Meghan Markle: 'My British friends warned me off Harry'

The Duchess of Sussex has described the past year as a member of the Royal Family as “hard” and revealed her British friends warned her not to marry Prince Harry.

Meghan Markle, 38, opened up in a revealing ITV documentary about the couple’s recent royal tour of Africa and addressed how difficult it had been living life in the tabloid glare.

Speaking to presenter Tom Bradby in ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’ the new mum about the pressures the couple have faced, the 38-year-old admitted she was naive about the British tabloid press and revealed she was warned by her friends they "will destroy your life".

The Duchess explained that the year since marrying Prince Harry had been “hard”, but said she's tried to “adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip” as a method of coping.

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed her friends warned her off marrying Prince Harry [Photo: Getty]
The Duchess of Sussex has revealed her friends warned her off marrying Prince Harry [Photo: Getty]

She says when she first met the duke her friends in the US were “so happy because I was so happy” but her British friends warned her: “You shouldn't do it - the British tabloids will destroy your life.”

Meghan told Bradby that as an American she “very naively” didn't know about tabloids and “didn't get it.”

The Duchess was discussing coping with living life in the royal spotlight and when asked by Bradby if she can deal with it and manage it she responded: “I’ve said for a long time to’s not enough to survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.”

She went on to say she’s tried for a long time to adopt the British mentality of having a “stiff upper lip.”

“But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging. The biggest thing I know is that I never thought it would be easy but I thought it would be fair.”

A visibly emotional Meghan revealed that she's 'not ok' in the documentary [Photo: ITV]
A visibly emotional Meghan revealed that she's 'not ok' in the documentary [Photo: ITV]

Bradby went on to point out that the counter argument is that privilege and power does bring with it scrutiny and asked how the duchess counters that argument.

“When things are fair,” she responded. “If I do something wrong I’d be the first to say ‘Oh my gosh I’m so sorry.’

“When people are saying things that are just untrue and they’re being told they’re untrue but they’re still saying them. I don’t know anyone in the world that would feel that’s ok. And that’s different to just scrutiny. That’s, what would you call that?”

Meghan went on to say that it is hard for people to understand what it is like, but they assume the grass is always greener.

“The good thing is that I’ve got my baby and I’ve got my husband and they’re the best,” she added.

The Duchess also opened up about the potential impact of the pressures she is facing.

When asked about the impact on her health, she looked emotional as she answered: “Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging, 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 [sic] or trying to be a newlywed it’s, well…

The new mum went on to thank the presenter for enquiring about her mental health.

“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.”

The interviewer then asks the royal if she’s “not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle?” to which Meghan replies: “Yes”.

In a further hint that recent events have taken their toll, in an article for the Sunday Times, written by the documentary presenter Tom Bradby, he recalled asking Meghan whether she was able to cope with the endless media scrutiny to which she replied: “We are taking it one day at a time.”

Her visible emotion witnessed by viewers within the documentary seems to have touched royal fans and since an advance clip was released on Friday, it has gone viral and inspired the hashtag #WeLoveYouMeghan, which saw others opening up about their own struggles and sharing messages of encouragement for the duchess.

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan are ‘on a mission to redefine how the press operates’ – and have a ‘secret weapon’

Meghan admitted she was 'naive' about the British tabloids [Photo: Getty]
Meghan admitted she was 'naive' about the British tabloids [Photo: Getty]

Earlier this month the Duke of Sussex released an emotional statement addressing the couple’s treatment by certain media outlets in the British press.

The statement followed the revelation that the couple are suing The Mail On Sunday for breach of copyright and misuse of private information after the newspaper published one of Meghan’s private letters to her father, Thomas Markle.

And days later it was announced that Harry is reportedly taking legal action against two other publications over “the alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages”.

READ MORE: Prince Harry’s statement in full

Also in the documentary Prince Harry finally addressed rumours of a reported rift with his brother Prince William, claiming they are “certainly on different” paths and admitting: “Inevitably stuff happens”.

During filming Bradby asked about the rumours of a royal family rift following the split in the two households.

“Part of this role, part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it is under, inevitably stuff happens,” he responded.

“But we are brothers, we will always be brothers. We are certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him as I know he will be for me.”

He went on to say that though they don’t see each other very often he “loves him dearly.”

While he didn’t directly discuss a potential fall-out the duke went on to say that the “majority of this stuff is created out of nothing.”

He added: “As brothers you have good days and bad days.”