Meghan Markle dishes to Oprah about royal pains of life in ‘The Firm’

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Meghan Markle discussed her tortured relationship with the British royal family during an extended sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night.

Markle, 39, revealed the struggle of being ensnared in a life that played out as fodder for the British tabloids — leading her to contemplate suicide as she and husband, Prince Harry, eventually made their split from “the Firm.”

“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” she told Winfrey in the two-hour session.

The couple described how their union started off as a fairytale, divulging that they wed in secret by the archbishop of Canterbury three days before their 2018 Windsor Castle ceremony.

Markle and Harry, 34, knew their wedding wouldn’t be the private moment they had hoped for.

“We were both really aware that this wasn’t our day,” Markle said. “This was the day that was planned for the world.”

Markle also claimed that her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton left her in tears before the nuptials, addressing widespread reports that she “made Kate cry” over her flower-girl dresses, insisting, “The reverse happened.”

“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Markle said, adding she wasn’t sure why no one from the royal family had denied the reports of a rift between the two women.

She didn’t divulge any details about the tiff except to acknowledge it was over the dresses, saying, “There wasn’t a confrontation. I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details because she apologized, and I’ve forgiven her.”

Markle went into her new life “naively,” she said, “because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the royal family.”

Even before her wedding, she had to be taught to curtsey just moments prior to meeting Queen Elizabeth for the first time.

Markle later realized “there’s the family, then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things.”

“It’s important to be able to compartmentalize that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me,” she said.

During their first public engagement together, Markle recalled how the Queen gave her a “beautiful” gift of pearl earrings and a matching necklace and offered to share her blanket in the chill.

“It made me think of my grandmother where she’s always been warm and really welcoming,” Markle recalled.

Still, “everyone welcomed me,” she said of the family.

However, Markle, who is American, said that she realized after the nuptials that the royal institution itself didn’t have her back.

“It was only once we were married, everything started to worsen, that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected. They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she told Oprah.

She also described feelings of loneliness after the wedding and how “there was very little that I was allowed to do,” comparing her situation to recent COVID-19 related lockdowns.

“I continued to say to people, ‘I know there’s an obsession with how things look, but has anyone talked about how it feels? Because right now, I could not feel lonelier.’”

The former actress said she “just didn’t see a solution” given the barrage of negative reports about her.

“I would sit up at night, and I was just like, ‘I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out,’” she said.

Markle said she told her husband about her thoughts of self-harm and went to a senior member of the royal institution for help. But she said she was rebuffed because it “wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

While pregnant with son Archie, Markle, who is biracial, said she was told he wouldn’t have a royal title and wouldn’t be entitled to security, and described being told of concerns over “how dark his skin might be when he was born.”

Harry strongly implied that while members of the monarchy initially welcomed Markle, they soured on her and became jealous after seeing how popular she was on the couple’s first tour to Australia.

It “hurts,” Harry said, that his relatives did not speak out in defense of Markle in the press.

“There was an opportunity for my family to show public support,” but they didn’t, he said, adding that they were likely afraid of the tabloids turning on them.

The couple’s hotly anticipated CBS interview provided an unprecedented peek into their sensational split from the British royal family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left their royal duties last March over what they said was the British press’ unfair and racist treatment of Markle.

During the interview, Harry also said part of the reason the couple left the monarchy was over a “lack of support and lack of understanding” from the institution.

The pair denied that they “blindsided” the queen by leaving, saying there were two years of conversations about their departure before they officially announced it.

The prince said his father, Prince Charles, stopped taking his calls amid the separation “because by that point I took matters into my own hands.”

“I’ve got to do something for my own mental health and for my wife and for Archie as well,” Harry said.

Growing up royal, Harry said, he felt “trapped.” “My father and my brother [Prince William] are trapped,” he added. “They don’t get to leave. And I have compassion for that.”

Markle also pushed back at the insinuation that it had been her plan all along to live independently.

“Our plan was to do this forever,” she said of the couple’s royal duties.

The self-exiled pair is now settled in Montecito, Calif., with Archie, who will turn 2 in May. They’re also expecting another baby, a girl, due this summer, they revealed.

Markle wrote late last year about suffering a miscarriage, and the couple said they are “extremely grateful” for the pregnancy. They said they plan to stop at two children.

Wearing an empire-style black Armani dress, Markle spoke one-on-one with Winfrey before being joined by Harry.

During the sit-down, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997 after being chased by paparazzi.

“I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for [Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago,” he said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.”

“She would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad,” he said about his mother.

“All she would ever want was for us to be happy.”

Harry shared that the royal family has cut him and Markle off financially in the year since Megxit. The couple is living off his inheritance from his mom, he said, adding “Without that, we would not be able to do this,” in reference to leaving the monarchy.“

I think she saw it coming,” he said about Diana, who spoke out about her struggles in the royal family and within her marriage to Charles, which ended in divorce in 1992.

Harry said he’s trying to mend his relationship with his father and older brother.“There’s a lot to work through . . . I feel really let down,” he said.

The couple’s no-holds-barred interview comes as Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, remains hospitalized in London after undergoing a heart procedure.

It also follows the announcement of a palace probe into explosive allegations published in a UK newspaper that Markle bullied palace staffers during her short stint as a senior royal. She and Harry have denied the claims and said they are victims of a calculated “smear campaign.”

It’s unclear what the royal response will be to the Oprah interview. The Times of London, citing an anonymous source, reported that the queen would not watch it.

British audiences won’t be able to see the full special until Monday night when it airs on ITV.

In the final moments of their interview, the couple were asked whether they had any regrets.

“My regret is believing them when they said I would be protected,” Markle said, with Harry adding that had the palace shielded them, “We wouldn’t have left.”

The prince said that his relationship with Markle had saved him, and she countered that it was him who had “certainly saved my life, and saved all of us,” referring to their family.

“We did what we had to do,” Harry said.

The sensational sit-down closed with Markle saying, “I’m proud of us.” Their story, she added, is “greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read.”

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