Meghan Markle has said she found life within the British Royal Family so difficult that at times she “didn’t want to be alive any more”.
In a deeply personal TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex said that she did not get help when she asked for it.
She also said a low point was when Prince Harry was asked by an unnamed family member “how dark” their son Archie’s skin might be.
Harry also revealed that his father, Prince Charles, stopped taking his calls when he wanted to step back.
The highly-anticipated interview with Oprah, which Meghan and Harry were not paid for, aired overnight in the US.
During the two-hour CBS special, to be screened in the UK on ITV at 21:00 GMT on March 8 and on ITV Hub, Courtesy of Harpo Productions/CBS, the couple covered a range of topics, including racism, mental health, their relationship with the media and Royal Family dynamics.
The couple announced their second child, which is due in the summer, is a girl.
They also revealed that they exchanged vows in a ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury in their “backyard” three days before they were legally married at their public wedding in May 2018.
Prince Harry said his brother and father were “trapped within the system” of the Royal Family
He said his family cut him off financially at the beginning of last year.
However, Harry said he loved his brother “to bits” and wanted to heal his relationship with both him and his father.
Meghan revealed that she phoned the Queen after Prince Philip went into hospital last month.
The couple moved to California after formally stepping down from royal duties in March 2020, and it was announced last month that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.
Meghan Markle said that she started to feel lonely when limits were placed on what she could do, revealing that at one point she did not leave the house for months.
At one point the Duchess of Sussex thought she “could not feel lonelier”, she told Oprah Winfrey.
Asked by Oprah if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan Markle, 39, replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear. Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”
The duchess said that she felt “haunted” by a photograph from an official event she attended with Prince Harry at the Royal Albert Hall while she was pregnant.
She said that she attended the event with Harry that night because she felt she could not be “left alone” and recalled Harry gripping her hand tightly while in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Oprah also asked Meghan why she thought the Royal Family did not make her son Archie a prince – which Meghan said she wanted so that he would get police protection.
The couple’s children do not automatically become princes or princesses because of a rule that has been in place since 1917 – unless the Queen steps in.
She said the remarks about skin color were made to Prince Harry and he relayed them to her.
Asked by Oprah whether there were concerns that her child would be “too brown” and that would be a problem, Meghan said: “If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.”
When pressed, the duchess refused to reveal who the individual was, saying: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Prince Harry also refused to give further details, saying: “That conversation, I am never going to share.”
“At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked,” he added.
Prince Harry, 36, said that none of his relatives spoke out in support of Meghan following the racism he said his wife faced from the media.
“No-one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts,” Harry said.
During the interview, the Royal Family were also accused of failing to protect the duke and duchess, with Meghan saying the situation “started to really worsen” after the couple married in May 2018.
Meghan was referencing rumors that she had made Kate Middleton cry during a disagreement about flower girl dresses – a story that prompted a flurry of tabloid stories.
She said the opposite happened. She added that Kate later apologized, bringing flowers and a note to make amends.
Joining Meghan and Oprah for the second half of the interview, Prince Harry talked about his relationship with the rest of his family.
He said his relationship with his grandmother, the Queen, was “really good” and that the two of them speak often.
However, his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, has suffered.
Prince Harry said that he feels “really let down” by his father. He added that he will always love him, but “there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened”.
He described his father and his brother as “trapped within the system” of the Royal Family.
“They don’t get to leave,” he added.
Of Prince William, he said they were on “different paths”.
Prince Harry also revealed that his family had cut him off financially at the beginning of last year, after the couple announced their intention to step back as senior royals.
The prince said deals with Netflix and Spotify were “never part of the plan” but they needed them to pay for security staff.