The highly anticipated interview between Meghan Markle Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey has finally aired in full for the first time in the US.
In the two hour tell all interview, Meghan revealed details of her mental health and how it was affected by the royal family.
She explained that she got to a stage where she “just didn’t want to be alive anymore”.
Winfrey said: “You’d said in a podcast that it became almost unsurvivable, and that struck me because it sounds like you were in some kind of mental trouble. What was actually going on? Almost unsurvivable sounds like there was a breaking point.”
Meghan said: “Yeah, there was. I just didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just like I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out and again I wasn’t seeing it, but it’s almost worse when you feel it through the expression of my mum or my friends or them calling me crying just like ‘Meg, they’re not protecting you’.
“And I realised that it was all happening just because I was breathing. And, I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it, to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he suffered.
“But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it, and I just didn’t… I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
‘I didn’t know who to turn to’
Meghan continued: “That was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember, I remember how he just cradled me and I was… I went to the institution, and 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.”
Winfrey asked Meghan if she was thinking about self harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, and Meghan replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear.
“Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”
‘I am concerned for my mental welfare’
Winfrey said: “So the institution is never a person, or is it a series of people?”
Meghan explained that it is “a personal” and also it is “several people”, adding: “I went to one of the most senior people just to get help.
“And that you know… I share this because there’s so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help. And I know personally how hard it is to not just voice it, but when you voice it and be told ‘no’. And so I went to human resources, and I said I just really, I need help, because in my old job there was a union, and they would protect me.
“And I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, because they said, ‘My heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution’. This wasn’t a choice. This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically ‘I am concerned for my mental welfare’.
“And people were like, ‘oh yes yes it’s disproportionately terrible what we see out there to anyone else’, but nothing was ever done. So we had to find a solution.”
‘You have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors’
Meghan explained how she felt “haunted” by a photograph that had been taken of her at an official event with Prince Harry at the Royal Albert Hall whilst she was pregnant with their son.
She said: “Right before we had to leave for that [event], I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning.”
Winfrey clarified: “That you didn’t want to be alive anymore?”
Meghan said: “Yes. It was like: these are the thoughts I am having in the middle of the night that are very clear, and I’m scared because this is very real. This is methodical, and it is not who I am.”
She explained to Winfrey that Harry suggested that she shouldn't attend the event in question, but Meghan said that she told her husband that she “can’t be left alone”.
Meghan said: “Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping. He was gripping my hand and it was ‘Okay, an intermission is coming’... and you had to just be ‘on’ again.
“You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems.”
‘Life is worth living’
Meghan stated that she hoped that people would take away a message of knowing that “life is worth living” from the interview.
She said: “I have lost my father, I lost a baby, I nearly lost my name, there’s the loss of identity - but I’m still standing.”