Disney's 'Little Mermaid' Reboot: A Subtle Nod to Meghan Markle and a Dis at Kate Middleton?
Disney's latest iteration of "The Little Mermaid" seems to harbor an unexpected subplot, subtly echoing the Megxit drama and even hinting at a snub towards Kate Middleton, according to an early review.
An anonymous critic who had access to an advance screening of the much-anticipated remake told Page Six that the film appears to draw parallels between the lead characters Ariel and Prince Eric, and the real-life royal couple, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. In the updated version, Ariel, originally a redhead, is portrayed by Black actress Halle Bailey, while the white Prince Eric is played by Johan Hauer-King.
One scene specifically caught the reviewer's attention. "Ariel has sacrificed her voice to be with Prince Eric. As she is mute, he tries to guess her name. First, he suggests Diana. Then Catherine, to which Ariel reacts negatively, leading him to say, 'OK, definitely not Catherine,'” the reviewer explained.
The reviewer suggests that Ariel's strong reaction to the name Catherine – the formal name of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan Markle's supposed adversary – seems too pointed to be a coincidence. The selection of the name Diana, Prince Harry's late mother's name, as Prince Eric's first guess, further cements this interpretation.
Interestingly, Meghan Markle has previously associated herself with the iconic mermaid character. During her headline-making interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Markle recalled watching the 1989 version of "The Little Mermaid" during her turbulent time in the UK post her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. "I went, 'Oh my God, she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice,'" Markle had shared.
In the new film, the villainous Ursula is brought to life by Melissa McCarthy. The movie is slated for release on May 26. As for Markle, she was recently honored at the Ms. Foundation Gala in New York on Tuesday night.
Disney has yet to comment on these speculated royal references in the upcoming movie. The question remains: is the House of Mouse subtly weighing in on the real-life royal drama?