- Meghan Markle says she experienced suicidal thoughts after marrying Prince Harry in 2018.
- Markle said a senior member of the royal institution told her she could not seek mental health help.
- Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Meghan Markle said that she experienced suicidal thoughts after marrying Prince Harry and settling into royal life.
While speaking with Oprah Winfrey for the royal couple’s highly-anticipated tell-all interview, Markle said that she struggled with her mental health due to the constant, often damaging coverage from British tabloids.
“I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn’t say it – then I would do it,” the Duchess of Sussex told Winfrey.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” she added.
During her time in Kensington Palace, the 39-year-old experienced a harsh media storm from the British tabloids. Many negative rumors about her swirled, including that Markle had made Kate Middleton cry over Princess Charlotte’s flower girl dress before the wedding – a story that Markle revealed in her interview with Winfrey actually happened the other way around, with Middleton making her cry over the dress.
“That was a clear and real and frightening and constant thought,’ said Markle, adding that she “thought it would have solved everything for everyone” if she acted on her suicidal thoughts.
Markle told Winfrey that she approached a royal staff member about getting help for her mental health, but was turned away. The duchess didn’t reveal who, specifically, told her that she couldn’t seek help, only that it was “one of the most senior people” in the royal institution.
This moment, Markle said, was a breaking point.
She also recalled a particular time in January 2019 when she attended the Royal Albert Hall for an event with her husband after opening up about her struggles to Harry.
“I remember him saying, ‘I don’t think you can go,’ and I said, ‘I can’t be left alone,'” said Markle.
She pointed out a specific photo taken from that night of the couple holding hands and smiling for the photographers.
“What I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around mine. We are smiling and doing our job, but we are both just trying to hold on,” Markle said of her memories from when the photo was taken.
The duchess added that while the theater lights were on, she attempted to appear fine, but she wept when they turned off.
“And that’s [what] I think [is] so important for people to remember […] You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. No idea,” said Markle.
“Even the people that smile and shine the brightest lights. You need to have compassion for what is actually potentially going on,” she added.
A representative for Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.