Meghan Markle says she joined the royal family 'naively,' and couldn't have felt 'lonelier'

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
(Image credit: Victoria Jones/AFP via Getty Images)

During a much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle revealed that after joining the royal family, she was having "methodical" thoughts of suicide.

It was "very clear" and "frightening," Markle said. "I couldn't be left alone." She described feeling captive, as her passport and credit cards were taken away after she married Prince Harry, and it seemed she "could not feel lonelier." Markle said she asked senior officials for help, and mentioned being hospitalized, but was told it would look bad for the royals. This, she said, is why people should always show kindness to others, because no one knows what's going on "behind closed doors."

Markle, Harry, and their young son, Archie, left Britain for California last year, and the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS, is their first since stepping down as working royals. Markle told Winfrey there "wasn't a lot of anxiety" about meeting Queen Elizabeth II, Harry's grandmother, and she didn't realize she needed to curtsy before meeting her. She also said she didn't look up anything about Harry before meeting him, and "went into it naively."

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Markle praised the queen, saying she has always treated her warmly, but said she wasn't always treated with respect by others in the family. Markle is biracial, and she told Winfrey that while she was pregnant with Archie, a member of the family had discussions with Harry about "how dark" the baby's skin color would be. Markle refused to name this person, saying it would be "very damaging to them."

Markle also set the record straight on an incident that occurred during preparations for her wedding. It was reported in British tabloids that Markle made Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, cry while her daughter was trying on flower girl dresses. Markle told Winfrey the duchess actually made her cry, and Catherine later apologized, sending her flowers and a card. Markle said she forgave her sister-in-law, but noted that the royal family knew the real story, and didn't correct the tabloids.

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