In an eye-opening new TV special, Meghan Markle is opening up about her struggles in the spotlight. ITV's Tom Bradby interviewed the Duchess of Sussex as part of the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, and one of the clips has already gone viral.
Markle and Bradby appear to be having a conversation about the struggles of being a new parent, and the Duchess gives a very honest and raw answer.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot,” she said. “So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um…yeah. I guess, thank you for asking because not a lot of people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
Bradby asks if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really okay, as in it’s really been a struggle?” to which Meghan responds, “Yes.”
The clip garnered a lot of attention, mainly because of how distressed Markle looked. You could see in her eyes that she really has been struggling to keep up with the stresses of royal life as well as being a new mom.
ITV's @tombradby spoke to Meghan as he gained exclusive access to the royal couple as they toured Africa for 10 days with their son Archie.— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
The documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, airs on Sunday at 9pm on @ITV #HarryandMeghan https://t.co/Uy21iE6ozJ pic.twitter.com/XYlHVytiHF
In a different clip from the same documentary, Harry was asked if he's found peace now with Diana's death, or whether it's still a wound that festers.
“I think probably a wound that festers. I think being part of this family — in this role, in this job — every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back,” he said. “In that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life as oppose to the best. Being here now 22 years later trying to finish what she started will be incredibly emotional. But everything that I do reminds me of her. But as I said — with the role, with the job and sort of the pressures that come with that — I get reminded of the bad stuff.”
"Every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back"— ITV News (@itvnews) October 17, 2019
Prince Harry tells ITV his grief for Diana is still a "wound that festers" and being followed by the press is the "worst reminder of her life" #HarryAndMeghan https://t.co/FEy37XVASW pic.twitter.com/0qUXeoOXWz
The documentary comes on the heels of two lawsuits by both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who are suing Associated Newspapers, News UK, and MGN for their negative coverage of Markle as well as publishing private letters and voicemails. They both released statements on their decisions.
“We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband," said a spokesperson from Schillings, who are representing the Duchess. "Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda”.
Harry's statement was much lengthier, and really showed how much this biased reporting was affecting their family.
As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.
Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.
There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.
Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations - something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.
For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.
There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.
Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.
What appears to have stirred these lawsuits was the publication of a private letter that Meghan Markle wrote to her father, snippets of which made it into MailOnline.
“The letter was obviously private correspondence written by the claimant to her father," the claim, written by Schillings law firm, states. "Further, it contained the claimant’s deepest and most private thoughts and feelings about her relationship with her father and were detailed by her at a time of great personal anguish and distress. The claimant intended the detailed contents of the letter to be private, and certainly did not expect them to be published to the world at large by a national newspaper, and without any warning.”
The headline on the article read: “Revealed: The letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’.”
“Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this," the snippet read. "Something I will never understand.”
To make things worse, there was an apparent "analysis of handwriting" by experts, which Schillings claims was used specifically to make Markle look bad.
“The ‘analysis’ was used to make derogatory allegations about the claimant’s character in order to lend support to the defendant’s pre-conceived narrative for the articles and the attack upon the claimant. For example, the defendant labelled the claimant a ‘showman and a narcissist’ based solely on her handwriting style. Such actions evidence the defendant’s clear malicious intent in publishing the letter.”
The Duke and Duchess have been scrutinized since their relationship went public, and now it's time for them to relax.
“The duke and duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November, after which they will be taking some much-needed family time,” a royal source has confirmed to PEOPLE.
The belief is that they'll be splitting time between the United States an the UK, potentially spending time in America for Thanksgiving.
I think Meghan has been under intense scrutiny for her entire relationship with Harry, and most of it is unwarranted. She's doing everything that is asked of her with a smile on her face.