Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS revealed new lows that she and Prince Harry reached before deciding to part ways with the royal family. Among the interview’s darkest moments were Meghan’s disclosures of how badly she had struggled with her mental health at the height of media attention and particularly during her pregnancy with Archie. Even when in crisis, however, Meghan and Harry’s royal duties continued, leading to months and months of smiling photos at evening engagements that couldn’t have been further from the truth of how they were feeling. Recalling the Cirque du Soleil performance at Royal Albert Hall in 2018 in particular, Meghan told Oprah those photos “haunt” her to this day because of the frightening confession she’d made to Harry hours earlier: she didn’t want to be alive anymore, and she was afraid to be alone at home because she didn’t know what she might do. So she and Harry went hand-in-hand to Cirque du Soleil instead.
“One of the things that still haunts me is this photograph that someone had sent me, we had to go to an official event at the Royal Albert Hall,” Meghan recalls to Oprah. To you and I, these photos are best remembered as pregnant Meghan glowing in a sparkly navy dress with long sleeves and wonderfully dewy highlighter. But the Duchess has an entirely different recollection.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed in their Oprah interview that they wanted a wedding ceremony just for two.https://t.co/O8yaadPzUH
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) March 8, 2021
“A friend said, ‘I know that you don’t look at pictures, but oh my god, you guys look so great’ and sent it to me,” Meghan continued. “We had to go to this event at the Royal Albert Hall after I told Harry I didn’t want to be alive anymore. In the pictures, I see how tightly his knuckles are gripped around mine. We are smiling, doing our job. In the Royal Box, when the lights went off, I was just weeping.”
“He was gripping my hand and it was ‘Okay an intermission’s coming, the lights are about to come on, everyone’s looking at us again,'” she elaborated. “And you had to just be ‘on’ again.”
We can’t imagine the immense pressure she was under, and last night’s answers have left us sorely disappointed in the royal family and genuinely questioning who and what it is they’re seeking to protect. In the mean time, this reveal reminds us that royal photo opps are truly never as they seem.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, you should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386, or reach Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. You can also head to your nearest emergency room or call 911.
Click here to see the 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.
Watch: A Timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship