His worries aren’t unfounded, as the “well-placed” palace source also said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “in a fragile place.” Prince Harry recently revealed he’s been struggling with his mental health and Will’s sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, has been in the news for talking about the rough year she’s had.
Not that this hasn’t been inferred already, thanks to the release of the royal couple’s new TV documentary. “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” which aired on ITV on Oct. 20, might have been intended as a simple travel portrait — a conventional account of the pair’s royal tour in southern Africa.
Instead, it turned out to be punctuated with moments of emotional candour, in which both Markle and Prince Harry opened up, wearily, about the struggles they’ve experienced with British tabloid scrutiny over the last year.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant — you’re really vulnerable,” Markle said of the intense media attention and its effect on her mental health, in the documentary.
She added: “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 if you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom, or trying to be a newlywed, it’s … well … 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.”
“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,” she said.
“I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried, I really tried, but I think 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.”
Prince Harry, on the other hand, responded to media reports speculating about the relationship between him and his brother, Prince William, in such a way that made the Duke of Cambridge “furious,” according to that same BBC source.
“Part of this role, and this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under … inevitably, stuff happens,” Prince Harry told ITV’s Tom Bradby, in the documentary. “But we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him, as I know he will always be there for me.”
Prince Harry went on to clarify that though he and Prince William don’t see each other as much as they used to due to their busy schedules, most of the tabloid press alleging a rift between the brothers has, in fact, been making an issue out of nothing.
“As brothers, we have good days and we have bad days,” he said.
The Duke of Sussex was also asked whether he was worried that the pressure on his wife echoed the stress endured by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in 1997 in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi.
“I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect,” he said. “So everything that [my mum] went through, and what happened to her, is incredibly important every single day — and that is not me being paranoid, that is just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”
In the midst of this tornado, news outlets report the royal couple will, starting next month, be taking a six-week break from their royal duties in an effort to spend more time together as a family and, hopefully, escape some of the tabloid press.