Meghan Markle is finally speaking up about the pressures she’s endured as a royal mom in the spotlight.
ITV released a new clip from its documentary on Friday titled “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” which will debut in the UK this Sunday. The special aims to give audiences a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the couple’s recent tour of southern Africa.
In the clip, the former actress spoke to British journalist Tom Bradby about the negative attention she has received from the media during her pregnancy and first months with Archie, who was born in May.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” said the 38-year-old. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. … and especially as a woman, it’s a lot.”
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed,” continued Markle while holding back tears. “It’s um… yeah. I guess, 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.”
When Bradby asked if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle,” Markle responded, “Yes.”
Towards the end of the couple’s royal tour, Prince Harry spoke out against the mistreatment of his wife in the “British tabloid media.”
‘Thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m OK.’
— Meghan Markle
The Duke of Sussex, 35, released a statement condemning the “British tabloid press” for waging a “ruthless campaign” against Markle “that has escalated over the past year” throughout the course of her pregnancy and while raising Archie. Harry also revealed the pair would be taking legal action.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry came under fire in summer 2019 for various perceived offenses in the press. Royal insiders griped about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s alleged hypocrisy for preaching about environmentalism while flying on private jets, as well as Duchess Meghan allegedly courting the press.
According to a legal spokesperson representing Markle, the Duchess of Sussex filed a claim against the Mail on Sunday — and its parent company Associated Newspapers — alleging “the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by” Markle. Although the statement does not name the specific letter, The Guardian reported that the Mail on Sunday published a letter penned by Markle to her estranged father.
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” Harry wrote. “Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.
“Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations — something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis,” he continued, noting that this is why the Sussexes have decided to take legal action — “a process,” according to Harry, “that has been many months in the making.”
“The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave,” Harry stated. “She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.”
Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle hold their baby son Archie as they meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town on Sep. 25, 2019. The British royal couple are on a 10-day tour of southern Africa — their first official visit as a family since their son Archie was born in May.
Harry went on to explain that for the “select media” he is referencing, “this is a game” — and it’s one that the Sussexes “have been unwilling to play from the start.”
“I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long,” Harry said of Markle. “To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”
Harry added that “though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one.”
“Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he continued. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry debuted Baby Sussex but didn’t reveal the child’s name. Their son was born on May 6.
“We thank you, the public, for your continued support,” Harry concluded. “It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.”
According to the couple’s official website, Markle’s claims include the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The case is being privately funded by the royal couple. Pending a court ruling, proceeds from any damages will go to an anti-bullying charity.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex visits mothers2mothers during her royal tour of South Africa with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex on Sept. 25, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa. Mothers2mothers (m2m) is an African not-for-profit organization with the vision of a healthy, HIV-free Africa. The organization trains and employs women living with HIV as frontline health workers across eight African nations.
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, a spokesperson for the Mail on Sunday said: “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
A rep for Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report.