The emotional moment after Meghan Markle told Prince Harry she was experiencing suicidal thoughts has been captured in a resurfaced video, showing the prince’s visible “desperation” while attending a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall.
Back in March 2021, the Duchess of Sussex revealed in her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that she had contemplated suicide while working as a senior member of the royal family.
During the interview, Meghan spoke about the moment she told her husband she was having suicidal thoughts, just hours before a Cirque du Soleil performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in January 2019.
“One of the things that still haunts me is this photograph that someone had sent me, we had to go to an official event at the Royal Albert Hall,” she recalled to Winfrey. “A friend said, ‘I know that you don’t look at pictures, but oh my god, you guys look so great’ and sent it to me.”
Meghan went on to say she “zoomed in and what I saw was the truth of what that moment was. Because right before we had to leave for that, I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning,” referencing how she told Harry she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” shortly before attending the event.
Two months after the sit-down interview, Prince Harry opened up about the night Meghan first told him she had thought about ending her life, while she was six months pregnant with Archie at the time. Speaking with Oprah Winfrey in his Apple TV+ docuseries, The Me You Can’t See, Prince Harry recalled a photograph of the couple squeezing each other’s hands as they walked into the historic London building.
“What perhaps people don’t understand is, earlier that evening Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life,” he said.
He continued: “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. She was completely sane, yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up.”
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“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, before admitting that he felt “somewhat ashamed” with the way he reacted to his wife’s suicidal thoughts.
“Because of the system that 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 and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event and then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything is okay,” he explained.
Now, a video taken during the performance at Royal Albert Hall has people pointing out the “desperation” in Prince Harry’s face, knowing what had occurred just hours before.
The resurfaced video shows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sitting in a box at the performance hall. The two are clapping, while Meghan smiles at the crowd. Meanwhile, Harry’s expression is noticeably somber and straight-faced. He grabs Meghan’s hand and looks up at the ceiling while letting out a sigh.
“The moment heavily pregnant Meghan tells Harry she no longer wants to be alive,” they wrote in the video. “Harry looks up in the air in desperation for a way out because he is terrified of history repeating itself.”
The clip, which was shared by TikTok user @yeternal5, has more than 1.5m views since it was posted on 16 November. Many people in the comments section criticised Meghan for smiling in the video, but fans quickly came to her defense and pointed out that the duchess was putting on a brave face.
“She’s not smirking, she’s masking,” one user commented. “She’s holding it together and showing them what they want to see. His perfect wife.”
“It’s called putting on a brave face,” another person wrote. “She’s there performing a duty.”
“Of course she’s smiling with the way they’re on news headlines,” said someone else. “She didn’t want there to be any thinking there’s something going on.”
In a recent episode of her podcast, Archetypes, Meghan Markle revealed she has been “conditioned” to not show emotion in public.
“Even my own version of like… I would love to cry this much, but I'm conditioned to still have some – a different kind of composure,” she told podcast guest Contance Wu. “And now you sort of go, ohhh, just relax and let it out. And I see the same thing in my kids as you’re talking about in yours, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I want to do that’ [release her emotions without fear or shame]. I want to feel so deeply. It’s like an Adele album. Just like sooo much intense emotion.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.