Bombshell interview exposes royal rift
Meghan Markle has told Oprah Winfrey that she experienced suicidal thoughts over how she was being treated after marrying Prince Harry and spoken of the anguish she had over discussions about her son that ranged from questions about his skin colour to the decision that he would not get a prince title.
In their pre-taped interview that aired today, 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." She did not give specific examples.
She said when she was first pregnant with son Archie, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born." The statement led Winfrey to ask "what" incredulously and sit in silence for a moment.
Meghan and Harry's tell-all interview
Meghan declined to say who had this conversation with Harry that he relayed to her, saying revealing their name would be "very damaging."
Meghan also said she was stunned when she was told he would not be a prince and would not receive security from the palace.
Meghan said she did not worry about being a divorced, mixed-race American actress entering the British royal family, but later she "thought about it because they made me think about it".
Meghan said it was not so much the royal family members themselves who treated her this way, but the people behind the institution.
She emphasised that the queen herself "has always been wonderful to me."
Meghan also revealed that she and Harry were technically married a few days before the ceremony watched by the world.
Winfrey that she had suicidal thoughts after marrying Harry, and the palace prevented her from getting help.
Meghan told Winfrey she "just didn't see a solution" to the mental suffering she had experienced since joining the royal family and that she told Harry she "didn't want to be alive anymore."
"It was a very real, clear and frightening constant thought," she said.
She said she went to a senior royal staffer and said she needed to get help for her mental health, but was told it would be bad for the family if she did.
She described the moment as a breaking point leading to her and Harry stepping aside from their royal duties.
Meghan said she "wasn't planning to say anything shocking" during the interview, "I'm just telling you what happened."
Prince Charles stopped taking Harry's calls
Winfrey asked whether Harry blindsided the Queen when they announced they were stepping away from the royal family.
"No. I'd never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her," he said.
"When we were in Canada I had a conversation with my grandmother and two conversations with my father … before he stopped taking my calls."
Asked where the story the news was a shock to the Queen came from, Harry guessed it was "from someone inside the institution".
Baby's sex revealed
After a brief intro with Winfrey narrating a recounting of the couple's wedding and subsequent announcement that they were stepping down from their royal duties, Meghan walked into the backyard garden setting of the interview.
"You really are having a baby!" Winfrey shouted when she saw Meghan's baby bump under her black empire-style dress.
Harry joined Oprah and Meghan and confirmed the couple was having a girl.
Their first child, son Archie, turns two in May.
Harry said "to have a boy and then a girl, what more can you ask for? But now we've got our family. We've got the four of us and our two dogs."
No questions off limits
Winfrey and Meghan said they were at the home of a friend of Winfrey's because they liked the setting.
They clarified that no questions would be off limits and that Meghan and Harry would not be paid for the interview.
As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama Suits.
She married Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later.
Harry and Meghan's departure from royal life was supposed to be reviewed after a year.
On February 19, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple would not return to royal duties and Harry would relinquish his honorary military titles — a decision that made formal, and final, the couple's split from the royal family.
- With AP