Meghan even sought help from "the institution" but was turned down saying she was not an employee, nor could she visit a hospital.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of suicide ideation that some readers may find disturbing
In a highly-anticipated explosive interview that had everyone buzzing in the run-up to Sunday, March 7, was Oprah Winfrey's sit-down interview with Meghan and Harry. During the interview, Meghan revealed that her time at the royal household took a toll on her mental health to the point where she had suicidal thoughts, and couldn't be left alone. Since her wedding to Harry in 2018, she looked back at the intense negative media coverage she received and noted that the situation felt unsurvivable. According to USA Today, Meghan told Winfrey, "I didn't want to be alive anymore," as she welled up. "I was ashamed to admit it to Harry but I knew if I didn't say it, I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. It was clear, it was real, it was frightening, and it was a constant thought."
Meghan Markle was SUICIDAL and the royal family DENIED her mental health treatment, but she persevered and her openness will SAVE LIVES. 🙏🏽— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) March 8, 2021
Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide
TODAY reports that the former actress, 39, was hesitant to broach the subject with her husband given his own personal experience with his loss of his mother, Diana, at the age of 12. But she realized she had to because if she didn't, she would kill herself. When she eventually did, she recalled from the conversation how Harry "how he just cradled me."
Meghan Markle opens up about suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy with Archie, following harassment by the UK press.pic.twitter.com/wAiVt3B0Bi— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) March 8, 2021
The "institution" of the monarchy didn't help either. The institution she refers is the people who run the day-to-day business of the palace. When she approached them for help, the following day, she was turned down stating that they couldn't do anything for her as she was not an employee, nor could she seek help at a hospital because of the optics. "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," Meghan said, according to US Weekly. She also tried going to the palace's HR department, but that didn’t work, either. "They said, 'My heart goes out to you, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution.'" After hearing this, Harry added that he, too, "went into a dark place as well."
I felt gutted every time Meghan Markle said “The Institution.” This woman was experiencing severe suicidal ideation and the “The Institution” denied her any chance to receive help, even after begging for it. A travesty that could have been a tragedy.— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) March 8, 2021
The day after this incident, in January 2019, the two were scheduled to go see a performance at Royal Albert Hall. According to PEOPLE, after opening up to Harry, he was concerned that she stay back instead of attending the event, but she didn't want to. She recalled Harry telling her, "I remember him saying, 'I don't think you can go,' and I said, 'I can't be left alone.'"
Photos from the night show just how tight Harry held Meghan's hand as they put up a happy front. "We're both just trying to hold on," she said. She admitted to "weeping" every time the lights went down in the theater, and smiling and posing for photographs when the lights were turned on. "And that's I think so important for people to remember is you have no idea what's going on for someone behind closed doors. No idea," she said. "Even the people that smile and shine the brightest lights. You need to have compassion for what is actually potentially going on."
Harry who joined Oprah later also opened up about how his family remained mum about the situation and did not support them. He said, "For the family, they very much have this mentality of, 'This is just how it is. This is how it's meant to be, you can't change it. We've all been through it." He also noted that the family had the opportunity to speak out against the racist media press against his wife, who is half-Black, but chose to do nothing about it. "There was an opportunity, many opportunities for my family, to show some public support," he said. "Yet no one from my family ever said anything."
If you or someone you know shows signs of suicidal thoughts, please reach out to 1-800-273-8255 (NCPL) or suicidepreventionlifeline.org. For further mental health assistance, you can also talk to a therapist, your GP, or your local social worker.