Prince Harry says he is 'ashamed' of how he reacted to Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts: 'I dealt with it as institutional Harry as opposed to husband Harry'

·3 min read
Prince Harry says he is 'ashamed' of how he reacted to Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts: 'I dealt with it as institutional Harry as opposed to husband Harry'
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on October 02, 2019.
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in 2019.Chris Jackson/Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle spoke in Netflix's "Harry & Meghan" about contemplating suicide in 2019.

  • Meghan said she struggled with suicidal thoughts while facing tabloid criticism as a working royal.

  • Harry said he'd come to regret how he dealt with the situation as "institutional Harry" at the time.

Prince Harry expressed regret in the second volume of "Harry & Meghan" for the way he initially handled Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts.

The Netflix docuseries' fourth episode, which was released Thursday, touches upon the events that led up to the Duchess of Sussex contemplating suicide in 2019, one year after marrying Harry and officially becoming a member of the British royal family.

Meghan, 41, said in the docuseries that she had suicidal thoughts while facing constant criticism from British tabloids during her time as a working royal.

"It was like, all of this will stop if I'm not here," she said. "And that was the scariest thing about it because it was such clear thinking."

Prince Harry in "Harry & Meghan."
Harry expressed regret in "Harry & Meghan" over how he reacted.Netflix

Reflecting on that period, Harry said: "I was devastated. I knew she was struggling. We were both struggling, but I never thought it would get to that stage — and the fact that it got to that stage, I felt angry and ashamed."

The Duke of Sussex, 38, expressed regret about how he handled the situation, saying, "I dealt with it as institutional Harry as opposed to husband Harry."

"What took over my feelings was my royal role," he said. "I had been trained to worry more about, 'What are people going to think if we don't go to this event? We're going to be late,' and looking back on it now, I hate myself for it."

"What she needed from me was so much more than I was able to give," he added.

Experts recommend looking out for warning signs of suicide such as acts and threats of self-harm, and urge people who have suicidal thoughts to seek professional help and call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, in the US.

Harry went on to say that the royal family was aware of how bad things were for his wife but were unwilling to do anything about it: "They thought, 'Why couldn't she just deal with it?' As if to say, 'Well everyone else has dealt with it, why can't she deal with it?' But it was different. This was different."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan first spoke about having suicidal thoughts during her and Harry's 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey.Harpo Productions/CBS/YouTube

He added: "But actually if you strip all that away and say, 'OK, fine, it was exactly the same,' so do we still believe we should have just sucked it up like other members of the family? Or does one think maybe it's about time that we stopped?"

Elsewhere in the episode, Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, said it "broke her heart" to learn that her daughter was having suicidal thoughts.

Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, recalled her daughter telling her about having suicidal thoughts.
Doria Ragland wiped away tears in "Harry & Meghan" as she spoke about her daughter.Netflix

Meghan first spoke early last year about experiencing suicidal thoughts during her time as a working royal.

During the royal couple's March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said she had confided in Harry that she "just didn't want to be alive anymore."

"That was a clear and real and frightening and constant thought," Markle told Winfrey, adding that she "thought it would have solved everything for everyone" if she acted on her suicidal thoughts.

In "Harry & Meghan," the duchess maintained her claim in the Winfrey interview that she approached a royal staff member about getting help but was turned away.

"I wanted to go somewhere to get help, but I wasn't allowed to," she said in the docuseries. "They were concerned about how that would look for the institution."

Read the original article on Insider