Jacinda Ardern learned she was in new Meghan and Harry series the day of trailer release

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says she learned she would feature in Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new documentary series the day the trailer was released.

Ardern featured prominently in the first trailer for ‘Live to Lead, a new documentary project, which will feature “leaders committed to making a difference in the world share[ing] their inspiring life stories”. The series is a follow-up to Harry & Meghan, Netflix’s documentary series by and about the pair, released this month.

News of Ardern’s involvement in the project sparked interest in New Zealand, given the explosive claims made in the recent series. The Duke of Sussex said the stress of privacy action against the Mail on Sunday caused his wife to miscarry, and that his brother screamed and shouted at him during fraught meetings in the lead-up to the pair leaving their royal duties.

But Ardern said on Wednesday that she had had no contact with the Sussexes about the project, and the footage they were using had come from a November 2019 interview with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“They were producing resources for future leaders with the focus on young leaders,” she said. “I’ve not been involved in the decision-making around what happens next and I have not had direct contact with the Sussexes”. She said she “stood by” the interview and the foundation’s right to use the footage how they saw fit.

Ardern said her office had been informed the documentary would be released in May, but she had “not stayed close” to those communications. “So I became aware of what was happening with it yesterday”.

The trailer for Live to Lead also featured interview snippets with climate activist Greta Thunberg, supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, and South African anti-apartheid activist and judge Albie Sachs.

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