Meghan Markle is getting real about the pressures of life in the spotlight as a new royal.
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, had a frank conversation about the topic with host Tom Bradby in ITV’s new documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey — which aired on Sunday in the U.K. and is scheduled to air in the U.S. on Wednesday.
When asked how long she can manage the constant onslaught of attention, lack of privacy and ongoing tabloid rumors, Meghan revealed she just takes “each day as it comes,” adding, “I think the grass is always greener. You have no idea. It’s really hard to understand what it’s like. I know what it seems like it should be, but it’s a very different thing.”
Recalling her conversations about the topic with Prince Harry (and sharing her nickname for him, too), the mom of one said, “I have said for a long time to H, that’s what I call him, ‘It’s not enough to just survive something. That’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive. You have got to feel happy.’ “
Meghan added, “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.”
Meghan went on to tell Bradby that she would understand the scrutiny if it were fair.
“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,” she said.
“If things were fair … If I’d done something wrong, I’d be the first one to go ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I would never do that,’ ” she continued. “But when people are saying things that are just untrue and they are being told they’re untrue but they’re allowed to still say them — I don’t know anybody in the world who would feel like that’s okay.”
Meghan continued, “That’s different from just scrutiny. That’s…. what would you call that? It’s a really different beast, you know.”
Earlier in the documentary, Meghan got real about the pressures of being a new mother and the negative attention from the press she received during her pregnancy and the first months after son Archie was born on May 6.
“Any woman, especially when they’re 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,” she said. “So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um…yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
Asked if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really okay, as in it’s really been a struggle,” Meghan responded, “Yes.”
Ultimately though, Meghan said that husband Prince Harry, 35, and son Archie have helped her get through things.
“It’s okay,” she said. “The good thing is that I’ve got my baby and I’ve got my husband and they’re the best.”
ITV's @tombradby spoke to Meghan as he gained exclusive access to the royal couple as they toured Africa for 10 days with their son Archie.— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
The documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, airs on Sunday at 9pm on @ITV #HarryandMeghan https://t.co/Uy21iE6ozJ pic.twitter.com/XYlHVytiHF
Harry & Meghan: An African Journey was filmed during the royal couple’s trip to Africa at the end of September and in early October.
Towards the end of the tour, the couple announced their decision to launch legal action against the Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter than Meghan sent to her father as well as News UK (owner of The Sun) and MGN (former owner of The Mirror) regarding alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages.
In addition to the lawsuits, Harry spoke out against the British tabloid press for the “ruthless” treatment his wife has received “over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son” in a rare statement.
“Look, part of this job and part of any job, like everybody, means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of the stuff,” he said in the ITV documentary. “But again, for me and for my wife, of course, there’s a lot of stuff that hurts — especially when the majority of it is untrue.”
“All we need to do is focus on being real, focus on being the people we are and standing up for what we believe in,” he said. “I will not be bullied into carrying a game that killed my mum.”
Harry & Meghan: An African Journey will air in the U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. (at 10 p.m. ET.) on ABC.