The special focuses on the U.K.’s 92-year-old ceremonial monarch as a global figure and shows how she aims to pass on the crown to her heirs. Her son and Harry’s father, Prince Charles, is first in line to the throne. He appears in Queen of the World, as does Harry’s older brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton.
Here are five highlights from the documentary:
1. Meghan Reunites With Her Wedding Dress and Reveals Her “Something Blue”: The Duchess of Sussex sees her Givenchy wedding gown and veil for the first time since her and Harry’s wedding day as Royal Collection specialists prepare the outfit for a new exhibition. She notes that she had a piece of blue fabric sown into her veil as her “something blue” and that that piece was taken from a dress she wore on her first date with Harry.
Her 16-foot-long silk bridal veil, designed by Waight Keller, also contains floral appliqués that represent the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries.
“It was important for me, especially as a part of the royal family, to have all 53 of the Commonwealth countries incorporated,” Markle says in the documentary. “And I knew that it would be a fun surprise as well for my now husband, who didn’t know.”
2. Meghan Is Inspiring: A guest at a royal event, a black man, tells an interviewer, “Meghan Markle is the daughter of a black woman and she has entered the royal family…and I am inspired. There is some serious movement taking place inside this country and she is a big part of it.”
3. The Queen, She’s Just Like Us: In the documentary, we see the monarch laughing while receiving direction from an advisor while recording her annual Christmas message, and there’s also rare footage of her meeting young fashion scholars at Buckingham Palace, during which she tells them she doesn’t like sitting with her legs crossed for too long.
4. Prince Harry Knows the Queen Can Seem Intimidating: The documentary features a scene that shows Harry telling Buckingham Palace employees, “Have you bumped into the Queen yet? Not yet? If you suddenly bump into her in the corridor, don’t panic.”
“I know you will,” he says, laughing. “We all do.”
5. Meghan Is Excited About Her and Harry’s Royal Tour: In September, Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will in mid-October embark on their first joint royal tour, visiting Commonwealth countries Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand. In the Queen of the World documentary, Meghan expresses her excitement about the trip.
“You know, it’s such an exciting time for us, especially with Harry’s role as youth ambassador for the Commonwealth and the travel we intend to do to do work specifically in all those different territories, which is why it was so important to have some sort of example of that present with us on the day,” she says. “Fifty-three countries as well, my goodness, it will keep us busy.”
Queen of the World will premiere on September 25 at 9:15 p.m. on ITV in the U.K. and on October 1 at 9 p.m. on HBO in the United States.
—Reporting by Spencer Lubitz