Meghan Markle considered taking her own life, and received no support from the royal family in her moments of deepest pain, she told Oprah Winfrey.
Her suicidal feelings became so bad she felt she could not be left alone, she told Oprah. Meghan wiped away tears, as she recalled being at a public event, and having to be “on.”
Meghan also claimed she had been silenced and that there had been “concerns” over the possible darkness of baby Archie’s skin. She and Harry also married in secret three days before her public wedding ceremony.
Meghan told Oprah: “It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they (the royal family) were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”
Meghan said that she was told Archie would not receive official royal protection when he was born, and that Archie would not be titled in equal terms to other members of the family. “Why?” Meghan said. She never received a response.
Meghan said there were “concerns” over how dark Archie’s skin might be when he was born, and what that would mean and what it would look like. She declined to say who in the royal household had had these conversations, because it would be “damaging” to them.
On the issue with Kate, Meghan said Kate apologized and sent her flowers, and she did not believe Kate would have wanted a false version of the story put out.
Meghan was responding to a question by Oprah about a report which emerged six months after the wedding, which said Meghan had left Kate “in tears” over an argument.
Meghan was asked by Oprah: “Did you make Kate cry?” Meghan replied, “No.” Oprah then asked: “Was there a situation where she might have cried? Or she could have cried?” Meghan responded, “No, no. The reverse happened. And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized. And she brought me flowers and a note, apologizing. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it. What was shocking was—what was that, six, seven months after our wedding…that the reverse of that would be out in the world?”
Meghan added: “I would have never wanted that to come out about her ever, even though it had happened. I protected that from ever being out in the world.” Oprah pressed the matter, asking: “So, when you say the reverse happened, explain to us what you mean by that?”
Meghan said: “A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining—yes, the issue was correct—about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”
Meghan also said the royal family had “silenced” her, and that she felt lonely—there was very little I was allowed to do,” especially coming from a life of professional freedom. Meghan then said there had been “concerns” over the possible darkness of Archie’s skin.
The interview comes after a fevered few days of claim and counter-claim, as Buckingham Palace and royal aides sought to fight back against the inference of clips released by CBS in advance of Sunday’s broadcast, and what they anticipated would be a thorough trashing by Meghan and Harry.
The palace has launched an investigation into claims Meghan bullied palace staffers, first reported by The Times of London. About a dozen staffers are reportedly “queuing up” to contribute testimony to the investigation. It was reported Sunday that Kate Middleton, Prince William’s wife, may be asked to give evidence as she had witnessed staff being “berated” by Meghan. The Times reported that Meghan’s treatment of staff had left some in tears or traumatized, and others driven from their posts.
Meghan and Harry have denied the bullying claims, and said they were part of a “calculated smear campaign” in advance of Sunday’s highly anticipated broadcast. Their many supporters see Meghan as a victim of racism, and a wilful lack of understanding from an antic palace old-guard administration. A senior royal source told the U.K. Sunday Times that the royal family had “bent over backwards to be inclusive. It is absolutely wrong to say the Palace is institutionally racist. It really isn’t.”
Just before the interview aired, a source close to Prince Harry told the Telegraph that he was “determined to stand shoulder to shoulder” with brother Prince William at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Princess Diana on July 1, “whatever the fallout from his interview… in an attempt to move past their rift.”
Having wanted to explain why they left the royal family, Harry and Meghan Harry and Meghan “want to move on” from the Oprah interview and “consider the matter closed,” sources told the Telegraph.
One friend said: “It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on.”
Hours before the interview, the Queen, in a BBC special program to celebrate Commonwealth Day, emphasized “friendship and a spirit of unity” in her address, praising examples of “courage, commitment, and selfless dedication to duty” in Commonwealth nations and territories, notably by those working on the frontline, whether in healthcare or other public services.
“The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others,” the queen said in the gentle program, which was in marked dramatic contrast to the Harry and Meghan interview. Post-pandemic, she looked towards “a common future that is sustainable and more secure.”
The broadcast—a showcase of top royals, excluding Meghan and Harry—also featured Prince Charles talking about the importance of fighting to preserve the natural world; his wife Camilla speaking about child literacy, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward’s wife) and Prince William and his wife Kate talking to Commonwealth activists and campaigners about their work.
The question is, how quickly and honestly can the royals and Sussexes move on from any bad feeling and tensions.
In one advance clip of the Oprah interview, Meghan accused “the Firm”—a colloquial name for the royal family—of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry, after Oprah asked her, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?”
Markle responded, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”
In another clip, Harry said he had decided to step back from the British royal family because he was fearful of “history repeating itself,” apparently referring to the tragic story of his mother, Diana. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side,” Harry said. “Because I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her [Diana], going through this process by herself all those years ago. It’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other.”
In another clip, Oprah said to Meghan that no subject was off-limits and told the couple, “You have said some pretty shocking things here.” Oprah also asks Meghan if she was “silent or silenced.” Winfrey appeared to reference a comment made by Meghan when she said that the trolling she received was “almost unsurvivable.”
Hours before the interview, the British press on Sunday unleashed a dizzying array of stories, mostly aimed at further discrediting Harry and Meghan before the interview was broadcast. The Sunday Mirror reported that Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles could be called to give evidence in the palace investigation into Meghan’s alleged bullying of staff.
The Sun on Sunday reported that palace aides were concerned Meghan would talk about her rift with Kate Middleton, and the infamous story that they had an argument, pre-Harry and Meghan’s wedding, over the fit of Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.
However, the New York Post said that CBS insiders indicated Harry and Meghan would have only “kind words” for Kate and William in the interview.
If that remains true, it corresponds with the Sunday Telegraph reporting that William and Kate privately remain “hopeful of a reconciliation” with Harry and Meghan—whatever they say in the documentary tonight. A friend of Meghan’s told the Sunday Times that she would accuse courtiers in the Oprah interview of not noticing she was suffering from poor mental health. Given this—while accepting Meghan was difficult to work for—it was “incredibly dangerous” of the palace to attack Meghan, the friend said.
The Sunday Times also reported that Meghan had “gone mental” at an assistant over a shade of red of some blankets ordered as gifts for friends. Before the couple’s wedding, “half of the staff threatened to quit,” a former aide to one of the most senior members of the royal family claimed. Another Palace source said, “the entire household was on the verge of quitting … it was drama, drama, drama with those two.”
According to the Telegraph, staff began to call Harry “The Hostage” before the wedding, after the infamous, much-written-about clash over the tiara the queen loaned Meghan, which Meghan wanted to wear for a pre-wedding hair appointment. This request was refused as it was made on short notice, leading Harry to allegedly shout, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”
“I did what any husband, what any father would do. It’s like, ‘I need to get my family out of here.’”
— Prince Harry
The Sunday Times reported that the queen would not stay up to watch the interview, which courtiers have called a “circus.” “I don’t think anyone should expect Her Majesty to stay up and watch the interview. She won’t,” an aide said. “The mood in the family is: can everyone just shut the hell up, and can we get on with the day job?” one aide said—an ironic attempt at lofty contempt given the amount of effort aides had put into trashing Harry and Meghan in the media on the day of the interview itself.
Harry had previously told James Corden in an interview for The Late, Late Show that the British press created a “difficult environment” that was destroying his mental health, but insisted he “didn’t walk away” from the royal family. “It was stepping back rather than stepping down.”
“I did what any husband, what any father would do,” Harry told Corden. “It’s like, ‘I need to get my family out of here.’ But we never walked away.” He added, “I will never walk away. I will always be contributing.”