Meghan Markle, aka the Duchess of Sussex, said the constant attacks from the British media while pregnant left her feeling suicidal — and the royal family told her that seeking mental health help would be bad for the monarchy.
“I just didn't see a solution,” she said. “I would sit up at night, and I was just, like, I don't understand how all of [these attacks in the press] are churned out.
Meghan said that when she asked a senior royal about seeking care, she was told that she could not do that, as it would be bad "for the institution."
Meghan said she was "ashamed" to admit how she was feeling to her husband, saying "I know how much loss he's suffered."
"But I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it," she continued. "And I — I just didn't — I just didn't want to be alive anymore."
Meghan said that conversation with Harry happened on the same day she and Harry attended an event at Royal Albert Hall. Meghan said there’s a photograph of her and Harry from this time that “haunts” her.
“A friend said, ‘I know you don't look at pictures, but, oh, my god, you guys look so great,'" Meghan said. “I zoomed in, and what I saw was the truth of what that moment was."
Meghan said earlier that day she had told Harry how she was feeling.
“You had the conversation, ‘I don't want to be alive anymore?’” Oprah asked.
“It wasn’t even, ‘I don’t want to,’” Meghan said. “It was like, ‘These are the thoughts that I’m having the middle of the night that are very clear … and I’m scared, because this is very real. This isn't some abstract idea. This is methodical, and this is not who I am."
Meghan said she and Harry couldn’t get out of the event.
“I remember him saying, 'I don't think you can go,'” she said.
"I can't be left alone," she recalled responding.
Harry also talked candidly with Winfrey about his own mental health and questioned the media narrative that he had been completely happy with his life before he met Meghan.
“We didn't get the impression that you were feeling trapped in that life,” Winfrey said.
“Enjoying the life because there were photographs of me smiling while I was shaking hands and meeting people?” he said. “That's — that's a part of the job. That's a part of the role. That's what's expected. No matter who you are in the family, no matter what's going on in your personal life, no matter what's just happened, if the bikes roll up and the car rolls up, you got to get dressed, you got to get in there. You wipe your tears away, shake off whatever you're thinking about, and you got to be on your A game."
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.