FOX News- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey dropped several bombshells regarding the couple's exit from the royal family.
In the wide-ranging interview aired Sunday, Harry and Meghan described painful palace discussions about the color of their son’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led the Duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide.
The interview with Winfrey was the couple’s first since they stepped down from royal duties and the two-hour special included numerous revelations likely to reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Harry told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security last year. He also said he felt his family did not support Meghan, who acknowledged her naivete about royal life before marrying Harry, as she endured tabloid attacks and false stories.
"I went to it naively because I didn't grow up watching the royal family," Meghan said. "It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home. It wasn’t something that we followed."
Meghan said she and Harry were aligned during their courtship because of their "cause-driven" work. But she did not fully comprehend the pressure of being linked to the prestigious royal family.
"There was no way to understand what the day-to-day was going to be like," she said. "And it’s so different because I didn’t romanticize any element of it."
Meghan, who is biracial, alleged that when she was first pregnant with son Archie, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born." Markle said that she was not privy to such conversations, but that Harry was. She would not reveal who had the conversation with Harry, however, as she felt it would be too "damaging" to do so.
Meghan said she soon grew concerned about her son not having a royal title because it meant he wouldn’t be provided security.
"He needs to be safe," a teary-eyed Meghan recalled. "We’re not saying don’t make him a prince or princess, whatever it’s going to be. But if you’re saying the title is going to affect their protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder. You’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe."
Winfrey asked Meghan if the media frenzy had any impact on her mental health. Meghan replied that she experienced suicidal thoughts and that she tried to seek help through the palace's human resources department, but was allegedly told by a "senior" member of the institution that her receiving mental health care would reflect poorly on the family.
"I was really ashamed to say it at the time and a shame to have to admit it to Harry, especially because I know how much loss he suffered," she said. "But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it. And I just didn’t, I just didn’t want to be alive anymore."
Harry admitted that he also "went to a very dark place" when Meghan was feeling suicidal and was hesitant to speak up to his family about the issue.
He added that he's "acutely aware" of the fact that his family is "scared" of the British tabloids turning on them and pointed out that some tabloids are chummy with the Crown.
The prince said that he saw similarities between the way his late mother, Diana, was treated and the treatment Meghan is receiving, leading to him eventually stepping down from his royal duties after continuously asking for help.
During the discussion, Meghan also discussed her inability to speak out about difficulties arising in her life, which she found ironic since she's been such an advocate for women speaking out.
When asked whether she "was silent or silenced," Meghan responded: "The latter."
She continued, pointing out that there is a difference between the royal family and the people who run the royal institution behind the scenes.
"The queen has always been wonderful to me," the former actress said, recalling the monarch gifting her a pair of pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
"She was always warm, inviting and really welcoming," Meghan clarified.
Harry, too, said there are lasting impacts about Meghan’s treatment and his relationship with his family.
Meghan said the queen has always been nice to her.
"There is a lot to work through there," Harry said about his relationship with his father. "I feel really let down. He’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened."
Harry said the royal family cut him off financially at the start of 2020 after announcing plans to step back from his roles. But he was able to afford security for his family because of the money his mother, Princess Diana, left behind.
In response to a question from Winfrey, Harry said he wouldn’t have left royal life if not for his wife. He said their relationship revealed the strictures of royal life.
"I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped," Harry said. "I didn’t see a way out.
"I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped," Harry said, before adding, "My father and my brother, they are trapped."
Harry acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother William, who is heir to the throne after their father, Prince Charles.
Harry disputed rumors that he intentionally blindsided his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with his decision to split. He suspects the rumors came from the institution.
"I’ve never blindsided my grandmother," he said. "I have too much respect for her."
Additionally, Meghan addressed a rumor that she had made her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, cry at her and Harry's wedding over her demands.
The Duchess of Sussex claimed during the special that it was actually Middleton, 39, who actually made her cry.
"I don't think it's fair to her to get into the details because she apologized," Meghan explained.
She added that it was "hard" to get over the incident because "everyone knew in the institution it wasn't true."
"Why didn't they say anything?" Oprah asked the former "Suits" star. "That's a good question," Meghan responded.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are speaking out following their royal exit.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are speaking out following their royal exit. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Meanwhile, just hours before Prince Harry and Meghan's sit-down with Winfrey was set to air, Queen Elizabeth II stressed the importance of unity and family in a royal address that aired.
Prince Harry and Meghan departed royal life a year ago over. The sit-down with Winfrey is a chance for the couple to explain what led them to quit royal life, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
It's unclear what public reaction, if any, the queen and other royal family members will have to the interview. The U.K.’s Sunday Times newspaper, citing an anonymous source, reported that the queen wouldn't watch it.
Fox News has reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.