Prince Harry says he’s ‘ashamed’ of his reaction to Meghan Markle’s suicidal thoughts: ‘I treated it as Harry’s foundation, not husband Harry’
- Meghan Markle spoke on Netflix’s “Harry & Meghan” about contemplating suicide in 2019.
- Meghan said she struggled with suicidal thoughts while facing tabloid criticism as a working royal.
- Harry said he regretted how he handled the situation as a “corporate Harry” at the time.
In the second volume of ‘Harry and Meghan’, Prince Harry lamented the way he initially dealt with Meghan Markle’s suicidal thoughts.
The fourth episode of the Netflix documentary series, which was released on Thursday, deals with the events that led the Duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide in 2019, one year after she married Harry and officially joined the British royal family.
Meghan, 41, said in the docuseries that she had suicidal thoughts while facing constant criticism from British tabloids during her time as a working princess.
“It was like all of this would stop if I wasn’t here,” she said. “And that was the most terrifying thing about it because it was such clear thinking.”
Reflecting on that period, Harry said, “I was devastated. I knew she was struggling. We were struggling, but I never thought she’d get to that point — and the fact that she got to that point, I felt angry and ashamed.”
The Duke of Sussex, 38, expressed regret over the way he handled the situation, saying: “I dealt with him as institutional Harry rather than husband Harry.”
“What dominated my feelings was my royal role,” he said. “I’ve been trained to worry more about, ‘What are people going to think if we don’t go to this event?'” We’re going to be late,” and I look back now, I hate myself for it.”
He added, “What she needed from me was much more than I was ever able to give.”
Experts recommend looking out for warning signs of suicide such as actions and threats of self-harm, and urging people with suicidal thoughts to seek professional help and calling or texting 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, in the United States.
Harry went on to say that the royal family knew how bad things were for his wife, but weren’t ready to do anything about it: “They thought, ‘Why can’t she just handle it?'” As if to say, “Well, everyone dealt with it, so why can’t you handle it?” But it was different, it was different.
He added, “But actually if you stripped it all away and said, ‘Okay, well, it was exactly the same,’ do we still think we had to dump him like the other family members? Or does one think maybe it’s time we stopped?”
Elsewhere in the episode, Megan’s mother, Doria Ragland, said she was “heartbroken” when she learned her daughter was having suicidal thoughts.
Meghan first spoke out early last year about experiencing suicidal thoughts during her time as a working princess.
During the royal couple’s March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said she confided to Harry that she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
“That was a clear, real, scary, ongoing thought,” Markle told Winfrey, adding that she “thought it would have solved everything for everyone” if she acted on her suicidal thoughts.
In “Harry and Meghan,” the Duchess reaffirmed her claim in Winfrey’s interview that she had contacted a member of the royal staff for help but was denied.
“I wanted to go somewhere to get help, but I wasn’t allowed to,” she said in the docuseries. “They were worried about how that would look about the enterprise.”
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