More to the story. In a clip from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s interview, which aired during the Monday, March 8, episode of CBS This Morning, Harry stated that racism “was a large part” of the couple’s decision to step away from their royal duties in January 2020.
The prince, 36, detailed a conversation he had with a friend at a fundraiser, during which he was warned.
“One of the people at that dinner said to me, ‘Please don’t do this with the media. They will destroy your life.’ This person is friends with a lot of the editors,” Harry shared. “And I said, ‘So just to elaborate what do you mean by that?’ Obviously, I knew. He said, ‘You need to understand that the U.K. is very bigoted,’” Harry explained. “If the source of information is inherently corrupt or racist or bias, then that filters out to the rest of society.”
During the Sunday, March 7, interview, Meghan, 39, spoke in length on the topic, revealing that when she was pregnant with Archie, now 22 months old, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born” within the palace.
The former actress explained that The Firm decided that Archie would not be a prince nor would he have security, which was “different from protocol,” since he was the prince’s son.
“We have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title.’ And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan explained, noting that the discussion was not had with her directly but with Harry, who shared it with her.
Later in the interview, Harry joined and though he would “never share” who in the royal family had made the comments, he did note that he was “a bit shocked” by the conversation, which began long before the royal wedding. “That was right at the beginning: ‘What will the kids look like?'” he recalled.
In addition to the racism she received, the California native also shared that another reason for stepping away was directly related to their mental health. In January 2019, she shared with Harry that she was having suicidal thoughts. She then turned to the institution, with hopes she would be able to seek help.
“I said that I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution,” the Suits alum said. “I share this because there’s so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help. And I know, personally, how hard it is to not just voice it, but when you voice it, to be told no.”
Meghan then tried a different route and went to human resources.
“In my old job, there was a union, and they would protect me. And I remember this conversation like it was yesterday because they said, ‘My heart goes out to you, because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you, because you’re not a paid employee of the institution,'” she recalled. “This wasn’t a choice. This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically, ‘I am concerned for my mental welfare.’ And people going, ‘Oh, yes, yes, It’s disproportionately terrible what we see out there to anyone else.’ But nothing was ever done, so we had to find a solution.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).