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Revealed: Why Meghan is ‘still haunted’ by red carpet photograph from 2019

PA reporters
·3-min read

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she is “still haunted” by a photograph of herself at a red carpet event while pregnant with Archie – because she had just told her husband she did not want to live anymore.

Meghan appeared tearful during her extensive interview with veteran US chat show host Oprah Winfrey when she described the hidden pain she was carrying during the public appearance in January 2019.

Photographs taken at the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem show at the Royal Albert Hall show a beaming Meghan wearing a full-length navy sequin Roland Mouret gown, holding hands with her suited husband.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem Premiere – London
The Duchess of Sussex, pictured at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019 with her husband, the Duke of Sussex, said she an image of the pair at the event ‘still haunts’ her (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

But Meghan said the images – described as “so great” by a friend who shared them with her – had a deeply upsetting context.

She told Winfrey: “One of the things that still haunts me is this photograph that someone had sent me, we had to go to an official event at the Royal Albert Hall.

“A friend said: ‘I know you don’t look at pictures, but oh my god, you guys look so great’ and sent it to me.

“I zoomed in and what I saw was the truth of what that moment was, because right before we had to leave for that (event), I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning.”

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Winfrey replied: “That you don’t want to be alive anymore?”

Meghan said: “Yeah. It was like: These are the thoughts I am having in the middle of the night that are very clear, and I’m scared because this is very real. This is methodical, and it is not who I am.”

Meghan said Harry suggested she did not attend the event, but Meghan said she told her husband she “can’t be left alone”.

She said: “And we went. And that picture, if you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around me.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem Premiere – London
Meghan told Oprah Winfrey how she felt she had to be ‘on’ when the lights came on, despite dealing with her own suicidal thoughts (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

“You can see the whites of our knuckles because we are smiling and doing our job, but we are both just trying to hold on.

“Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping.

“He (Harry) was gripping my hand and it was ‘Okay an intermission’s coming, the lights are about to come on, everyone’s looking at us again’ … and you had to just be ‘on’ again.

“You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. You’ve no idea.

“Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems.”

– Anyone who needs support should call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org or visit the Samaritans website.