They are pictured above with Archie in September last year

Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie also claimed the couple have big plans for the next few years, and are basing their working model on the Obamas.

He said their plans were ‘not too dissimilar’ from what the former president created after leaving the White House and setting up Higher Ground production company.

He pointed to the Obama’s multiyear production deal with Netflix to produce films and documentaries covering topics like race, class and civil rights.  

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