MONTECITO, Calif. — Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, opened up about the difficulties that led to their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family and move to the United States in a highly anticipated, prerecorded interview with Oprah Winfrey. In the two-hour special, which aired Sunday night, the couple spoke about racism, feeling “trapped,” the British tabloids and the mental health challenges – including suicidal thoughts – that Meghan faced as a result.
Here are five revelations from the televised interview:
1. Meghan said she had suicidal thoughts after joining the royal family.
The duchess, formerly known as Meghan Markle, revealed that she grappled with suicidal thoughts after joining the royal family, according to The Associated Press.
“I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” said Meghan, 39, who married Harry in 2018. “But I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. And I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
She added that she “went to one of the most senior people” among the royal staff “to get help,” but was told “it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
The former “Suits” star went on to say she told Harry about her suicidal thoughts before an event at Royal Albert Hall in January 2019, when she was pregnant with the couple’s first child, Archie.
“I remember him saying, ‘I don’t think you can go,’ and I said, ‘I can’t be left alone,’” she said.
2. Meghan said there were ‘conversations about how dark’ Archie’s skin would be when he was born.
Meghan, who gave birth to Archie in May 2019, also said that during her pregnancy, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Winfrey, visibly shocked, first replied, “What?” before asking for clarification on who was having those conversations.
Meghan said the issue was brought up with Harry, not her, but declined to say who was involved.
“I think that would be very damaging to them,” Meghan said.
Later, Harry corroborated Meghan’s claim but said he’s “never going to share” the conversation.
“But at the time, it was awkward,” said Harry, 36. “I was a bit shocked.”
3. The couple revealed the sex of their second child, due this summer.
In a lighter moment, Harry and Meghan, who is pregnant, told Winfrey the sex of their second child, who is due this summer.
“You can tell her,” Meghan told Harry.
“No, you can tell her,” he playfully replied, to which Meghan responded, “No, no.”
“It’s a girl,” Harry said, smiling.
He added: “To have a boy and then a girl, what more can you ask for? But now we’ve got our family. We’ve got the four of us and our two dogs.”
4. Harry said he felt ‘trapped’ in the royal family.
Harry told Winfrey that he “was trapped” in the royal family until he met Meghan.
“Please explain how you, Prince Harry, raised in a palace and a life of privilege – literally, a prince – how you were trapped,” Winfrey said.
“Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are. My father and my brother, they are trapped,” he said, referring to his father, Prince Charles, and his older brother, Prince William. “They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”
5. Meghan revealed the couple were married three days before their public wedding ceremony.
Meghan said she and Harry, who publicly wed May 19, 2018, in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, actually were married three days earlier in a private ceremony, the Telegraph reported.
“Three days before our wedding, we got married,” Meghan told Winfrey. “No one knows that. We called the archbishop and we just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world. But we want our union between us, so the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.