Harry and Meghan snap of press ‘hounding’ them was taken 5 years before they met

A controversial photo showing the press seemingly "hounding" Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's in long-awaited Netflix documentary was actually from five years before the couple had even met at an event neither attended.

The 1-minute 12-second preview to their Netflix show has already caused controversy already – and one photo featured in it has become a particular talking point.

The black-and-white picture shows dozens of paparazzi with their cameras pointed in the same direction, seemingly suggesting that the pair were being hounded by the press when the snap was taken.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle's mask slipped with key body language errors when 'trying to be nice'

The image in the trailer, released last Thursday (December 1), is shown as Harry says: "I had to do everything I could to protect my family."

However, the picture was actually taken at the premiere for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two, and shows photographers who were invited to capture the event, attended by stars such as Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – an event that, it is understood, had no members of the royal family in attendance.

The 2011 red carpet event also took place five years before Harry and Meghan were actually introduced in 2016.

  • King Charles and Camilla 'wearied' by Harry and Meghan's attacks ahead of Netflix doc

The photograph itself appears first under search results for "paparazzi" on the stock image website Alamy – suggesting the image had nothing to do with the Sussexes at all.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward told The Sun: "I don’t imagine Harry would have realised, but Netflix have been careless here as it weakens Harry’s comment about protecting his family.

"This fake picture weakens his point."

The trailer shows a number of black-and-white images, which Harry and Meghan narrate over – and this isn't the only one that's caused backlash.

One of the images shows Kate Middleton staring into the camera, seemingly appearing angry – and critics have slammed the use of the image, saying it makes the princess look like "the wicked witch of Wales".

Royal expert Eric Schiffer told the Daily Star: "The Netflix trailer is egos run amok.

"It will be seen as repulsive attention-seeking positioning porn, firing a hail of fire at the royal family who they attempt to paint as antagonists capped with a still of Kate framed like she’s the wicked witch of Wales.

"It’s a dirty bomb dropped by Harry and Meghan, revealing what appears to be a new thirst for War with the King."

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But despite the alleged jabs at working royals, Buckingham Palace is determined not to be "blown off course," a source told the Daily Mail.

"We are not going to be blown off course by squalls from across the Atlantic," the source claimed.

The trailer ends with the news that the six-part series, simply named Harry & Meghan, is "coming soon", with reports suggesting it will be available to watch from Thursday, December 8.

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