Oprah interview: Meghan ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’

The Duchess of Sussex has said she found life within the British Royal Family so difficult that at times she “didn’t want to be alive anymore”.

In a deeply personal TV interview, Meghan told Oprah Winfrey that she did not get help when she asked for it.

She said a low point was when Harry was asked by one member of his family “how dark” their son’s skin might be.

Prince Harry also revealed that his father, Prince Charles, stopped taking his calls when he wanted to step back.

The high-anticipated interview with Oprah aired overnight in the US.

During the two-hour CBS special, the couple covered a range of topics, including racism, mental health, their relationship with the media and Royal Family dynamics.

They also announced their baby, which is due in the summer, is a girl.

The couple moved to California after formally stepping down from royal duties in March 2020.

It was announced last month that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

During the interview, the couple accused the Royal Family of failing to protect them, with Meghan saying the situation “started to really worsen” after the couple married in May 2018.

“I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family.

“But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

She was referencing rumours that she had made the Duchess of Cambridge cry during a disagreement about flower girl dresses – a story that prompted a flurry of tabloid stories.

Meghan said the opposite happened.

Asked by Oprah if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear. Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”

Joining his wife and Oprah for the second half of the interview, 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, the Prince of Wales, has suffered.

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”.

Of Prince William, he said they were on “different paths”

He also revealed that his family had cut him off, financially.

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Analysis box by Jonny Dymond, royal correspondent

Meghan and Harry have upended the narrative created by Britain’s bestselling newspapers.

They have revealed the terrible strains inside the palace. They have drawn a picture of unfeeling individuals lost in an uncaring institution. They have spoken of racism within the Royal Family. This was a devastating interview.

But Harry describing his brother and father as “trapped”, and Meghan revealing that she repeatedly sought help within the palace only to be rebuffed, is a body blow to the institution.

It’s not at all clear if and how the palace will respond. Many of the revelations are so personal that getting any reaction seems unlikely. The Queen has made clear repeatedly the affection in which the couple are still held.

As for the newspapers that the couple so despise – will they change their tune? It is not in their nature.

There were pages of bile in some Sunday newspapers prior to the interview. Meghan and Harry have given up on getting a fair hearing from many of the most popular publications. It seems highly unlikely that they will see anything published that will make them change their minds.

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