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Meghan Markle opens up about her suicidal thoughts while accepting ‘anti-racism’ award at NYC gala

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Meghan Markle detailed her hardships dealing with suicidal thoughts while she was a member of the Royal Family during an interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night.

Meghan, with Prince Harry at her side, said she first shared her struggle publicly last year because ‘I don’t want anyone to feel alone’.

She said mental health can be a problem when ‘you don’t see a way out’ and noted that many people around the world felt the way she did when they were trapped in isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Harry said that the rest of the world should share their own stories, because ‘we live in this world now where sharing experiences and sharing stories has an enormous impact.’ 

He noted that it was especially important to do so ‘if you are in a position of influence, leadership, or otherwise’. Harry added that he and Meghan want to be ‘advocates of healing’. 

The couple attended the gala – an event for which tickets were being sold for up to $1million each – to accept an ‘anti-racism’ award from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, a prize that counts Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton among its former recipients. Onstage they were interviewed by Kerry Kennedy, president of the foundation and daughter of its namesake.

The couple was very animated as they spoke before the crowd, breaking up in laughter together at times and exchanging loving looks at others. Meghan could be seen taking hold of Harry’s hand as he put his arm around her shoulder, just before the pair took the stage to accept their award.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry can be seen during an onstage interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry laugh during an onstage interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry laugh during an onstage interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Seated alongside Meghan onstage, Harry could be heard discussing the importance of storytelling in this day and age

Seated alongside Meghan onstage, Harry could be heard discussing the importance of storytelling in this day and age

Meghan appeared to take a leaf out of the Princess of Wales’ style book, as she donned a daring off-the-shoulder white Louis Vuitton gown, complete with thigh-high slit – days after Kate wore a near-identical design to the Earthshot gala in Boston.

The 41-year-old Duchess was beaming from ear-to-ear as she made her way into the gala pulling her husband, 38, along by the hand. 

She paired the look with a boxy black clutch and long gold earrings, while her brunette locks were slicked back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine through. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry make their way through the crowd at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry make their way through the crowd at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle beamed from ear to ear as they arrived at a glittering New York City gala on Tuesday night - when they will accept an award for the 'heroic' stance against 'structural racism' in the Monarchy

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle beamed from ear to ear as they arrived at a glittering New York City gala on Tuesday night – when they will accept an award for the ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Monarchy

The couple - who profess themselves to be eco-warriors - arrived at the event in a convoy of three SUVs, accompanied by five security guards who helped them out of their vehicle

The couple – who profess themselves to be eco-warriors – arrived at the event in a convoy of three SUVs, accompanied by five security guards who helped them out of their vehicle

41-year-old Meghan's dress bore an uncanny resemblance to the off-the-shoulder gown modeled by the Princess of Wales at the Earthshot Gala in Boston last week - an event that was overshadowed by the Sussexes' Netflix trailer release

41-year-old Meghan's dress bore an uncanny resemblance to the off-the-shoulder gown modeled by the Princess of Wales at the Earthshot Gala in Boston last week - an event that was overshadowed by the Sussexes' Netflix trailer release

41-year-old Meghan’s dress bore an uncanny resemblance to the off-the-shoulder gown modeled by the Princess of Wales at the Earthshot Gala in Boston last week – an event that was overshadowed by the Sussexes’ Netflix trailer release 

Asked during the gala interview about her decision to discuss her suicidal thoughts during her infamous 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview, Meghan said ‘it wasn’t an easy decision to make, as you can imagine.’

She characterized her decision to share as something of an obligation because of her platform. 

‘When you’ve been through anything that’s challenging, and everyone, especially in the past few years with lockdown and COVID, that spike in numbers of people having an experience they might not be voicing,’ she said.

‘We all need to, when we can, if we feel brave enough, to just speak honestly about your own experience. It gives other people space and the courage to do the same, but more than that to really feel like you’re not alone, because I think that is often what can be the largest hindrance when you feel that way, you don’t see a way out.’

Meghan said while she felt ‘ashamed’ to admit her feelings – especially to her husband, who she noted has suffered serious loss – she feared not doing so would be the end of her. ‘I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.’

‘But ultimately, if you feel like there’s someone else that has a lived experience. they’ve gotten to the other side, and gave an example of resilience, an example of “there is a happy ending”, I think that’s what most people are probably seeking out in those moments.’

‘And that’s why I made the decision to just say, “if my experience can help someone else not feel the same way or to know that there’s hope then it’s worth every second of whatever comes with it”.’

The couple were all smiles when Meghan said she and Harry were on a ‘very special date night’ at the gala. Harry replied ‘my wife inspires me every single day.’

Harry urged others to share stories of their own struggles – especially those with a platform to be heard. 

‘Ninety-nine percent of people on planet earth are dealing with some form of trauma, loss or pain even more so since 2020,’ he said. ‘But you’ve got to lead from the front – society as we know is not made up to encourage vulnerability. We collectively can heal together if we share our stories.’

Once inside the gala, the couple was treated to a dinner - during which they continued to put on a very affectionate display

Once inside the gala, the couple was treated to a dinner – during which they continued to put on a very affectionate display

Prince Harry was seen wrapping a protective arm around Meghan Markle as they sat for dinner at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Prince Harry was seen wrapping a protective arm around Meghan Markle as they sat for dinner at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen in the crowd at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen in the crowd at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Tuesday night

Meghan’s dress bore an uncanny resemblance to the bold green gown worn by the Princess of Wales on Friday, when she and Prince William hosted the eco-friendly Earthshot Gala in Boston, an event that was dramatically overshadowed by the release of Harry and Meghan’s first bombshell Netflix trailer. 

Much like Kate’s gown – which was rented in keeping with the environmental ethos of the Earthshot Prize – Meghan’s dress had an off-the-shoulder neckline, long sleeves, and a slit, although the Princess of Wales’ was at the back of her gown, while the Duchess of Sussex’s ran up the front of her design. 

Unlike Kate’s dress, a Solace London design that was rented from online fashion platform HURR at a price of $91 a night, Meghan’s gown had a much steeper price tag. 

In fact, the Duchess’s white gown was a one-of-a-kind piece designed for her by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, according to Vogue. 

Interestingly, while Meghan’s dress design was reminiscent of Kate’s Earthshot gown, the Sussex’s arrival at the Ripple of Hope Gala this evening couldn’t have been further from the climate-focused initiative founded by the Prince of Wales. 

The couple – who profess themselves to be eco-warriors – pulled up at the event in a convoy of three SUVs, accompanied by five security guards who helped them out of their vehicle, having jetted into New York City on a private jet yesterday. 

Harry, 38, held an umbrella over himself and Meghan, who guided her husband into the event by the hand

Harry, 38, held an umbrella over himself and Meghan, who guided her husband into the event by the hand 

The Duchess paired her white dress with a boxy black clutch and matching heels, and she had her dark brunette locks pulled back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine

The Duchess paired her white dress with a boxy black clutch and matching heels, and she had her dark brunette locks pulled back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine

The Duchess paired her white dress with a boxy black clutch and matching heels, and she had her dark brunette locks pulled back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine 

The Duchess of Sussex wore a pair of long gold earrings - and she flashed a glimpse at her large engagement ring as she and Harry walked into the event

The Duchess of Sussex wore a pair of long gold earrings – and she flashed a glimpse at her large engagement ring as she and Harry walked into the event 

Ever the gentleman, Harry held an umbrella up for Meghan to shield her from the rain as she exited their SUV

Ever the gentleman, Harry held an umbrella up for Meghan to shield her from the rain as she exited their SUV

Ever the gentleman, Harry held an umbrella up for Meghan to shield her from the rain as she exited their SUV 

The couple made their way into the gala through a side door of the hotel - under the watchful eye of several NYPD cops - and made a speedy dash down the red carpet, refusing to stop to speak to press

The couple made their way into the gala through a side door of the hotel – under the watchful eye of several NYPD cops – and made a speedy dash down the red carpet, refusing to stop to speak to press 

She flashed her pearly whites as the couple made their way past a small crowd of people who had gathered outside of the Hilton Midtown Hotel in Manhattan

She flashed her pearly whites as the couple made their way past a small crowd of people who had gathered outside of the Hilton Midtown Hotel in Manhattan

She flashed her pearly whites as the couple made their way past a small crowd of people who had gathered outside of the Hilton Midtown Hotel in Manhattan 

Despite the cold and rainy conditions in New York, Meghan appeared to go without any tights – and she opted not to wear a coat, instead showing off her bare shoulders as she strutted into the Hilton Midtown Hotel. 

Once inside, the couple made a very quick dash down the red carpet, failing to pause or speak to photographers, instead just flashing smiles at the cameras before heading into the gala dinner, which is being emceed by Alec Baldwin. 

Harry and Meghan held hands – with the latter wearing a large blue ring that appeared to be an emerald-cut aquamarine that once belonged to Princess Diana. 

Meghan wore the emerald-cut accessory on her wedding day in May 2018, adding the stunning jewel to the look that she sported at the couple’s evening reception at Frogmore House. She was also pictured sporting the beautiful ring during the Sussexes’ tour in Tonga in October 2018. 

Kate also wore a piece of Princess Diana’s jewelry at the Earthshot Prize gala – an emerald-and-diamond choker that matched the green hue of her gown. 

Ahead of Harry and Meghan's arrival, Robert F. Kennedy's daughter Kerry told media on the red carpet that she was 'incredibly proud' of the couple for speaking out about 'racial justice and mental health'

Ahead of Harry and Meghan’s arrival, Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter Kerry told media on the red carpet that she was ‘incredibly proud’ of the couple for speaking out about ‘racial justice and mental health’  

Meghan flashed an enormous blue ring as she clasped Harry's hand on the red carpet

Meghan flashed an enormous blue ring as she clasped Harry's hand on the red carpet

Meghan flashed an enormous blue ring – thought to be an emerald-cut aquamarine that once belonged to Princess Diana – as she clasped Harry’s hand on the red carpet 

The couple maintained their wide smiles for the cameras, but failed to stop and speak to the press who had gathered on the carpet in anticipation of their arrival

The couple maintained their wide smiles for the cameras, but failed to stop and speak to the press who had gathered on the carpet in anticipation of their arrival  

Despite the cold temperatures in New York City, the former Suits actress went without a coat, allowing her shoulder-baring dress to take center stage

Despite the cold temperatures in New York City, the former Suits actress went without a coat, allowing her shoulder-baring dress to take center stage 

News that the pair were set to be awarded the honor by the RFK Foundation, which is run by Kerry, ex-wife of disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo , initially sparked bewilderment, even from within the Kennedy clan

News that the pair were set to be awarded the honor by the RFK Foundation, which is run by Kerry, ex-wife of disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo , initially sparked bewilderment, even from within the Kennedy clan

The enormous aquamarine was commissioned from British jeweler Asprey by the late Princess Diana in the early 1990s – and is understood to have been passed down to Prince Harry after his mother’s passing in August 1997. 

Meghan was sporting what appeared to be a large emerald-cut ring that once belonged to Princess Diana. The Duchess wore the accessory to her wedding reception in May 2018 and was also seen sporting it on the Sussexes' tour to Tonga in October of that same year

Meghan was sporting what appeared to be a large emerald-cut ring that once belonged to Princess Diana. The Duchess wore the accessory to her wedding reception in May 2018 and was also seen sporting it on the Sussexes’ tour to Tonga in October of that same year

However, while Meghan and Harry happily beamed for a few photos, they refused to answer any questions from press – ignoring all inquiries about their upcoming Netflix documentary or whether they had a message to send to the Royal Family. 

Once inside the gala, the pair were seated at a dinner – where they continued to put on a very affectionate display, with images capturing Harry with his arm around his wife in a tender display. 

Throughout the dinner, humanitarian awards were being given out to the chosen recipients – including Meghan and Harry who were being honored for their stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Royal Family.  

RFK’s daughter Kerry Kennedy revealed last month that she had chosen to honor Harry and Meghan for taking a ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Monarchy – comments that likely only served to drive an even bigger wedge between the Sussexes and the Monarchy. 

News that the pair were set to be awarded the honor by the RFK Foundation, which is run by Kerry, initially sparked bewilderment, even from in the Kennedy clan. 

Her brother, RFK Jr., admitted to DailyMail.com he was left ‘baffled’ by the decision, saying that ‘it’s a bewildering choice but still an encouraging step up from 2020,’ referring to Anthony Fauci, who won the award two years ago.

At one point, Harry put a protective arm around his wife as they made their way down the carpet

At one point, Harry put a protective arm around his wife as they made their way down the carpet

At one point, Harry put a protective arm around his wife as they made their way down the carpet 

The couple refused to answer questions from the media about their upcoming Netflix documentary - and also gave no response when they were asked if they wanted to send a message to the Royal Family

The couple refused to answer questions from the media about their upcoming Netflix documentary – and also gave no response when they were asked if they wanted to send a message to the Royal Family 

The couple kept a firm grip on one another as they posed for the photographers

The couple kept a firm grip on one another as they posed for the photographers

The couple kept a firm grip on one another as they posed for the photographers 

Harry and Meghan were joined on the carpet by RFK's daughter Kerry, who previously said that she had chosen to honor the Sussexes for their 'heroic' stance against 'structural racism' in the Monarchy

Harry and Meghan were joined on the carpet by RFK’s daughter Kerry, who previously said that she had chosen to honor the Sussexes for their ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Monarchy  

However, any confusion over the decision to present the couple with the humanitarian award quickly turned to shock when Kerry, 63, told Spanish news site El Confidencial that she had chosen to honor Harry and Meghan for their ‘heroic’ stance against the ‘structural racism’ of the Monarchy.    

‘They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health,’ she said. 

Kerry went on to speak about her late father’s visit to apartheid South Africa in 1966, saying that Harry and Meghan have the ‘moral courage’ that many people didn’t to discuss racial justice.

‘Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done,’ she continued.

She doubled down on those comments at the gala this evening, telling the waiting press that she was ‘proud’ of Harry and Meghan for ‘standing up’ and ‘talking about racial justice and mental illness’. 

Both Meghan and Harry flashed wide smiles as they arrived at the Ripple of Hope Gala, where they will be presented with an award for their 'heroic' stance against 'structural racism' in the Royal Family, organizer Kerry Kennedy said

Both Meghan and Harry flashed wide smiles as they arrived at the Ripple of Hope Gala, where they will be presented with an award for their ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Royal Family, organizer Kerry Kennedy said

‘They’ve stood up, they’ve talked about racial justice and mental illness in a way that was incredibly brave,’ she said, adding that she was particularly impressed by Meghan’s decision to speak out about her own mental health battles during the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah last year – when the Duchess revealed that she had struggled with suicidal thoughts. 

‘For Meghan to get out there on national television and normalize a discussion about mental health is incredibly important and brave,’ Kerry added. ‘The issues around racial justice are also incredibly important. I’m incredibly proud of them.’ 

No doubt her remarks will do little to heal the ever-widening rift between the Sussexes and the Royal Family – particularly as they came just days before the couple released the first of two bombshell trailers for their upcoming Netflix docuseries, both of which hinted that the pair will launch a fresh barrage of attacks on the Monarchy.

Meghan and Harry’s appearance at the gala comes hours after they were spotted arriving in New York on a private jet – their first public outing since their explosive Netflix documentary trailer was released to the world.  

While Meghan and Harry made an appearance in New York, the Royal Family - including the Prince and Princess of Wales - threatened to 'out-glitz' them at a Buckingham Palace reception, which took place just hours earlier

While Meghan and Harry made an appearance in New York, the Royal Family – including the Prince and Princess of Wales – threatened to ‘out-glitz’ them at a Buckingham Palace reception, which took place just hours earlier  

The Princess of Wales wore a red lace dress by Jenny Packham with the Lotus Flower tiara she has worn on occasions before 

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arriving at the palace for the reception this evening

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arriving at the palace for the reception this evening

Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell says Harry and Meghan should be stripped of royal titles, branding Netflix doc ‘self-obsessed narcissism’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle should be stripped of their royal titles following the release of their explosive documentary trailer, Princess Diana’s former long-time butler has said.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on Talk TV last night, Paul Burrell said the pair – who are set to release their explosive Netflix docuseries this week – should ‘absolutely’ face consequences from King Charles III.

The former aide, 64, also claimed that while Princess Diana would have applauded Harry for protecting his family, she wouldn’t have enjoyed the ‘commercialism’ around her youngest son and his bride.

‘The don’t want to be members of the royal family, so why should they trade on royal titles?’ he remarked, at one point branding the pair’s actions as ‘self-obsessed narcissism’.

Paul also insisted that Harry’s mother was very proud of ‘her boys being members of the royal family’, and supported the monarchy.

‘She always thought it was Harry’s job to be William’s wingman,’ he added. ‘To be there for him on his path to monarchy.’

Remarking on the fact that he had always been an ardent supporter of Harry, the former butler admitted the docuseries felt like it ‘crossed a line’ for him.

The Duchess beamed as she and Harry stepped into a waiting SUV before making their way into the Big Apple, with the 41-year-old sporting an all-black outfit and large sunglasses, while her 38-year-old husband wore a buttoned-down white shirt and black trousers. 

But while the Monarchy has no doubt been rocked by the release of the couple’s second Netflix trailer, senior royals proved on Tuesday evening that the show will go on – even in the face of incoming attacks from the Sussexes – when they put on an incredibly glitzy display at their own glamorous event. 

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales at Buckingham Palace, where they attended the annual white tie diplomatic corps reception – with all four putting on an incredibly glamorous display. 

Camilla, 75, looked stunning in an Anna Valentine gown with the Queen’s much-loved sapphire and diamond tiara with its matching necklace.

Meanwhile the Princess of Wales wore a red lace dress by Jenny Packham with the Lotus Flower tiara she has on occasions sported before.

She had her GCVO and Royal Family orders pinned to her dress and sported a pair of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond earrings.

Tonight’s event comes after the Prince and Princess of Wales looked loved up as ever in heart-warming behind-the-scenes Instagram snaps taken at this year’s Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Boston.

The royal couple, both 40, appeared to channel Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – who recently shared a slew of intimate photos in the explosive trailer ahead of their documentary later this week – in theatrical black and white shots.

Mother-of-three Kate was effortlessly elegant in an off-the-shoulder dress, with her chestnut tresses cascading down her back; she was snapped walking along in the figure-hugging ensemble, which featured a slit along the back.

Making their appearance at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the royals maintained their stoicism – embodying the age-old mantra ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, despite ongoing scandal and controversy surrounding the release of Harry and Meghan’s upcoming docuseries in less than two days’ time. 

In a second trailer for their documentary, Harry alleged the couple had suffered from leaks and planted stories that backed up the Royal Family ‘hierarchy’.

Harry and Meghan arrived in New York on a private jet on Monday, and were pictured leaving the airport and getting into a waiting SUV

Harry and Meghan arrived in New York on a private jet on Monday, and were pictured leaving the airport and getting into a waiting SUV  

It was the first time the couple had been seen in public since the release of their incendiary Netflix documentary trailers

It was the first time the couple had been seen in public since the release of their incendiary Netflix documentary trailers  

Meanwhile, allies of the couple told the Netflix cameras that there was ‘a war against Meghan to suit other people’s agendas’, with one claiming ‘it’s about hatred, it’s about race’.

In clips for the show, the duke also took aim at royal aides, smirking as he commented: ‘It’s a dirty game.’

But royal sources insisted it was ‘absolutely wrong’ to suggest the couple had been briefed against, and insisted ‘unprecedented steps’ had been taken to support them.

One insider told The Daily Telegraph that royal staff were instead ‘bending over backwards to work with them’.

They added it was ‘non-stop on their behalf’ when it came to defending them against negative stories – which began when rumors emerged of the couple’s behavior towards staff.

Another said the narrative comparing Meghan to Kate was ‘fabricated’ with no difference between how they were treated by the press. 

Royal experts have warned the series could be particularly uncomfortable for the Princess of Wales by focusing on the ‘early days’ of her relationship with William. 

During the second teaser for the series, a friend is heard claiming that the couple's experience has been 'about hatred, about race' as a strikingly intimate and previously unseen clip flashes up of an exasperated Harry, 38, holding a hand to his face as Meghan passes behind him while heavily pregnant with their daughter, Lili

During the second teaser for the series, a friend is heard claiming that the couple’s experience has been ‘about hatred, about race’ as a strikingly intimate and previously unseen clip flashes up of an exasperated Harry, 38, holding a hand to his face as Meghan passes behind him while heavily pregnant with their daughter, Lili  

Prince Harry describes life in the Royal Family as a 'dirty game' in the second Netflix trailer

Prince Harry describes life in the Royal Family as a ‘dirty game’ in the second Netflix trailer

Jack Royston, chief royal correspondent at Newsweek, said the trailer’s content suggested the documentary would not just concern itself with recent events but also delve into the more distant past – including the rocky early days of William and Kate’s romance.

He told Good Morning Britain: ‘We’ve had Kate in both the trailers. In the most recent one there’s a strapline underneath which is a headline from a magazine cover.

‘That particular magazine included an allegation that the Queen was embarrassed of her and photographs of her drunk in public were on the front cover.

‘So if they’re going to go into the early days of Kate and William’s relationship that could be very uncomfortable.’

The royal watcher also predicted Netflix would revisit a story from 2018 which claimed Meghan made Kate cry when she unfavorably compared Princess Charlotte to her best friend’s daughter during a bridesmaid fitting.

He added: ‘In the Oprah interview that was described as a major turning point where everything changed, then in this latest Netflix trailer you have Harry saying, ”this was the turning point” – they don’t say what he’s talking about but you kind of already know.’ 

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