In a wide-ranging television interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Britain’s Prince Harry spoke bluntly about racism, feeling “trapped,” contemplating suicide and having no regrets about stepping away from royal duties to preserve their marriage and their mental health.
Update 11:18 p.m. ET March 7: The rapid-fire, two-hour special seemed to give viewers the sort of bombshell details they sought before the second commercial break when Meghan revealed she and Harry had actually wed three days prior to their official nuptials.
“I was thinking about it, you know our wedding—three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that. We called the archbishop and we just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world. But we want our union between us, so the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury,” she said.
The couple’s lavish wedding took place in St. George’s Chapel at England’s Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, meaning their actual anniversary falls on May 16, according to Meghan.
But the interview turned somber quickly as Meghan detailed the relentless barrage of misinformation spread, primarily by tabloids, about every aspect of her life and the lack of protection the royal family intended to extend to her or any children she and Harry might have as the pressures of royal life mounted.
Without citing specific examples, Meghan told Winfrey that “not only was I not being protected, but they 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.”
Meanwhile, Meghan, who is biracial, also told Winfrey that when she was first pregnant with their son, Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be.”
Meghan confirmed she was not personally addressed by anyone in the royal family about their future son’s skin tone, but Harry was.
“That conversation I’m never going to share, but at the time it was awkward. I was a bit shocked,” Harry told Winfrey, in the couple’s first interview since stepping down from royal duties.
“That was right at the beginning,” Harry added, noting there had been “obvious signs” of racial tensions that pre-dated their 2018 wedding.
Meanwhile, Harry told Winfrey that meeting and marrying Meghan liberated him in a way he never dreamt possible and that, without her, he never would have been able to step away from the royal family.
“I wouldn’t have been able to (exit alone) because I, myself, was trapped. I didn’t see a way out,” he said, elaborating when pressed by Winfrey that he was “trapped by the system.”
“My father and my brother: They are trapped,” he said, revealing that his exit from the royal family resulted in his being “cut off” financially and that during the height of the tumult, his father, Prince Charles, stopped taking his phone calls.
“It’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but we have each other,” Harry said, noting he has used the money his “mum,” Princess Diana, left him when she died in 1998 to fund the couple’s new start apart from Buckingham Palace.
Harry said he has no regrets at all about leaving royal life behind to pursue his new life and family – announcing that their second child, due this summer, will be a girl – but admitting the treatment Meghan endured prior to their exit was “so cruel and so mean.”
Meanwhile, Meghan said her only regret was “believing (the royal family) when they said I would be protected,” but having emerged “on the other side … not just surviving but thriving.”
“I think that all of those things that I was hoping for have happened,” calling it “greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read.”
Update 9:22 p.m. ET March 7: Britain’s Prince Harry confirmed to Winfrey the gender of the second child he and Markle are expecting this summer.
“It’s a girl,” Harry said, with a broad grin, confirming Archie will soon have a little sister.
The couple also confirmed they intend to call their family complete after their second child’s arrival.
“Two is it,” Markle told Winfrey.
Update 9:17 p.m. ET March 7: Roughly halfway through the two-hour televised special, Meghan told Winfrey that her treatment by the Royal Family coupled with the tabloid assault on every facet of her life and all of the people she loved became a breaking point.
“I just didn’t see a solution … I realized it was all happening just because I was breathing,” Markle told Winfrey, recalling the shame she felt in admitting those feelings and in bringing them to Harry’s attention.
“I just didn’t want to live anymore,” Meghan said, calling her suicidal ideation a “very real and clear and frightening and constant thought.”
She said she remembered most how Harry “cradled” her after learning of her state of mind, but then learned quickly that because of her station, seeking professional help was not an option.
“I share this because there are so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help,” she said, noting that despite her “loss of identity” she is “still standing” and wants others “to know that there’s another side, to know that life is worth living.”
‘If you or someone you know is struggling with with mental health or if you’re in crisis, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255
Original report: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, told Oprah Winfrey in a widely anticipated televised interview on Sunday that she and Britain’s Prince Harry were actually married three days prior to the official nuptials.
“I was thinking about it, you know our wedding—three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that. We called the Archbishop and we just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world. But we want our union between us, so the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury...,” she said.
The couple’s lavish wedding took place in St. George’s Chapel at England’s Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, meaning their actual anniversary falls on May 16, according to the Duchess.
Cox Media Group