The Royal Family was left reeling this morning after Meghan Markle tearfully revealed that the stress of royal life made her suicidal when she was five months pregnant, claimed Archie was denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race and said Kate Middleton made her cry before she married Harry in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The couple also chose to reveal that they are having a baby girl to the tens of millions of people watching the CBS show broadcast in the US before accusing the Royal Family of racism and revealing the deep rift ‘Megxit’ has caused with Prince Charles and Prince William.
The Queen is not believed to have watched the show, broadcast at 8pm Eastern Time in the US and 1am UK time, but will this morning be briefed by aides on the sensational claims made by her grandson and his wife that could badly damage the reputation of the Royal Family around the globe.
The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah she ‘couldn’t be left alone’ and told her husband she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ before claiming the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’.
Describing how she considered ending her life believing it ‘was better for everyone’, Meghan said: ‘I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. I remember how he just cradled me. I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that ‘I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere’. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution’.
She said that after confiding in her husband, she was forced to go to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event in January 2019, claiming photos from that night ‘haunt me’. She told Oprah she later reached out to one of the best friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, because she felt unsupported by the palace.
She said: ‘When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys – all of that gets turned over’. Meghan said Harry had ‘saved my life’ by agreeing to move to Los Angeles.
Meghan also sensationally claimed that a relative of Harry asked him ‘how dark’ their unborn child would be with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a ‘problem’ for the royals after Oprah asked her if they were worried their son would be ‘too brown’.
The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be ‘too damaging’ for them. But she confirmed that the duke was asked the question – ‘how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ – ‘by family’. She then said Archie may have been denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race, but has never been told. Harry was also asked to identify the culprit but said he didn’t feel ‘comfortable’ discussing it.
In the most extraordinary royal interview since Diana spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995, Meghan said her sister-in-law Kate made her cry in a row over dresses for the flowergirls, including Princess Charlotte, before her Windsor wedding. She said: ‘She (Kate) was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers’.
Harry also laid into his own family, claiming their ‘lack of support and understanding’, the couple’s mental health problems and fears ‘history repeating itself’ with Meghan like his mother Diana, who died in 1997.
Harry also said he felt ‘very let down’ by his father Prince Charles, accusing him of refusing to take his calls and and then ‘cut him off’ financially when they emigrated.
He said: ‘My father and brother. They’re both trapped’ and added that his mother Diana would be ‘angry and sad’ that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but ‘she saw it coming’. Harry said: ‘All she’d ever want for us is to be happy’, adding that his wife had ‘saved me’, declaring: ‘I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out’.
In the most anticipated royal interview in decades, speaking to Oprah, Meghan and Harry steered clear of criticising the Queen or talking about the Markle family but revealed:
- The gender of their baby to Oprah – a girl due this summer;
- Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, made Meghan cry ahead of the royal wedding – but ‘owned it’ and apologised;
- Meghan described meeting the Queen for the first time and having to learn to curtsy from Fergie. Sussexes say they speak to Her Majesty regularly on Zoom and called last week when Philip became ill;
- Duchess claims she was ‘naive’ when she joined the Royal Family – and never researched what it would be like or anything about Harry. She said that she was initially welcomed by the royals, but was later ‘silenced’ and felt trapped. She said officials had ‘lied’ to protect other royals instead of them and took her ‘passport, my driving licence, my keys’;
- Meghan claims a member of Harry’s family was ‘worried’ about Archie’s skin colour when asked if he was ‘too brown’. Harry was asked about it and refused to say who it was;
- Duchess described being cradled by Harry after feeling that she no longer wanted to live; Meghan claimed she begged for help from Palace but denied it because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’;
- Harry says his family failed to ‘support’ and ‘understand’ them and reveals Charles stopped speaking to him and ‘cut me off financially’, leaving him to use Diana’s inheritance;
- Couple show of the hens they rescued from a factory farm for ‘Archie’s Chick Inn’ as Meghan says they want to ‘live authentically’ in their LA mansion. Couple also shared unseen picture of Archie at the beach;
- Harry says he is ‘hurt’ but ‘completely respects’ Queen’s decision to strip couple of all their patronages, but says he has ‘no regrets’ about their decision saying: ‘I’m really proud of us’.
- But Meghan said: ‘My regret is believing them when they said I’d be protected.’
The prince said he had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was spending his inheritance from Princess Diana and claimed the palace suggested that Meghan should go back into acting to pay the bills.
Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’. When asked about if he remains close to William he replied: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’.
Meghan claimed she had been completely ‘naive’ about what royal life was like, claiming she didn’t know about needing to curtsy for the Queen and being taught by Fergie minutes before meeting Her Majesty for the first time in 2017. The Duke and Duchess said they speak to her regularly on Zoom – but hinted at little contact with the other royals.
The Sussexes also revealed they were already planning ‘Megxit’ just six months after they married in May 2018 and Meghan compared life in Kensington Palace to lockdown in the Covid world today because she was ‘banned’ from going to lunch with friends. But said their new life was a ‘happy ending’ for after a journey ‘greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read.
The Duchess was greeted by Oprah as a friend when the show began and admired her growing baby bump, before the host said that while they knew each other none of the questions had been shared in advance.
The Duchess of Sussex sat alone as she claimed she entered the Royal Family ‘naively’ and didn’t do any research about her husband or the institution before entering it.
Describing meeting the Queen for the first time at Windsor and that she was shocked when she was told by Harry would need to curtsy to Her Majesty, and was taught by her husband’s aunt Fergie.
Describing her initial experiences of becoming part of the royal family, Meghan said: ‘I will say I went into it naively, because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the royal family.
‘It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn’t something that we followed.’
Meghan said she did not research Harry or the family beforehand, and had little expectation of what becoming a working royal would involve.
She said: ‘I didn’t fully understand what the job was, what does it mean to be a working royal, what do you do?
‘I didn’t romanticise any element of it, but I think as Americans especially – what you know about the royals is what you read in fairy tales.
‘It’s easy to have an image of it that’s so far from reality and that’s what was really tricky over those past few years, when the perception and reality are different things and you’re being judged on the perception but you are living the reality of it, there’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people.’
A tearful duchess also told interviewer Oprah Winfrey that the stress of her role became so bad that she felt suicidal as a result of the pressure she was under. I didn’t want to be alive any more -this was a very real and frightening constant thought,’ she said.
She said she didn’t want to tell Harry at first because of the loss he had suffered as a result of his mother’s death, but she did and he ‘cradled me’.
Meghan said she begged a senior member of the royal to assist her get help for mental health issue but she was left to suffer alone.
Meghan then denied making Kate cry before her wedding in 2018 – and said the opposite had happened. Oprah asked the Duchess: ‘Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?’
But the Duchess of Sussex replied: ‘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 apologised.
‘And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.’ Meghan added that it was ‘shocking’ that the ‘reverse of that would be out in the world’.
She continued: ‘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.
‘And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever– what everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.’
Meghan also said: ‘It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually think it’s… I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
‘What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me. And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: ‘I know this didn’t happen. I don’t have to tell them what actually happened’.’
But the Duchess of Sussex also insisted that she has now forgiven Kate Middleton and said she bought her flowers to apologise about the incident.
It then got even more uncomfortable for the royals when Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.