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Why Prince Harry 'Hates' Himself For The Way He Handled Meghan Markle's Mental Battle

meghan harry netflix documentary moments
Prince Harry On Meghan Markle's Mental Battle Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Both Volume I and II of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's long-awaited Netflix six-part docu-series are finally here and have delivered what we long anticipated: a rollercoaster of emotions, shocking revelations and heartwarming moments between the married couple.

Fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have learned the 'truth' about the hardships the couple have faced and their relationships with wider members of the royal family in recent years.

Volume I of the documentary, which was released on the streaming platform on Thursday, December 8, reveals candid footage of Prince Harry discussing everything from his childhood trauma to the pain of seeing his wife endure what his late mother Princess Diana experienced before her death in 1997.

meghan harry documentary
Netflix - Hearst Owned

We also see rare photos of the couple's children, Archie and Lili, one of the couple's holidays in South Africa, the couple dancing on their wedding day in May 2018, and intimate footage of life at home in Montecito, California. 'No one sees what goes on behind closed doors,' Prince Harry says to camera at the beginning of the documentary.' Until now, that is.

Volume II's release followed on December 15, during which point Prince Harry says he 'hates' himself for how he handled Markle's suicidal thoughts.

Here are the biggest moments from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan:

1) Meghan Markle admits she first bowed to the Queen and was barefoot meeting Kate Middleton

During the documentary Markle admits to having found the 'formality' of being in the royal family 'surprising' at first. Harry notes that Markle's first meeting with the Queen was a 'shock to the system'.

Markle recalls the moment she learnt she was about to meet the Queen, noting: 'We were in the car and we were going to Royal Lodge for lunch, and he's like "Oh, my grandmother's here, we're going to meet her after church." And I remember we were in the car driving up and he's like "You know how to curtsy, right?" And I just thought it was a joke.'

'How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you will need to curtsy. Especially to an American. That's weird,' states Prince Harry, with Markle adding: 'I mean, Americans will understand this... We have medieval times, dinner and tournament. It was like that.'

Prince Harry notes: 'I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed, some of them didn't quite know what to do with themselves. Because I think they were surprised. They were surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman. But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning, "oh she's an American actress; this won't last".'

Markle continues, stating: 'The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough. There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint - Hollywood - and it's just very easy for them to typecast that.'

In episode two of the series, Meghan admits that she dressed in casual attire for her first meeting with her future in-laws, Prince William and Kate Middleton. 'When Will and Kate came over, and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot,' Markle says. 'I was a hugger. I've always been a hugger, I didn't realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits. 'I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside.

'There is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and go "You can relax now", but that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.'

2) Prince Harry says Meghan Markle reminds him of Princess Diana

During the documentary the Duke says Markle reminds him of his late mother in the way that she composes herself despite the backlash she faces, gushing that his wife is 'caring and compassionate'.

Prince Harry, who is believed to have started dating the former actor in 2016, speaks to camera during the documentary to admit that he had been looking to find someone who was 'willing and capable' of being in a relationship with a royal family member. He explains that they kept their relationship private at the beginning of their courtship because he felt his other publicised romances (including those with Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas) suffered from media intrusion, which would 'turn upside down' the life of his new partner and their family. At one point he describes the relationship between of the press and his previous partners as 'the hunter versus the prey'.

harry meghan netflix documentary
Netflix - Hearst Owned

A photo also shows the couple's young children being introduced to a photo of Princess Diana. 'I don’t have many early memories of my mum,' Prince Harry admits at one point.

3) Prince Harry says he wore 'two hats' during his childhood

Using archive footage from his childhood viewers see how Prince Harry grew up at the centre of press intrusion, and how his mother was forced to confront photographers on a royal skiing holiday in the 1990s. During the documentary the Duke opens up about how he has been affected by the intense media focus and recalls how he felt he had to perform in front of the cameras.

Recalling how he coped with the death of his mother, Prince Harry says: 'When my mum died we had two hats to wear. One was two grieving sons. The other royal hat was: Show no emotion, get out there and meet the people and shake their hands.'

princess diana
Getty

One section in the documentary focuses on Prince Harry's teenage years, and invites him to discuss how he struggled with press photographers during his youth.

4) Prince Harry says he's his 'mother's son'

'She may have been one of the most powerful women in the world, but she was completely exposed,' Prince Harry says of his mother after her split from his father, the now-King Charles III.

Addressing Princess Diana's 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, he states that his mother 'told her truth'. He continues, noting that his mother made the most of her decisions 'from her heart' and notes: 'I am my mother’s son.'

In the second episode of the documentary series, the couple talk about being products of divorce and how their parents' splits have affected their parenting of Archie, three, and daughter Lilibet, one.

'There's so much from anyone's childhood that you bring with you into the present. Especially when you're the product of divorce,' says Meghan.

Prince Harry adds: 'What's most important to the two of us is to make sure that we don't repeat the same mistakes that perhaps our parents made. I think most kids who are the product of divorced parents have a lot in common, no matter what your background is. Being pulled from once place to another or maybe your parents are competitive, or you're in one place longer than you want to be or in another place less than you want to be. There's all sorts of pieces to that.'

He notes: 'I think most kids who are the product of divorced parents have a lot in common, no matter what your background is. Being pulled from one place to another, or maybe your parents are competitive, or you're in one place longer than you want to be in, you're in another place less than you want to be... There's all sorts of pieces to that.'

5) Meghan Markle and Prince Harry met via Instagram

The first episode explores the early days of Prince Harry and Markle's relationship, with the couple revealing that they met in July 2016.

Markle says that another season of Suits had been confirmed at the time and she'd planned on remaining single 'for a couple of months' and having a 'fun girl-time'.

'In the summer of 2016 she had a few different trips planned and she was just going to be free,' Meghan's close friend Lindsay Jill Roth says to camera, with another friend, Lucy Fraser, saying: 'She had planned her single-girl summer and she had a lot of plans of going around Europe.'

Markle then reappears on screen and says: 'I had a career. I had my life. I had my path... and then came H. I mean, he literally, talk about a plot twist.'

Viewers then learn that Harry first saw a photo of Meghan with the dog ears filter appear on a friend's Instagram. He says: 'I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, it was like a Snapchat. That was the first thing. I was like "who is that?"' Since the couple began dating in 2016 it's long been believed that the pair met through their mutual friend, designer Misha Nonoo, yet the couple choose not to name their Cupid.

A photo of an email then appears from the pair's mutual friend with a message that reads: 'Between you and I thought you might want to know this being newly single and all. I put our Snapchat on Instagram and Prince Haz follows me (he's a friend) he called me last night dying to meet you. hehehe. I might just have to set you up' [sic].'

Harry then says they got each others' numbers and agreed to meet on evening in Soho, London. 'We were just constantly in touch,' he says, later noting some of the thoughts he had at the time, which included: 'How can I ever find someone who was willing and capable of being able to withstand all of the baggage that comes with being with me.'

meghan markle, misha nonoo, wedding
Meghan Markle and friend Misha NonooNicholas Hunt - Getty Images

The couple reveal that Prince Harry was late to their first date, with the former actor describing her now-husband as 'refreshing fun' and recalling that they were 'just childlike' together. Their first date was clearly successful, as they met the following day (at which point Markle returned the 'favour' and turned up late).

Prince Harry admits he was panicking, ‘freaking out and sweating’ for fear that he would make a bad impression. Markle said she thought he was 'one of those guys who have so much of an ego' that he thought any woman would wait an hour for a date. But when he arrived 'hot, sweaty, red ball of a mess', it ignited her affection for him.

Viewers also learn that in the early days of their relationship the couple had a 'two week rule' to see each another at least once a fortnight, with Markle telling her mother, Doria Ragland, that she needed to be secretive. 'Mum, you can’t tell anyone,' she remembers saying to her mother about her romance with the royal.

Ragland, who also features in the documentary, recalls the couple looking happy together in the early days of their relationship, thinking that Prince Harry 'was the one' for Markle, and describing their romance as a 'novelty'.

6) Doria Ragland describes Meghan Markle as an 'old soul'

In the documentary, Ragland, who was seen holding back tears on her daughter's wedding day in 2018 at St George' s Chapel, Windsor, says her daughter is 'an old soul'. 'I couldn’t help her with her homework,' she notes of her A-grade child.

Meeting with her former school principal during a visit to her old school in the documentary, Markle is shown a card she'd given to a teacher, which refers to her foreseeing becoming 'rich and famous'. Markle also reveals she was a self-confessed 'nerd' and 'little activist'.

royal wedding mother of the bride outfits
Getty Images

In a more unsettling clip, Markle recounts a moment when a stranger was racially abusive towards her mother following a traffic accident. She says: 'I’d never in my life heard someone say the N-word. Obviously now everyone is aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK. Before then, I wasn’t really treated like a black woman.'

In the second episode of the documentary viewers see Prince Harry walking along with his son, Archie, who is talking with an American accent.

'My son, my daughter, my children are mixed race, and I'm really proud of that,' he says. 'When my kids grow up, and they look back at this moment, and they turn to me and say "What did you do in this moment?" I want to be able to give them an answer.

'I think it is such a responsibility as human beings that, if you bring a small person into this world, that you should be doing everything you can to make the world a better place for them. But, equally, what's most important for the two of us is to make sure that we don't repeat the same mistakes that perhaps our parents made.'

7) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle began filming themselves in 2020

It's clear from the beginning of the documentary that the couple had started filming the series in 2020 amid their decision to leave their roles as 'senior members' of the royal family.

Episode one of the docu-series starts with a words written in white on a black background which reads: 'This is a first-hand account of Harry & Meghan's story, told with never before seen personal archive. All interviews were completed by August 2022. Members of the royal family declined to comment on the content within this series.'

Viewers then see Prince Harry, who appears to be filming himself at Heathrow Airport in the Windsor Lounge in March 2020 after completing a series of royal engagement. His wife then appears on screen in a clip which sees her sitting on her bed in Vancouver. 'I don't even know where to begin,' she says.

'It's really hard to look back on it now and go 'what on earth happened'? Like, how did we end up here?' Prince Harry continues to camera, before images of the couple appear on screen with newspaper headlines and news audio about their decision to step away from the royal family.

Later in the episode Markle explains why they decided to make the documentary, admitting that she feels that she has been misrepresented. She notes that there have been books written about their relationship by people they don’t know.

Speaking about the press coverage of her following their engagement in November 2017, Markle says: 'At that point, I was still very much believing what I was being told, which was "it will pass it will get better, it's just what they do right at the very beginning".

'This promise of "once you're married, don't worry, it'll get better, once they get used to you it'll get better, of course it'll get better". But truth be told, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I was, no matter what I did, they were still going to find a way to destroy me.'

'I accept there will be people around the world who thoroughly disagree with what I’ve done and how I’ve done it,' says Prince Harry.

8) Prince Harry describes his relationship with Meghan Markle as a 'great love story'

In footage filmed by the Duchess of the family out on a walk with with Archie and Lili in her pram, Harry says of his relationship with Markle: 'This is a great love story. And the craziest thing is that I think this love story is only just getting started.

'She sacrificed everything that she ever knew, the freedom that she had, to join me in my world, and then pretty soon after that I end up sacrificing everything that I know to join her in her world.'

9) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle explain how their relationship has survived being tested

In episode two of the series the couple spoke about how their relationship has endured such intense press attention since they began dating.

'When all of that started happening, my friends and people in my life who love me and care about me were like "Is he worth this? Like, we know you're happy and we know that you love him. Is this worth this? Look what is happening to your life",' explains Markle. 'We just did everything we could to be there for each other. We had to stay connected. We wouldn't have survived it if we weren't.'

Harry adds: 'I don't know how we did it, but we did it. Most of the time we were on the other side of the Atlantic. She was in Canada working, I would try and get over to see her, and she would come over here and see me a hell of a lot more.

'Dating became this combination of car chases, anti-surveillance driving and disguises, which isn't a particularly healthy way to start a relationship, but we always came at it with as much humour as possible. Whenever we saw each other we would just give each other a massive hug and try and have as much of a normal life as possible.'

10) Meghan Markle says batting off press stories was like 'playing whack-a-mole'

In episode three of the docu-series, Markle opens up about how she felt in the lead up to their May 2018 wedding.

'We were playing whack-a-mole,' she says of facing 'salacious' press stories. 'Every day it was like "Wait, another one popped up - wait, stop, another story". Constant. They were going through the woodwork and pulling out people to create and plant the most salacious stories that they could. Then it started to get scary.'

11) Prince Harry alleges royal family members asked why Meghan Markle should be 'protected'

The Duke of Sussex says members of the royal family asked why the duchess should be 'protected,' in the context of the mounting number of news headlines about her.

In episode two of the documentary, he says: 'The direction from the Palace was don't say anything.

'But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well.

'So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like "my wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?"

'I said "the difference here is the race element".'

12) Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reminisce about their first wedding dance

Just as the world has finished devouring the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan, Netflix has whet our appetites all over again by releasing a teaser trailer for the second volume of the documentary.

In the teaser clip, Markle and Prince Harry discuss their first dance as husband and wife, at their wedding in May 2018. We learn that the moment was set to 60s track 'Land of a Thousand Dances' and that the couple wanted it to be fun and upbeat, to fit with the party atmosphere.

'I just really wanted the music to be fun. Even our first dance,' Markle says in the clip released this week, before innocently slipping up on the name of the track. 'I always get it wrong,' she admits.

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The clip cuts to a slideshow of the royal couple ecstatically swinging each other around, in front of a live band; the camera zooms in on them looking intently into each other's eyes mid-dance. Prince Harry pulls a goofy face while Markle smiles adoringly.

Reflecting on the special moment, Markle can be seen singing and dancing beside Prince Harry on the interview couch. As Markle continues to sing over the track, Prince Harry quips: 'There you go.'

The duchess later recalls: 'That was our first dance. it was so fun. Just spinning like a whirlwind. It was so great.'

13) Meghan Markle allegedly became a 'scapegoat for the Palace'

Ahead of Volume II of the couple's documentary airing, it's been alleged that Markle 'became this scapegoat for the Palace'.

In a teaser trailer shared by Netflix on December 14, Markle's lawyer, Jenny Afia, says: 'There was a real kind of war against Meghan, and I’ve certainly seen evidence that there was negative briefing from the Palace against Harry and Meghan to suit other peoples’ agendas.'

Markle's friend Lucy Fraser adds: 'Meg became this scapegoat for the Palace. And so they would feed stories on her, whether they were true or not, to avoid other less favourable stories being printed.'

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The video then cuts to Markle saying: 'You would just see it play out. A story about someone in the family would pop up for a minute, and they’d go, “we got to make that go away".'

The duchess adds that she was pinpointed in the press because 'something has to be filled in there about someone royal'.

The clip concludes with Afia highlighting that the press' coverage of the breakdown of Markle's relationship with her father was the 'final straw' in a pool of 'negative, nasty coverage about her'.

14) Prince Harry says he 'hates' himself for the way he handled Meghan's mental battle

In Volume II of Harry & Meghan, the prince and Markle opens up about her mental battle and suicidal thoughts, which she first publicly spoke about in her March 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview.

'It was like all of this will stop if I’m not here. And that was the scariest thing about it. It was such clear thinking,' Markle says of how she felt during time in her life.

Markle's mother is shown getting emotional in one segment as she recalls the first time her daughter told her about feeling suicidal.

'I remember [Meghan] telling me that she wanted to take her own life, and that really broke my heart, because I knew that it was bad, but to be constantly picked at by this vultures, just picking away at her spirit,' she says. 'That she would actually think of not wanting to be here, that’s not an easy one for a mum to hear.'

With tears in her eyes, Ragland adds: 'I can’t protect her. H can’t protect her.'

Prince Harry says: 'I was devastated. I knew that she was struggling. We were both struggling, but I never thought that it would get to that stage. And the fact that it got to that stage, I felt angry and ashamed.

'I didn’t deal with it particularly well. I dealt with as the institutional Harry as opposed to husband Harry. And what took over my feelings was my royal role. I had been trained to worry more about what are people are going to think if we don't go to this event. We’re going to be late. And looking back at it now I hate myself for it. What she needed from me was so much more than I was able to give.'

Discussing the royal family's reaction, Markle adds: 'I wanted to go somewhere to get help, but I wasn’t allowed to. They were concerned about how that would look for the institution.'

The duke continues: 'They knew how bad it was. They thought, 'Why couldn't she just deal with it. As if to say, ‘Hey, well, you know everyone else has dealt with it, why can't she deal with it. But this was different, it was very different.

'But actually if you strip all that away and say, "ok fine, it was exactly the same So do we still believe that she should have just sucked it up like other members of the family, or does one think that maybe it’s about time that we stop". But no one would have a private conversation with the editors to say enough.'

Volume 2 of 'Harry & Meghan' is available to stream as of December 15, 2022.

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