Markle told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS that she “just didn’t see a solution” to the intense scrutiny she faced after becoming a senior member of the royal family.
“Look, I was really ashamed to have to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” Markle said. “But I knew that if I didn’t say that I would do it… and I just didn’t ― I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.”
She said she went to “one of the most senior people” to try to seek mental health resources.
“I went to one of the most senior people to get help. I share this because there are 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,” Markle said.
“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,” Markle said, saying that she also tried going to the palace’s HR department.
“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 said.
Markle said that her hope for disclosing her struggles with her own mental health is that “for people in the takeaway from this is to know that there’s another side” and that “to know that life is worth living.”
Markle during the highly-anticipated interview also claimed that there were conversations within the royal family before her son with Prince Harry was born about “how dark his skin might be,” that the couple had concerns about their security after moving to North America and more.