The Duchess of Sussex’s animated show about a young girl has been dropped by Netflix.
Meghan was due to serve as executive producer on the series Pearl alongside David Furnish, filmmaker and husband of Sir Elton John, according to an announcement published on the Archewell website last summer.
The Archewell Productions show was one of two projects announced as part of Harry and Meghan’s multimillion-pound Netflix deal – and was set to focus on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl inspired by influential women from history.
Netflix has axed Pearl as part of the recent strategic decisions it has made around animated series.
It is understood that the streaming service has decided to not move forward with development on several projects – one of which is Pearl.
The move comes after it emerged that Netflix lost 200,000 users over the first three months of 2022, falling well short of predictions it would add 2.5 million subscribers.
Netflix has faced increased competition from the likes of Disney, Amazon Prime and the reopening of cinemas in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The duke and duchess signed a multimillion-pound deal with Netflix in 2020 after they made the shock announcement that they were stepping back as senior royals earlier that year.
It was announced they would be producing films and series for the streaming platform, including scripted series, docu-series, documentaries, features and children’s programming.
Following its drop in subscribers, Netflix has seen its share value cut in half over the past six months as investors have grown increasingly concerned by the change in fortunes.
The streaming giant said Archewell Productions remains a valued partner and will continue to work with it on a number of projects, including the documentary series Heart Of Invictus.
A camera crew was seen close to Harry and Meghan during their time at the Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands, last month – believed to be part of the series which follows people competing at the event.
When Pearl 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.
“I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.
“David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”
An announcement on the Archewell website from 14 July last year says: “Archewell Productions is creating its first ever animated series with Netflix.
“Pearl (working title) focuses on a young girl’s heroic adventure as she learns to step into her power and finds inspiration from influential women throughout history.
“Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex will serve as an executive producer of the series alongside David Furnish, Carolyn Soper, Liz Garbus, Dan Cogan and Amanda Rynda.”
Archewell Productions was created by Harry and Meghan “to produce programming that informs, elevates and inspires”, according to the Archewell website.
It also states that Archewell Productions will “utilise the power of storytelling to embrace our shared humanity and duty to truth through a compassionate lens”, and lists Heart Of Invictus and Pearl as the two “exciting projects” it has announced.