Meghan Markle and Harry discuss issues within the monarchy during a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7. In the interview Markle opens up about the racism and isolation she experienced within the royal Buckingham Palace.
On Sunday night the royal couple divulged the drama within the monarchy, and how it led to them leaving the country.
According to NBC News, “In a clip of the interview not included in Sunday’s broadcast, Harry said racism was “a large part” of the reason the couple left the country.” Queen Elizabeth II removed the couple’s royal titles —His and Her Royal Highness—after they discontinued their royal duties and permanently relocated to America. The couple’s departure from their royal duties was in part because of “the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess [Markle],” according to PBS.
Meghan Markle also addressed the lead up to the departure during the interview, speaking about her inner struggles that arose while she was a royal figure. Markle explained how monarchical racism, confinement to the royal palace and being told not to defend herself against the media’s smear campaigns took a toll on her mental health. Everything that Markle was encountering during her time in the royal palace transitioned her into a dark place, initiating her suicidal ideation.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Markle said. “That was a very clear, and real and frightening constant thought. “
Markle’s suicidal thoughts coincided with the pregnancy of her and Harry’s first child. During the time she was pregnant with her son Archie she had received no support from the monarchy. Harry expressed his fear for his wife Meghan Markle during the sit-down, acknowledging the similarities between Meghan Markle and his late mother Princess Diana.
“What I was seeing was history repeating itself,” Harry said during the interview.
Both Markle and Princess Diana’s experiences have been compared by the media, and many media outlets have noted that their experiences within the royal family parallel.
“It should be surprising that the Duchess of Sussex and the Princess of Wales have such parallel experiences. These were two women who entered the royal family with very different backgrounds and at very different points in their lives. The former married into the royal family in her late 30s, with a successful career behind her. The latter got engaged at just 19. The former is a divorced, biracial American; the latter, a British blue blood whose virginity was public knowledge,” according to Vogue.
There has also been commonalities in regard to how they’ve expressed their experiences within the monarchy in interviews.
“The language both women used is hauntingly similar: “You think you have the knowledge of what’s coming ahead,” Princess Diana told Bashir in 1995. “I didn’t fully understand what the job was,” the Duchess of Sussex said to Oprah Winfrey in 2021. “I seemed to be on the front of a newspaper every single day,” said Diana. “I am everywhere,” Meghan echoed years later. Diana felt thwarted by “people in my environment.” Meghan, meanwhile, spoke of the intangible “institution.” “I didn’t like myself. I was ashamed because I couldn’t cope with the pressures,” Diana revealed. “I was really ashamed to say it at the time,” Meghan said. “But…I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” as noted by Vogue.
Although Markle had been subject to poor treatment during her time in the royal palace, Queen Elizabeth II was her saving grace.
“The queen has always been wonderful to me. I’ve loved being in her company,” Markle said, adding that the queen reminds her of her own grandmother. “She’s always been warm, welcoming, and inviting.”