Prince Harry worried Meghan ‘would end up’ like Diana and he would have to raise Archie alone

He says he felt ‘trapped’ and ‘controlled’ before stepping down from the royal family

Saman Javed
Friday 21 May 2021 11:11 BST
Meghan and Harry at the Royal Albert Hall
Meghan and Harry at the Royal Albert Hall (PA)

Prince Harry has said the fear of whether Meghan Markle would “end up” like his mother, and that he would have to raise Archie alone, was one of his biggest reasons for deciding to step down from the royal family.

In the new series, The Me You Can’t See, which Harry has executively produced alongside Oprah Winfrey, he recalled the night Meghan first told him she had thought about ending her life. She was six months pregnant with Archie at the time.

“The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t lost it, she wasn’t crazy, she wasn’t self-medicating be it through pills or through alcohol, she was absolutely sober,” he said.

Follow live: Prince William claims BBC fueled Diana’s ‘fears’ as Harry says exploitation took her life

“The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now be put into a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby,” he added.

He said feeling trapped and controlled through fear of both the media and “the system” itself meant there was no way of escaping their duties or getting help for Meghan’s mental health struggles.

“I then had a son, who I’d far rather be solely focused on, rather than every time I look in his eyes wondering whether my wife is going to end up like my mother and I’m gonna have to look after him myself. 

“That was one of the biggest reasons to leave. Feeling trapped and feeling controlled through fear both by the media and by the system itself, which never encouraged the talking about this kind of trauma,” he said.

Meghan has previously spoken about telling Harry that she was having suicidal thoughts hours before they attended a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in London during the couple’s bombshell interview with Winfrey in March.

Offering his perspective of that evening, Harry said he feels ashamed of how he dealt with it.

“Because of the system we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle. And then we had to get changed and jump in a convoy with a police escort,” he said.

“There wasn’t an option to say, ‘you know what, tonight, we’re not going to go’,” he added.

Soon after the interview with Winfrey aired, a picture of the pair tightly gripping one another’s hands at the charity event re-emerged. 

“While my wife and I were in those chairs gripping each other’s hand, the moment the lights go down, Meghan starts crying. I’m feeling sorry for her but I’m also really angry with myself that we’re stuck in this situation,” he said.

You can find helpful tips on how to start a conversation, or if you are worried about someone else, on Samaritans website.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing The average response time is 24 hours.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in