Meghan and Harry hit out at the institution and members of the royal family in a series of astonishing admissions during a candid Oprah Winfrey interview.
Appearing vulnerable at times, the duchess revealed that working for The Firm – as the royal family is sometimes known – ultimately left her feeling that ending her life was an option, and how she had not been protected by the monarchy.
Asked explicitly by Winfrey if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear.
“Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”
A member of the royal family – who both Harry and Meghan refused to identify – was worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.
Meghan told Winfrey there had been “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born”.
Harry suggested his family were jealous of Meghan’s popularity with the public – just as the appeal of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales had reportedly been seen as a threat.
And he revealed how he has become estranged from his father the Prince of Wales, saying: “I feel really let down”, but added he would make it one of his priorities “to try and heal that relationship”.
Describing how she had been misrepresented in the press, Meghan said the Duchess of Cambridge had made her cry ahead of her wedding – the opposite of reports circulating ahead of the Sussexes’ nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.
In a lighter moment, the couple, who announced in February they were expecting their second child, said they are due to have a baby girl in the summer.
Life behind palace doors has not been exposed to this degree since the turmoil of Charles and Diana’s disintegrating marriage was laid bare in the 1990s.
When Meghan brought up the subject of Archie’s skin colour causing “concern”, a stunned Winfrey was told it had been raised by a member of the royal family with Harry.
The duchess said: “That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.”
When she was questioned by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan did not give a name and said: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Harry was later asked about the episode and said: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”
He said he was “not comfortable” sharing the question he was asked by the unnamed person, but said it happened “right at the beginning” of their relationship.