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Meghan Markle says she suffered from suicidal thoughts as a royal

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak with Oprah Winfrey in an interview on CBS News Sunday. Photo by Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak with Oprah Winfrey in an interview on CBS News Sunday. Photo by Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

March 7 (UPI) -- Meghan Markle, the duchess of Sussex, revealed in a bombshell interview Sunday night that she had sought help for suicidal thoughts while pregnant and living with the royal family, who had discussed what color of skin her unborn child may have.

In a two-hour pre-taped interview with Oprah Winfrey that was aired by CBS News, Markle said she suffered from constant thoughts of suicide while pregnant with the couple's first child due to the pressures and expectations of being a member of the royal family.

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"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," she said. "And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought."

Markle, who married Prince Harry in 2018, told Winfrey she was ashamed to admit her suicidal thoughts to her husband but that if she didn't she would have gone through with it.

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She said she had sought help from the "institution" to receive medical attention but was rebuffed and told it would reflect negatively on the royal family. She also said she lacked the ability to leave and seek help on her own as her identification, passport and credit cards were taken from her after she wed into the family.

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"It was not a conversation to be had," Harry told Winfrey when he joined the interview concerning broaching his wife's suicidal thoughts with other members of the royal family.

He said for the family, dealing with the stress of tabloid attacks and isolation "is just how it is, this is how it meant to be, you can't change it, we've all been through it."

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Harry said he, like his 39-year-old wife, was trapped by the family but was unaware of it until he starting dating Markle.

He added that his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, are also trapped within this gilded cage.

"And I have compassion for that," he said.

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Markle, who is biracial, also revealed that during her pregnancy with Archie, who was born in May of 2019, there were discussions about the possible skin tone of their first child.

Without giving specifics, she said there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born" and "what that might mean and what that would look like."

When Winfrey asked for specifics, the former Suits actor declined to give names, stating "I think that would be very damaging to them."

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Harry, 36, confirmed he was asked about their son's skin pigmentation but declined to discuss further.

"That conversation, I'm never going to share," he said. "I'm not comfortable sharing it."

The couple finalized their disengagement from royal duties last month, about a year after announcing the unprecedented move that they would be stepping back. British tabloids had framed the relinquishing of royal responsibilities as taking his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, 94, by surprise, but Harry told Winfrey that was not the case.

"I never blindsided my grandmother," he said. "I have too much respect for her."

Markle, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, described the monarchy as a "family business" that consists of the family and those who run it.

"They're two separate things and it is important to departmentalize it," she said, stating the queen "has always been wonderful to me.

The pair also revealed the sex of their second child, stating they are expecting to give birth to a girl this summer.

Asked what his first thoughts were on learning that they were expecting a girl, Harry said they were simply "just grateful."

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"To have any child, any one or any two would be amazing but to have a boy and then a girl, what more could you ask for?" he said. "But now we got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs and it's great."

Asked if there are plans for future children, they were quick to say no.

"Two is it," Markle said with a smile.

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