Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal

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Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Cirque du Soleil Premiere Of "TOTEM" at Royal Albert Hall on January 16, 2019 in London, England.Paul Grover/WPA Pool via Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle said a photo from a 2019 event showed "the truth" of her feelings at the time.
  • While she and Prince Harry were smiling, they were "just trying to hold on," Markle told Oprah.
  • That morning, Markle had told Harry she was contemplating suicide, Markle said in her CBS interview.

A photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at a 2019 event reveals how she was really feeling behind the couple's dazzling facade, Markle told Oprah Winfrey.

In a bombshell interview that aired Sunday on CBS, Markle said that she had developed suicidal thoughts after joining the British royal family and that she had been prevented from getting any help.

She said a friend had sent her a picture of her and Harry at London's Royal Albert Hall taken the same day she told Harry she "didn't want to be alive anymore."

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The picture, which was circulated widely at the time, showed a pregnant Markle in a dark blue sequined gown with Harry by her side, smiling and holding hands.

Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
This photo, of the couple attending a Cirque du Soleil performance at the Royal Albert Hall, shows 'the truth of what that moment was,' according to Meghan.Paul Grover/WPA Pool via Getty Images

But Markle told Winfrey that "what I saw was the truth of what that moment was."

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The photo "still haunts me," she said. "We had to go to an official event. We had to go to this event at the Royal Albert Hall, and a friend said, 'I know you don't look at pictures, but oh my God, you guys look so great.'

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"And I zoomed in, and what I saw was the truth of what that moment was. Because right before we had to leave for that, I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning."

Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
Harry and Meghan arriving at the event.Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

Harry tried to persuade her not to go to the event, she said. But Markle said she told him, "I can't be left alone."

"And that picture, if you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around mine," she continued. "You can see the whites of our knuckles, because we are smiling and doing our job, but we're both just trying to hold on.

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"And every time that those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping, and he was gripping my hand."

When the intermission came and the lights came up, Markle said, she'd have to be ready to face the public and be "on again."

Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
Harry and Meghan in a box at the event.Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
Harry and Meghan wave to the crowds from a box at the Royal Albert Hall.Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images

She said she had told Harry about her state of mind sitting on the front steps of their home, Frogmore Cottage, and the very next day approached "the institution" - royal staff - to ask for help. She said she was never given it.

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Markle suggested that her situation showed that you can never judge someone's state of mind from their demeanor.

"You have no idea what's going on for someone behind closed doors," she said. "Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems, to have compassion for what's actually potentially going on."

Meghan Markle pointed to this 2019 photo to illustrate how she felt suicidal while working as a royal
The couple greet the Cirque du Soleil performers after the show.Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images

As of Monday morning in the UK, the royal family had not responded to the interview.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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