Warning: This article discusses suicidal thoughts and may be disturbing to some readers.
Meghan Markle left Oprah Winfrey shocked when she revealed she had developed suicidal urges after joining the Royal Family, telling the talk show host she "didn't see a solution" to the intense pressure and scrutiny her life was under.
In one of many bombshells shared by the Duchess of Sussex in her tell-all CBS interview, Meghan told Oprah: "I just didn't want to be alive anymore," insisting she sought help and was rebuffed.
"I just didn't see a solution," she said. "I realised it was all happening just because I was breathing."
Meghan said she begged Buckingham Palace for help, but didn't receive it.
"I was ashamed to admit it at the time, and admit it to Harry because of how much loss he's suffered, but I knew that I didn't want to be alive anymore," she said.
"That was a very real, clear, constant thought. [Harry] just cradled me. I went to the institution and said I needed help, and I was told it wouldn't be good for the institution."
Meghan said she couldn't visit a hospital on her own seeing as her passport, keys and other personal effects all got turned over to the monarchy when she became a royal.
The former Suits star went on to recall an event at London's Royal Albert Hall when she was struggling with thoughts of harming herself and felt she had no choice but to put on a brave face for the cameras.
"I remember him saying, 'I don't think you can go.' And I said, 'I can't be left alone,'" she told Oprah.
Meghan added that in pictures of the pair taken on the night she can visibly see how tightly Harry's knuckles are gripped around hers.
"You can see the whites of our knuckles, because we are smiling and doing our job, but we're both just trying to hold on," she said.
Meghan said that the human resources department of the Royal Family told her their hearts went out to her, but they were unable to help her as she wasn't a "paid employee".
"This wasn't a choice, this was emails and begging for help saying very specifically: 'I am concerned for my mental welfare.'" she said.
"Nothing was ever done, so we had to find a solution."
The solution turned out to be Harry and Meghan's decision to step back from their roles as working members of the royal family and flee the UK. The pair told Oprah that New Zealand was one of the countries they considered moving to.
Elsewhere in the two-hour-long special, Harry revealed he felt "let down" by his father Prince Charles, who he says cut communication with him. Meghan also claimed there were conversations within the royal family about whether their first child's skin colour would be "too dark" and the couple shared that they were expecting a baby girl.
New Zealanders wanting to watch the entire interview in full will be able to for free tomorrow.
CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry will air in Aotearoa exclusively on Three and online on ThreeNow at 7.30pm Tuesday, March 9.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email email@example.com or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584