The legal drama Suits has been the summer’s most surprising TV hit: the series ran for 9 seasons on the USA Network between 2011 and 2019, but recently blew up in popularity on Netflix, breaking streaming records.
Those discovering the show for the first time might recognize a royally familiar face among the cast: the future Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who played the main role of Rachel Zane during the first 7 seasons.
In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Suits creator Aaron Korsh recently opened up about Suits renewed popularity, Meghan Markle… and the one line Buckingham Palace made them cut out of a script.
Markle was an actress before marrying into the royal family: she was a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal and appeared in a number of guest roles on TV series. On Suits, she played Rachel Zane, a main character for most of the series’ run; the character is a paralegal at the start of the show and later a lawyer, she’s also the love interest of central character Mike Ross.
Korsh recalled his excitement at the news that one of his actors was dating Prince Harry: “I was as excited in some ways as everybody else,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, your initial reaction is, like, ‘We’re dating a prince!'”
However, with the future Duchess still on the show, he said that the royal family would occasionally intervene with Suits in a way that was “a little irritating.”
Korsh then revealed an unusual line Buckingham Palace objected to… the word “poppycock.”
The showrunner explained that “poppycock” was a word his in-laws used a lot, so as a tribute to them he wrote Markle’s character to say, “My family would say poppycock.”
“The royal family did not want her saying the word,” Korsh told the Reporter. “They didn’t want to put the word ‘poppycock’ in her mouth. I presume because they didn’t want people cutting things together of her saying ‘cock.'”
Given the British tabloid media’s intenseness over the royals (especially Markle at the time) it’s not surprising that Buckingham Palace would want to play it safe as possible, and Korsh — while disappointed he had to cut the nod to his in-laws — agreed to change the line.
“I had some sympathy because I wouldn’t want somebody doing that to her either,” he explained. “And the thing is, I didn’t think anybody really would, but also I don’t know. People are crazy.”
There’s nothing actually offensive about the “poppycock,” a Dutch-derived word meaning nonsense or rubbish. Interestingly, the writers ended up changing the line to “bullshit.”
Korsh doesn’t remember who the order came from, or how the royal family even got the Suits scripts for review. “I don’t know how they got ’em,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “I was aware that they were reading them because I got the feedback, but I don’t remember the process by which they got them.”
The story is backed up by Prince Harry himself, who wrote in his recent memoir Spare that, ahead of their royal wedding, palace officials interfered on the Suits set in a way that made things “untenable.”
“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,” Harry wrote.
After Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, Meghan left Suits at the end of season 7. Harry wrote that it was a “difficult moment” for her because she “loved the show, loved the character she was playing, loved her cast and crew.”
At the time, Markle expressed gratitude for her time on the series, but said she was ready for a “new chapter” as a royal: “I have been working on my show for seven years,” she said in her 2017 engagement interview. “So we’re very very fortunate to be able to have that sort of longevity on a series and for me, once we hit the 100-episode marker I thought you know what I have I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work I’ve done there and now it’s time to, as you said work as a team with you [Harry].”
Of course, Harry and Meghan have since controversially stepped away from royal duties, relocating to California. They signed a deal with Netflix, producing docuseries that now air alongside Suits on the streaming platform.
Markle has not expressed any interest in returning to acting, but with Suits blowing up in popularity, could we see the return of Rachel Zane in a reboot? Time will tell.
Are you watching Suits on Netflix? Are you surprised the royal family made them cut the word “poppycock” from a script? Share this story with your thoughts!
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