logo

Meghan Markle says her friends told her not to marry Prince Harry because of British press intrusion

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the WellChild awards pre-Ceremony reception at Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 15, 2019 in London, England.
WPA Pool | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has said that her British friends warned her against marrying Prince Harry, because of British tabloid press intrusion.

Speaking as part of a TV program, broadcast Sunday, following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal tour of southern Africa last month, she said:

"When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me: 'I'm sure he's great but you shouldn't do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life'."

"And I very naively, I'm American, we don't have that there, what are you talking about, that doesn't make any sense. I'm not in tabloids, I didn't get it. So, it's been complicated," she added.

The couple's first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on May 6, with the couple choosing not to use a royal title for him. Asked by presenter Tom Bradby about the impact of press intrusion on her mental and physical health, the Duchess said:

"Any woman, especially when you're pregnant, you're really vulnerable, so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a new born, and especially as a woman it's really, it's a lot. So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom, trying to be a newly-wed, and also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I'm OK, but it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."

"And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really OK, as in it's really been a struggle?" Bradby asked.

"Yes," the Duchess answered.

VIDEO1:1101:11
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcome their first child

The Duchess also spoke about how she has tried to retain a British "stiff upper lip" since marrying the Duke in May 2018.

"I've said for a long time to H, that's what I call him, that it's not enough to just survive something, right, that's not the point of life, you've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy and I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip, I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging and the biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair, and that's the part that's really hard to reconcile."

"Harry & Meghan: An African Journey" aired on the UK's ITV station on Sunday, also saw the Duke talk frankly about his feelings toward the media, after his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Asked by Bradby whether he felt at peace with his mother's death or whether it is still a wound that festers, the Duke said: "I think it's still a wound that festers, I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back. So, in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."

Earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex sued British tabloid the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a letter she wrote to her father. The lawsuit accused the newspaper of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.'s data protection law.