How 'South Park' Spoofed Prince Harry, Meghan Markle: 'Privacy Tour'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become the latest celebrity targets to be spoofed by the adult animated comedy series South Park, in a new episode which aired on Wednesday night.

Titled "The Worldwide Privacy Tour," the episode was a 22-minute takedown of the royal couple who stepped down from their working royal roles in 2020 in favor of a move to first Canada and then the U.S., citing frictions with the U.K. tabloid media.

Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in 1997, the show, now in its 26th season, did not mention Harry and Meghan by name. Instead the episode's two central characters were referred to as the "Prince and Princess of Canada," part of a fictional Canadian royal family heavily modeled on the Windsors.

Though their names were changed, in appearance there was no doubt who the show was spoofing. The princess was shown dressed in a replica of the pink Carolina Herrera outfit worn by Meghan to the Trooping the Colour event in 2018 and the prince in a grey suit with red hair and a beard.

South Park and Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured after a boat trip during the Invictus Games Dusseldorf, 2023, and, inset, an image of the cartoon South Park. Getty/Comedy Central

The Queen's Funeral

The show opened with a character watching coverage of the "Queen of Canada's" funeral, presented with many aesthetic similarities to Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral in 2022.

The prince and princess characters are booed at the funeral over their criticism of the fictional monarchy.

This could be seen as a reference to Harry and Meghan's reception at a small number of events in Britain since they stepped away from the monarchy and moved to the U.S.

At Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee thanksgiving service in June 2022, boos were heard amongst wider cheers as the couple exited their car and made their way into St Paul's Cathedral.

Recently Allison Pearson, a prominent British journalist, said that she planned to boo the Sussexes if they attended the coronation of King Charles III in May. This follows a slump in the couple's popularity following the publication of Harry's memoir, Spare.

Royal Memoir

Another aspect of Harry and Meghan's lives that the South Park writers poked fun at was the prince's recently released bombshell memoir, Spare.

The ghostwritten book became the fastest selling non-fiction book in history upon its release and contained a number of intimate revelations about royal family members which earned the prince criticism, including about his father, King Charles, his brother, Prince William, and his stepmother, Queen Camilla.

Appearing on a fictional Canadian morning program in the show, the Prince and Princess of Canada characters are questioned about the royal's book.

"Let me start with you, sir," an anchor said to the prince. "You lived a life with the royal family, you had everything handed to you but you say your life has been hard and now you've written all about it in your new book: 'Waaagh'"

The princess character interjects, saying: "I was totally like, 'You should write a book 'cause your family's, like, stupid and then so are, like, journalists."

The anchor responded: "So you hate journalists? And now you wrote a book that reports on the lives of the royal family? So, you're a journalist."

In the days after Spare's release, Harry and Meghan's popularity on both sides of the Atlantic fell to its lowest level ever. A poll conducted for Newsweek found that 40 percent of Americans thought that the royal should not have included details of private family conversations in the book.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed during the Trooping the Colour celebrations, June 9, 2018. Meghan's outfit for this occasion was replicated by "South Park" animators on their "Princess of Canada" character. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images


The crux of the episode is that the Prince and Princess of Canada settle in the town of South Park as part of their "worldwide publicity tour," in which they travel the globe professing their desire for privacy.

The royal couple move into a home opposite main character Kyle Broflovski, who is angered by their attention-seeking and the fact that they park their private jet outside their home.

One of the main points of contention against Harry and Meghan lodged by critics is that they appeared to move away from the monarchy out of a desire for privacy, only to then sign media deals for documentaries, books, podcasts and interviews, seemingly raising their public profile and profiting from it.

The couple have denied that privacy was the reason for their move, with a spokesperson saying in December, after the release of their Netflix series, that this was a narrative spun by the British tabloid media.

"The Duke and Duchess have never cited privacy as the reason for stepping back. This distorted narrative was intended to trap the couple into silence," the spokesperson said, per the BBC.

"In fact, their statement announcing their decision to step back mentions nothing of privacy and reiterates their desire to continue their roles and public duties. Any suggestion otherwise speaks to a key point of this series.

"They are choosing to share their story, on their terms, and yet the tabloid media has created an entirely untrue narrative that permeates press coverage and public opinion. The facts are right in front of them," they added.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Media Projects
Cover art for Prince Harry's "Spare" memoir (L) 2023. And promotional material for the the Sussexes' Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan", 2022. A spokesperson for the couple said in December that they never said their reasoning behind leaving the monarchy was because of "privacy." RAMONA ROSALES/PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE/NETFLIX

The episode ends with the Prince of Canada leaving the princess at a marketing agency meeting, having realized he does not wish to become a commodity. Instead he goes to play with the South Park children.

So far, Harry and Meghan have not commented on the animated show's recent episode, though this would not be the first time they have been spoofed on TV.

In Britain the couple have been regularly taken down by the show Spitting Image, and they were also portrayed in the U.S. animated comedy The Prince, where Harry was voiced by friend and actor Orlando Bloom.

Newsweek approached representatives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek's royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek's The Royals Facebook page.

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