scorecardMeghan Markle said she had to hand over her keys, passport, and driver's license when she joined the royal family
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Meghan Markle said she had to hand over her keys, passport, and driver's license when she joined the royal family

Mia Jankowicz   

Meghan Markle said she had to hand over her keys, passport, and driver's license when she joined the royal family
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
  • In a CBS interview, Meghan Markle described entering a gilded cage upon joining the royal family.
  • She gave up her keys, passport, and driver's license and got them back when she returned to the US.
  • Markle agreed when Winfrey suggested this trapped her at a time when she was feeling suicidal.

Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that she had to give up her passport, driver's license, and keys when she married Prince Harry.

In Winfrey's explosive interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that aired Sunday night on CBS, Markle outlined the strange sacrifices she had to make upon joining the British royal family.

Handing over those things meant she was trapped at a time when she was having suicidal thoughts and had asked the royal household for help, she said. Senior palace staff denied her that help, she added.

When Winfrey asked her if she had considered checking herself into a hospital or a mental-health service, Markle replied, "No, that's what I was asking to do."

But she said that "you can't just do that," adding, "I couldn't, you know, call an Uber to the palace."

"You couldn't just go," she said. "I mean, you have to understand as well, when I joined that family, that was the last time, until we came here, that I saw my passport, my driver's license, my keys. All that gets turned over."

Winfrey said: "Well, the way you're describing this, it's like you were trapped and couldn't get help, even though you're on the verge of suicide. That's what you are describing."

Markle agreed. "That's the truth," she said.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider's request for clarification on royal protocol over these matters.

Markle said she got those items back only when the couple moved to the US.

Markle said that she didn't know who to turn to for mental-health support, so she approached one of Princess Diana's best friends for guidance.

"One of the people that I reached out to, who's continued to be a friend and confidant, was one of my husband's mom's best friends, one of Diana's best friends," she said. "Because it's like, who else could understand what it's actually like on the inside?"

Markle described how she tried to put on a brave face even though she "didn't want to be alive anymore."

The day that she told Harry this, she said, she attended an event at the Royal Albert Hall. She pointed to a photo of her holding Harry's hand as revealing the truth about how she was feeling.

"That picture, if you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around mine," she said. "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."

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

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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