A heartbreaking interview
Now, for the first time, Meghan’s opening up about just how hard transforming from popular Suits actress to royal has been.
Meg and Harry’s recent trip to Africa with baby Archie is the subject of a new documentary, and in an interview about the program we learned more about how the negative media coverage and nasty social media commentary has affected this high-profile new mum.
The couple were speaking to ITV News about the upcoming Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
It has to be very difficult to speak of the emotional and physical toll the constant press scrutiny is having, especially when Meghan is clearly acutely aware of the privileged position she finds herself in.
That said, things have been so difficult that Harry reminded the media and general public of the possible consequences of such relentless hounding, invoking his mother Princess Diana’s experience in a statement issued last month.
Now it’s Meghan’s turn to speak, and she did so in a very dignified but clearly emotional manner.
Jesus. This just broke my heart. pic.twitter.com/13KsROklv9
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) October 18, 2019
“It’s a very real thing”
Struggling to control her feelings, she noted that she’s going through a number of huge shifts – from actor to royal wife to mum-to-be to new mum – and that being under attack from strangers on top of all that was a heavy burden.
“I would say … look any woman, especially when they are pregnant, you are really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging,” Meghan told ITV‘s Tom Bradby, fighting back tears as she responded to his question – “Are you okay?”
“And then when you have a newborn, you know? And especially as a woman it’s really, it’s really a lot.”
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed it’s…”
Perhaps mindful of the importance of connection and community, Meghan thanked her interviewer for digging a little deeper and actually asking after her wellbeing.
“I guess also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay,” she said, “but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
When Tom says”And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really ok? As in, it’s really been a struggle?”
Meghan’s reply was “yes.”
World Exclusive; Meghan tells me of the intense pressures of a life in the spotlight and the toll it has taken on her behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/tpmeomj5UV
— tom bradby (@tombradby) October 18, 2019
Taking a toll
It’s clear that she’s already anticipating the dismissive naysayers crying “boo-hoo Meg-ain” – which they did – as she seemed to be trying to balance speaking of her own mental wellbeing with the public perception of how lucky she is.
Prince Harry has been a brilliant advocate for honest dialogue about mental health, and now Meghan’s following in his footsteps with this vulnerable interview.
Her words are a reminder not only of the potentially tragic consequences this sort of contagious negative discourse can have, but that mental ill health can affect anyone – no matter how rosy their surroundings and opportunities may seem.
As a community we really must counter this by being considerate of everyone’s circumstances – and by leading with kindness. And we’d do well to dig a little deeper when we speak with those around us about what they might be going through – and find out what we can do to support them too.
Support for new mums … and Meghan
Royal supporters have headed to social media to voice their support for Meg in a number of ways.
Some have focused on the difficult early first months of motherhood, urging others to be mindful of the new mums in their circle – and making sure they are okay.
Others have simply posted kind messages with the hashtag #WeLoveYouMeghan (started by author Greg Hogben) going viral.
— Leslie Streeter (@LeslieStreeter) October 18, 2019