On Friday, AppleTV+ premiered The Me You Can’t See, a new mental health docuseries from Harry and Oprah. The Duke of Sussex was remarkably candid about his own experiences of suffering mental health, seeking therapy, and raising awareness. He’s been joined on this mission by his wife Meghan Markle, but for her, speaking up about her truth also came at a steep cost.
The actress first shared about the severe mental health crisis she suffered during her time in the Royal Family in a tell-all interview back in March. In The Me You Can’t See, Harry revealed that his wife suffered yet more emotional distress before the interview even aired because of the “combined effort of The Firm and the media to smear her.” Recalling how the accusations of Meg bullying former staff members came out, he shared:
“I was woken up in the middle of the night to her crying in her pillow because she doesn’t want to wake me up, because I’m already carrying too much. That’s heartbreaking. I held her, we talked, she cried, and she cried, and she cried.”
Sadly, this was only the most recent time he witnessed one of the women in his life suffering at the hands of the system. Those memories date all the way back to his childhood with mom Princess Diana. He explained:
“I always wanted to be normal, as opposed to being Prince Harry, just being Harry. It was a puzzling life and, unfortunately, when I think about my mom the first thing that comes to mind is always the same one, over and over again: Strapped in the car, seatbelt across. My brother in the car as well, and my mother driving and being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on… She was almost unable to drive because of the tears, there was no protection. One of the feelings that come up is helplessness. Being too young, being a guy too young to be able to help a woman, in this case, your mother. And that happened every single day until the day she died.”
The military vet opened up about the traumatizing experience of Diana’s funeral, in which he and his older brother were made to walk in the public procession. Harry stated:
“For me, the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horse’s hooves going along the Mall, the red brick road. By this point, both of us were in shock. It was like I was outside of my body. I’m just walking along and doing what was expected of me, showing the one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing. This was my mom, you never even met her.”
He went on:
“Without question, I was so angry with what happened to and the fact that there was no justice at all. Nothing came from that. The same people who chased her into the tunnel, photographed her dying on the backseat of that car.”
That anger resurfaced in the 36-year-old’s relationship with Meghan.
“We get followed. Photographed, chased, harassed. The clicking of cameras and the flashes of the cameras makes my blood boil. It makes me angry and takes me back to what happened to my mom and what I experienced as a kid. Not just traditional media, but also social media platforms as well. I felt completely helpless.”
The Suits alum had already admitted to having suicidal thoughts while pregnant with their son back in 2019. But in the docuseries, Harry recalled the crisis from his own perspective:
“People have seen the photograph of us squeezing each other’s hands as we walked into the Royal Albert Hall in London for a charity event. She was six months pregnant at the time. What perhaps people don’t understand is that earlier that evening Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life. The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought—she hadn’t lost it. She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t self medicating, be it through pills or through alcohol, she was absolutely sober. She was completely sane, yet at the quiet of night, these thoughts work her up. The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mom and to now to be put in a position of losing another woman in my life — with a baby inside of her, our baby.”
Wow. How completely devastating.
“I’m somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with them. And of course, because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed to jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event. Then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything’s okay. There wasn’t an option to say, ‘you know what, tonight, we’re not going to go’ because just imagine the stories that come from that.”
The Duke added:
“I’m also really angry with myself that we’re stuck in this situation. I was ashamed that it had got this bad. I was ashamed to go to my family because — to be honest with you, like a lot of other people my age could probably relate to — I know that I’m not going to get from my family what I need.”
The 36-year-old contemplated:
“Do I have any regrets? Yeah. My biggest regret is not making more of a stance earlier on in my relationship with my wife and calling out the racism when I did. History was repeating itself. My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white and now look what’s happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself, they’re not going to stop until dies.”
He then confessed:
“It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life, but the list is growing. And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry.”
Concern for Meghan’s wellbeing wasn’t the sole reason the expecting father eventually made the decision to leave — it was Archie’s future, too. The Brit explained:
“I then had a son, who I would far rather be solely focused on, rather than every time I look in his eyes wondering whether my wife is going to end up like my mother and I’m going to have to look after him myself. That was one of the biggest reasons to leave, feeling trapped, and feeling controlled through fear. Both by the media and by the system itself, which never encouraged the talking about this kind of trauma. Certainly, now I will never be bullied into silence.”
The ex-royal recalled his father, Prince Charles, telling his sons that “it was like that for me. So it’s going to be like that for you,” a concept that Harry has now rejected. He argued:
“If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, that you can make it right for your kids. chose to put our mental health first. That’s what we’re doing. And that’s what we will continue to do. Isn’t this all about breaking the cycle? Isn’t it all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. That whatever pain and suffering has happened to you, that you don’t pass on.”
It’s not easy to break cycles that are so ingrained in your family. Harry’s words and actions show a lot of bravery, and he undoubtedly did the right thing for Meghan and Archie by stepping away from the Royal Family. We’re so glad they’re doing better and fighting for a better future together now.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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