"Suits" Creator Reveals Line Royal Family Wouldn't Let Meghan Markle Say
The palace stepped in when the actor was scripted to say this particular word.
Meghan Markle went through a major life change—to put it lightly—when she went from being a TV star to a member of the British royal family. And for a period of time, those two careers overlapped. When Markle began dating Prince Harry, she was living in Toronto where she filmed the legal drama Suits. The couple arranged secret visits during this time, and the paparazzi began following the actor around her city. But, there was another factor that complicated Markle's experience on Suits towards the end of her run: The royal family began weighing in on her scripts.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Suits creator Aaron Korsh revealed the line that the royal family would not let Markle say on the show and why they objected to it. Read on to find out more.
Korsh was thrilled when he heard Markle was dating Prince Harry.
Korsh told The Hollywood Reporter that he was pleased when he first found out that Markle was dating Harry—this was before the news was made public in the fall of 2016.
"Oh, I was as excited in some ways as everybody else," Korsh said. "I mean, your initial reaction is, like, 'We're dating a prince!' (Laughs.) But the security and all that stuff, we shot in Toronto and the writers room was in L.A., so other people were dealing with that." Korsh wrote for the show, so he was based in Los Angeles.
The palace forced him to change some of her lines.
Korsh said that the royal family "weighed in on some stuff" while Markle was still on Suits. "Not many things, by the way, but a few things that we wanted to do and couldn't do, and it was a little irritating," he admitted.
He spoke about one line in particular. "I'll just say what the line was," Korsh continued. "My wife's family, when they have a topic to discuss that might be sensitive, they use the word, 'poppycock.' Let's say you wanted to do something that you knew your husband didn't want to do, but you wanted to at least discuss it, and in just discussing it, you wouldn't hold him to anything he said, you'd be like, 'It's poppycock.'"
The script had Markle's character, Rachel Zane, saying, "My family would say poppycock," during a conversation with her love interest, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Korsh said that he included it as "a nod to [his] in-laws."
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He explained the royal family's reasoning.
"They didn't want to put the word 'poppycock' in her mouth," Korsh told THR. "I presume because they didn't want people cutting things together of her saying '[expletive].' So, we had to change it to 'bull[expletive]' instead of 'poppycock,' and I did not like it because I'd told my in-laws that [poppycock] was going to be in the show. There was maybe one or two more things [they objected to], but I can't remember."
Korsh told THR that he does not know how the royal family was getting the scripts for Suits but that he assumes it was either through the directing producer or Markle's agent, who told him about the change they requested.
"Whoever it was, they didn't like having to tell me any more than I liked having to hear it," Korsh said. "But listen, when they explained it that way, and I'm pretty sure it got explained to me that it was about that [splicing potential], I had some sympathy because I wouldn't want somebody doing that to her either. And the thing is, I didn't think anybody really would, but also I don't know. People are crazy."
Harry said the palace's intervention "frustrated" the writers.
In his memoir, Spare, which was published earlier this year, Harry wrote about the royal family giving notes on Markle's scripts.
"The show writers were frustrated, because they were often advised by the palace comms team to change lines of dialogue, what her character would do, how she would act," the Duke of Sussex wrote (via Us Weekly).
He also wrote that his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, were fans of the show before he started dating Meghan.
"I was baffled, until Willy and Kate explained that they were regular—nay, religious—viewers of Suits," he wrote. "Great, I thought, laughing. I've been worrying about the wrong thing. All this time I'd thought Willy and Kate might not welcome Meg into the family, but now I had to worry about them hounding her for an autograph."
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Markle was written out of the series.
Suits ran for nine seasons before ending in 2019, but Markle and Adams both left the show after Season 7. When the soon-to-be duchess' departure was revealed, she was already engaged to Harry, and the two got married about a month after her last episode aired.
In a joint interview with Harry after their engagement was announced, Markle commented on leaving the show. "I don't see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change," she said (via People). "It's a new chapter, right? And also, keep in mind, I've been working on [Suits] for seven years. We were very, very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series."
Korsh said that he began planning to write Markle out of the show around the time he found out she and Harry were together.
"What we decided to do [was to] say, 'Look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life'—which would likely mean her leaving the show," he told Radio 4 (via BBC). "So let's plan on that and it's much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she's going to go."
Rachel's storyline came to a close with her and Mike getting married and moving to Seattle. As for Korsh, he and many of Markle's co-stars were in attendance at the royal wedding.