Jacinda Arden says she had no idea the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were involved in their latest Netflix show when she agreed to take part.
The New Zealand Prime Minister spoke out after Harry, 38, and his wife Meghan, 41, announced on Monday (19.12.22) they were releasing another series on the streamer called ‘Live to Lead’ about history’s most “inspirational” leadership figures.
Ms Arden, 40, who leads New Zealand’s Labour party and a country where Harry’s father King Charles is head of state, appeared in a trailer for the upcoming show, which will also highlight the work of Nelson Mandela and climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg.
The PM’s carefully worded statement released on Tuesday (20.12.22) made clear she was asked to give an interview in 2019 in connection with the Mandela Foundation.
It said: “In early March 2019 the prime minister was approached by the Mandela Foundation to participate in a project to develop accessible resources on key attributes of leadership targeted at aspiring young leaders around the world, based off a one-hour interview.
“Originally we were advised the outputs would be printed and digital books, short films and audiobooks.
“The interview was conducted on November 8, 2019.
“In March 2020 a short book entitled ‘Jacinda Ardern (I Know This to be True)’ was published based on the interview.
“Other participants who also had their contributions published based on their interviews included the late US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the feminist activist Gloria Steinem, the climate campaigner Greta Thunberg and the American basketball player Stephen Curry.
“In March 2021 the Nelson Mandela Foundation advised the prime minister’s office they had secured an agreement with Netflix to broadcast the series of interviews, including the 2019 interview with the prime minister.
“In May this year the prime minister’s office was notified that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would introduce the series; noting this was nearly two and a half years after the interview had been recorded and permission for its use by the Mandela Foundation had already been provided.
“All communication throughout has been with the foundation (there has been no communications with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex regarding the project).”
The upcoming seven-part documentary was made by New Zealand-based production company Blackwell and Ruth in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Sussexes’ Archewell company.
The ‘Live to Lead’ show will be broadcast on December 31.
Mail Online reported on Tuesday the original project was designed to be an online effort, with videos and booklets being sold and distributed worldwide as a fundraising effort for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, at a time when Harry and Meghan were still working royals before their move to America and the announcement of their multi-million dollar content deal with Netflix.