Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Harpo Productions | Joe Pugliese | Getty Images
Pressure to be under the microscope drove Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to thoughts of suicide, Prince Harry’s wife said in an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday.
She said she had been the victim of “character murder,” and the pressure drove her to the point of self-harm.
“Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and I was ashamed to admit it mostly to Harry, but I knew if I didn’t say that, I would,” said an emotional Meghan. “I just didn’t want to live anymore.”
In the extensive interview that aired on CBS, Meghan also revealed a disturbing allegation about the royal family’s views on race.
In the months leading up to the birth of their son, Archie, Meghan said she and Harry were told royal insiders had “raised concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
The revelation made Winfrey floored, who replied, “What?”
“There are several conversations,” said Meghan, “possible and what that would mean or look like.”
Winfrey urged Meghan to name names, but she declined.
“I think that would be very harmful to them,” said Meghan.
Harry confirmed he was being questioned about his unborn son’s skin color, but he didn’t know who made the comments or when they were made.
“I’m never going to share that conversation. But at that point it was all good, I was a bit shocked,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable sharing it.”
In the extensive interview that aired on CBS, Meghan also revealed that before her wedding she was brought to tears in an argument with sister-in-law Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
In the couple’s first long interview since leaving the Royal Family, Meghan and Harry talked about their treatment at Buckingham Palace and their decision to start a new life in the United States.
Months after the wedding, headlines accused Meghan of bickering with Kate over flower girl dresses, which reportedly brought Kate to tears. Meghan confirmed there was disagreement over flower girl dresses, but insisted she was the one crying.
“It made me cry and it really hurt my feelings,” said Meghan.
Kate apologized and even sent flowers to put the matter to rest, said Meghan, who declined to explain more about the disagreement.
“It wasn’t a showdown,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair to her to go into that. Because she apologized, I forgiven her. What was hard to come across was that she was blamed for not just not doing it, but happened to me. “
Meghan, she felt she lost her freedom when she got married into the royal family and that it was “liberating” to finally be able to speak.
Both Harry and Meghan denied that they blinded the royal family with their attempt to reverse their royal duties.
Harry said he had multiple conversations with his grandmother and father, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, about how the decision would be announced. At one point during these extensive conversations, Prince Charles “stopped taking my calls,” said Harry.
“I took matters into my own hands,” said Harry of the royal departure. ‘I have to do this for my family. This is no surprise to anyone. It’s really sad that it has come this far. I have to do something for my own sanity, for my wife’s and for Archie too. ”
Harry said the detachment affected his bond with loved ones in several ways.
He said he and his grandmother, the Queen, spoke regularly during the 2020 pandemic. She even shared Zoom phone calls with her great-grandson Archie.
“My grandmother and I have a really good relationship,” he said.
But when Winfrey asked Harry about his relationship with his father, the future king, he froze and took a few seconds to unwind. The prince hinted that they are at a tricky point, if only in terms of speaking.
“There’s a lot of work to be done there,” said Harry. “I really feel abandoned because he has been through something similar. He knows how pain feels, and Archie is his grandson. But at the same time, of course, I will always love him, but a lot of pain has happened and I will be one of those. keep making my priorities to try to heal that relationship. “
And with his brother, Prince William, another future king, the connection only seemed a little less icy.
“The relationship is currently space,” said Harry. “Time heals all things, I guess.”
Winfrey said that not a single topic was off limits in the interview, which generated headlines around the world, and had been anticipated for as long as the interview between Harry’s mother, Princess Diana and BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995.
Royal interviews are historically rare and the family is closely guarded in what they reveal to the public, but Diana, who died in a 1997 car accident in Paris while being chased by paparazzi, shared intimate details about her marriage to Prince Charles. .
Meanwhile, the royal family tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Queen Elizabeth II delivered a television message on Commonwealth Day hours before the interview with Winfrey.
Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, 99, Harry’s grandfather, remains in the hospital after a heart procedure last week.
In a separate interview last month, Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, told TV host James Corden that the ‘toxic’ media coverage destroyed his mental health and that this was one of the reasons why he retired from his life as a senior royal.
The pair have pushed back against media coverage. Meghan last month won a privacy lawsuit against a British media company that published parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. However, coverage intensified throughout the week as expectations for the interview grew.
It has been less than three years since the couple got married at a star-studded wedding at Windsor Castle, where Winfrey attended. Meghan was praised at the time for modernizing the monarchy.
They announced in January 2020 that they were “relinquishing” their role as senior members of the royal family, a decision they confirmed last month. Harry and Meghan announced on Valentine’s Day that they are expecting their second child.
Harry, meanwhile, is expected to return to the UK in July for the unveiling of a statue of Diana.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.