Harry and Meghan interview fallout

By Jessie Yeung, Aditi Sangal, Tara John, Zamira Rahim and Christopher Johnson, CNN

Updated 12:11 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021
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9:13 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Meghan and Harry are expecting a girl this summer

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England.
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry revealed in their sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that they are expecting a baby girl.

The baby is due in the summer, Meghan said.

9:10 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Meghan ends her one-on-one segment: "I'm still standing" and "life is worth living"

In this handout image released on March 5, Oprah Winfrey interviews Meghan Markle.
In this handout image released on March 5, Oprah Winfrey interviews Meghan Markle. Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey ended her one-on-one segment with Meghan by asking how she felt about sharing her truth publicly, and whether she was afraid of backlash.

"I'm not going to live my life in fear," Meghan replied. "I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. At a certain point you're going to go, someone just tell the truth."

"If that comes with a risk of losing things, there's a lot that's been lost already," she added. "I've lost my father, I lost a baby, I nearly lost my name, there's the loss of identity. But I'm still standing, and my hope for people in the takeaway from this, is to know that there's another side -- to know that life is worth living."

9:09 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Meghan didn't have access to her passport, driver's license or keys when she joined the royal family

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Cirque du Soleil Premiere Of "TOTEM" at Royal Albert Hall on January 16, 2019 in London, England.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Cirque du Soleil Premiere Of "TOTEM" at Royal Albert Hall on January 16, 2019 in London, England. Paul Grover/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Until she moved away from her royal duties, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said she felt trapped and didn't have her passport, driver's license or keys.

"When I joined that family, that was the last time -- until we came here -- that I saw my passport, my driver's license, my keys. All that gets turned over. I didn't see any of that anymore," she told Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan said she was struggling with the intense pressure and scrutiny and she did not receive help from the royal institution even when she asked to be checked into an institution or seek professional help.

9:03 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

"I didn't want to be alive anymore," Meghan says of life in the royal family

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia. Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty Images

Meghan revealed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that life in the royal family had driven her to suicidal thoughts.

When Winfrey asked if there had been a breaking point, Meghan said yes. "I just didn't see a solution. I would sit up at night, like, I don't understand how all of this is being churned out," she said. "My mom and my friends (were) calling me crying saying, 'Meg, they're not protecting you.'"

"It was all happening just because I was breathing," she said.

It drove her to the verge of despair, she said. "I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it -- and I just didn't want to be alive anymore."
"It was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. I remember how he just cradled me, and ... I went to the institution, and I said I needed to go somewhere to get help ... and I was told that I couldn't."

She went to human resources as well to plead her case for leaving or seeking help, and though they expressed sympathy, they told her there was nothing they could do because she wasn't a paid member of the institution, she was family.

"The way you're describing this, you're trapped and couldn't get help, even though you're on the verge of suicide. That's what you are describing, that's what I'm hearing," said Winfrey.

"Yes," Meghan replied. "That's the truth."

"I share this because there's so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help, and I know how hard it is not just to voice it but to be told no," she said.

9:05 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

The royal institution did not help when the "real character assassination" began, Meghan says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England. Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Meghan said the stories about her making Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, cry were "the beginning of a real character assassination" and the royal institution did not publicly challenge it, despite knowing it was false.

"They would go on the record and negate for the most ridiculous story for anyone," she said. "But the narrative about making Kate cry was the beginning of a real character assassination and they knew it wasn't true. If they're not going to kill things like that, then what are we going to do?" the Duchess of Sussex said in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
8:49 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Royal institution had concerns about "how dark" Archie's skin might be, Meghan said

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photo call in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 in Windsor, England.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photo call in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 in Windsor, England. Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images

When Winfrey asked why Meghan thought the royal family didn't want to give Archie a title or security, she revealed that race had been a concern within the institution.

There were several "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born," she said.

The family had had those conversations with Harry, which were then related back to her, Meghan said. She declined to reveal who was involved with those conversations.

"That would be very damaging to them," she said.

During her tours and visits to the Commonwealth, she saw "how much it meant to them to be able to see someone who looked like them in this position. And I could never understand how it couldn't be seen as an added benefit, and a reflection of the world today."

8:49 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Harry and Meghan's baby, Archie, won't receive security from royal institution

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holds her son Archie in Cape Town, South Africa, on September 25, 2019.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holds her son Archie in Cape Town, South Africa, on September 25, 2019. Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage/Getty Images

When Meghan was pregnant with her son Archie, she was shocked to be told by the royal institution that he wouldn't be made a prince and thus wouldn't receive security.

"This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy, where I'm going, hold on a second ... he needs to be safe," she said. "We have created this monster machine (of clickbait and tabloids), you've allowed this to happen, which means we need to be safe."

She didn't have much of an attachment to titles -- but it's different if those titles might affect Archie's safety, she said.

"While I was pregnant, they wanted to change the convention, for Archie. Why?" she said. "There's no explanation."

8:40 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

"That's a loaded piece of toast" says Meghan of media's scrutiny of her diet

Britain's Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle gestures during a visit to Reprezent 107.3FM community radio station in Brixton, south west London on January 9, 2018.
Britain's Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle gestures during a visit to Reprezent 107.3FM community radio station in Brixton, south west London on January 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/AFP/Getty Images

During her interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan discussed the different standards applied to her and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge -- and how glaringly obvious it becomes when you examine media headlines.

When Kate was photographed cradling her baby bump, she was praised as a doting expectant mother -- but when Meghan was photographed doing the same, British media accused her of "pride or vanity."

Winfrey contrasted media coverage of Meghan and Kate eating avocados during their pregnancies. For Kate, it was said to be helping with morning sickness. However, for Meghan, avocados became a fruit linked to water shortages and "environmental devastation."

"You have to laugh at a certain point because it's just ridiculous," Meghan said. "That's a loaded piece of toast," she added.

She said she didn't know why there was a difference in standards for her and Kate.

"I can see now what layers were at play there. And again, they really seemed to want a narrative of a hero and a villain."
8:38 p.m. ET, March 7, 2021

Life in royal family was deeply lonely, Meghan says

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports on February 25, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports on February 25, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. Hannah McKay/Pool/Getty Images

Life in the royal family was deeply lonely and isolating, and she had little freedom, said Meghan.

She wasn't even allowed to go out for lunch with friends sometimes because she was too heavily covered in the media, she said.

She was told to lay low -- but she hadn't even left the house in months, she said.

"I am everywhere but I am nowhere," she added. Everyone was concerned with optics, how her actions might look -- but "has anyone talked about how it feels? Because right now I could not feel lonelier."