Trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Lifetime movie dubbed 'cringeworthy'

The first look at an upcoming movie about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving the royal family has been mercilessly mocked online for being "cringeworthy" and causing "second-hand embarrassment". 

US TV network Lifetime shared a sneak peek at Harry & Meghan: Escaping The Palace on social media, which sees The Duke and Duchess of Sussex played by lookalike actors Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton. 

The movie recreates the couple's now-historic interview with Oprah Winfrey, as well as attempting to portray the pair's struggle to survive under the public pressure and constraints of the institution. 

"I see you being literally being hounded to death, and I'm helpless to stop it," Harry's character tells Meghan in one scene. 

"I am the person who is strong and gets things right," Meghan's character says at another stage. 

The film advertises itself as the "movie event of the year", using the tagline "not all fairytales have the perfect ending". 

Despite the self-ascribed hype, the trailer has already been panned online, with one Twitter user writing: "This looks so bad, I have second hand embarrassment for everyone involved." 

"I can't stop laughing," wrote another. 

"I thought this was a joke, then realized it is actually a movie... which made me laugh even more... How awful is this movie just from the trailer?" 

"Now THIS is something they should sue over!" offered a third, referencing Harry and Meghan's various legal battles with the tabloid press. 

The trailer also drew ire from die-hard royalists, who were upset with the sympathetic treatment Harry and Meghan received, while the Royal Family looked set to be villainised. 

"Definitely won't be watching. Of course Lifetime will spin the movie 'poor little us against the big bad Royal Family,'" one tweet read. 

"Are you serious @lifetimetv ? Clearly a work of fiction. Did you not explore both sides of the story – just like Oprah failed to do?" asked another. 

A third said they were "ready to puke", telling Lifetime to "go away" and "give the American public a break".

Harry & Meghan: Escaping The Palace is the third instalment in a series of Lifetime movies about the pair, beginning with A Royal Romance, which detailed how the couple met and fell in love, and followed by Becoming Royal, which followed their first year of marriage.