Meghan says she had suicidal thoughts during royal life in Oprah interview

·3 min read
Meghan says she had suicidal thoughts during royal life in Oprah interview
Meghan, left, discusses her experiences with the royal family with Oprah Winfrey during a special that aired on Sunday. (Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters - image credit)
Meghan, left, discusses her experiences with the royal family with Oprah Winfrey during a special that aired on Sunday. (Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters - image credit)

Meghan said she considered suicide or self-harm during her time with the Royal Family after asking for help but getting none.

"I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how [Prince Harry] just cradled me," the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey during an interview aired Sunday.

Asked if she thought of harming herself or having suicidal thoughts, Meghan said yes. "This was very, very clear, ... and very scary," she told Winfrey.

Meghan also said the Royal Family refused to make her and Prince Harry's son, Archie, a prince partly due to conversations about how dark his skin might be.

Meghan, left, discusses her experiences with the royal family with Oprah Winfrey during a special that aired on Sunday.
Meghan, left, discusses her experiences with the royal family with Oprah Winfrey during a special that aired on Sunday.(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters)

"They didn't want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," Meghan told Winfrey.

"In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of, you won't be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

Asked who the conversation was with, Meghan said "I think that would be very damaging to them."

Says Royal Family failed to protect her

Sunday night's two-hour special — which opened with a one-on-one interview between Meghan and Winfrey — provided a first, and unprecedented, peek into the couple's departure from royal duties and the strains it has placed on them. Harry joined in the second half of the program to announce that the two are expecting a baby girl this summer.

Earlier, Meghan said the Royal Family tried to silence her and people within the institution not only failed to protect her against malicious claims by the British press but lied to protect others.

"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 were willing to lie to protect other members of the family," Meghan said,

"But they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband," she said.

Prince Harry, left, joined Meghan to discuss their decision to leave active roles in the Royal Family.
Prince Harry, left, joined Meghan to discuss their decision to leave active roles in the Royal Family.(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters)

Meghan also refuted British tabloid reports that she made her sister-in-law Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, cry before her 2018 wedding, but rather that the reverse happened.

Meghan told Winfrey that Kate subsequently apologized and she forgave her. But when tabloid stories emerged purporting the opposite, Meghan said that marked a turning point for her relationship with U.K. media, and said she would have hoped Kate would have wanted the story corrected.

"What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn't do, but that happened to me."

The show, which included Winfrey's interviews with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aired first in the United States — Meghan's home country — and Canada at 8 p.m. ET. British audiences will wake up Monday to headlines and social media posts about Winfrey's special, but won't be able to see the full interview until Monday night when it airs on ITV.

Meghan told Winfrey that she realized life as a royal would be different than she anticipated when her future husband, Prince Harry, asked her if she knew how to curtsey before meeting Queen Elizabeth.

"There was no way to understand what the day-to-day was going to be like," Meghan told Winfrey.

"I went into it naively," she said about joining the royal family.

Meghan, who said she was not being paid for the interview, also said she and Harry were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their public wedding. She called that day an "out-of-body experience."

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