THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex have plunged the monarchy into a crisis, accusing an unnamed royal of racism, suggesting the family were jealous of Meghan and revealing how she contemplated taking her own life while pregnant.

Meghan and Harry hit out at the institution and members of the royal family in a series of astonishing admissions during their candid Oprah Winfrey interview.

Appearing vulnerable at times, the duchess revealed that working for The Firm – as the royal family is sometimes known – ultimately left her feeling that ending her life was an option, and how she had not been protected by the monarchy.

Life behind palace doors has not been exposed to this degree since the days of the “War of the Waleses”, when the turmoil of Charles and Diana’s disintegrating marriage was laid bare in the 1990s.

Here are some of the revelations in the interview, which will be broadcast on ITV in the UK this evening (March 8):

On their meeting

Winfrey asked Harry if Meghan had “saved” him.

“Yes, without question,” he said. “There was a bigger purpose, there was other forces at play, I think, throughout this whole process. I am the last person to think… but it’s undeniable, when these things have happened, where the overlap is.

“So, yeah, without question she saved me.”

Meghan said she disagreed and Harry “saved all of us”, and made a decision that “certainly saved my life and saved all of us”.

She added: “You need to want to be saved.”

Meghan on her mental health

Asked explicitly by Winfrey if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear.

“Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”

Harry was asked about the time Meghan came to him and told him she did not want to live anymore.

He said: “I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t prepared for that. I went to a very dark place as well, but I wanted to be there for her.”

Asked if he told people in his family that he needed to get help for Meghan, Harry said: “That’s just not a conversation that would be had.”

He added: “I guess I was ashamed of admitting it to them. And I don’t know whether they’ve had the same feelings or thoughts. I have no idea. It’s a very trapping environment that a lot of them are stuck in.”

Winfrey said: “You were ashamed of admitting that Meghan needed help?”

Harry replied: “Yeah… I didn’t have anyone to turn to. We’ve got some very close friends that have been with us through this whole process. But for the family, they very much have this mentality of ‘This is just how it is, this is how it’s meant to be, you can’t change it, we’ve all been through it’.”

Harry said he and Meghan wanted to “take a breath” from the “constant barrage”, and again said he saw “history repeating itself”, following the death of his mother.

Harry said: “What I was seeing was history repeating itself, but definitely far more dangerous – because then you add race in, and you add social media in.”

He added: “When you can see something happening in the same kind of way, anybody would ask for help, ask the system of which you are part of, especially when you know there is a relationship there that they could help and share some truth or call the dogs off.

“So to receive no help at all … to be told continuously this is how it is, we’ve all been through it…”

He added: “Me having a girlfriend was always going to be a big thing.

“It takes living in her (Meghan’s) shoes for a day to see where it was gonna go and how far they (the UK press) would take it.”

Yeovil Express:

On Archie

A member of the royal family – who both Harry and Meghan refused to identify – was worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

Meghan told Winfrey there had been “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born”.

Later, Winfrey pressed Harry to disclose the content of a conversation Meghan referred to about Archie’s skin tone.

Harry said: “That conversion, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

He said he was “not comfortable” sharing the question he was asked by the unnamed person, but said it happened “right at the beginning” of their relationship.

He said members of his family suggested Meghan “carried on acting because there was not enough money to pay for her”.

He added: “There were some real obvious signs, before we even got married, that this was going to be really hard.”

On racism

Harry said what was different from him was “the race element…because now it wasn’t just about her, it was about what she represents, and therefore it wasn’t just affecting my wife it was affecting so many other people as well”.

He added: “That was the trigger for me to really engage in those conversations with senior palace staff, and with my family to say ‘Guys, this is not going to end well’.”

Asked what he meant by “end well”, Harry said: “For anyone, it’s not going to end well. Because the way that I saw it was, there is a way of doing things, but for us, for this union, and the specifics around her race, there was an opportunity, many opportunities, for my family to show some public support.

“And I guess one of the most telling parts, and the saddest parts I guess, was over 70 members of Parliament, female members of Parliament, both Conservative and Labour, came out and called out the colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Megan.

“Yet no-one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts.

“But I also am acutely aware of where my family stand, and how scared they are of the tabloids turning on them.”

Jealousy

Harry suggested his family were jealous of Meghan’s popularity with the public – just as the appeal of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, had reportedly been seen as a threat.

Asked whether Meghan instigated their departure to build a brand, Meghan said: “Can you imagine how little sense that makes?

“I left my career, my life, everything because I love him.”

On Prince Charles and the Queen

Harry also revealed how he has become estranged from his father the Prince of Wales, saying: “I feel really let down”, but added he would make it one of his priorities “to try and heal that relationship”.

He said: “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie’s his grandson.

“But at the same time – I will always love him – but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.

“But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.”

Harry said Charles “stopped taking my calls” during the build-up to the announcement that he and Meghan were leaving the royal family.

Taking aim at the media, Harry said: “I asked for calm from the British tabloids, once as a boyfriend, once as a husband and once as a father.”

Asked by Winfrey why they left, he blamed a “lack of support and lack of understanding”.

Winfrey asked “did you blindside the Queen?” with the announcement they were leaving the family. Harry replied: “No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.”

Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could “hazard a guess” that it may have come “from within the institution”.

Asked by Winfrey how they knew the Queen was not blindsided, Harry said while in Canada he had “three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls”.

He said Charles asked for him to put his plan “in writing”. Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie.

On Harry's relationship with older brother, William

Asked about his relationship with William, Harry said: “The relationship is space at the moment. And time heals all things, hopefully.”

He also said: “I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together, we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”

On the Royal family

Harry said he felt “trapped” while in the royal family, and his father and brother are also “trapped”.

Asked if he would have stepped back had he not met Meghan, Harry said: “No, the answer to your question is no.”

He said he would not be able to leave because “I myself was trapped. I didn’t see a way out. I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped”.

Winfrey pushed Harry to explain how he had been “trapped” after being born into the privilege of the royal family. He said he was “trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are”.

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” he said.

He said he has “huge compassion for that”. Asked by Winfrey what his mother, Diana, would say if she was alive, Harry said: “I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad.”

On the press

Describing how she had been misrepresented in the press, Meghan said the Duchess of Cambridge had made her cry ahead of her wedding – the opposite of reports circulating ahead of the Sussexes’ nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.

Meghan also said: “I mean I think there’s a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the palace.

“They’re hosted by the palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that’s at play there, and because from the beginning of our relationship they were so attacking and inciting so much racism really.”

She said it was not “just catty gossip”, adding: “It was bringing out a part of people that was racist and how it was charged.

“And that changed the threat, that changed the level of death threats, that changed everything.”

After Harry said his family are scared of the tabloids turning on them, Winfrey said: “Turning on them for what? They’re the royal family.”

Harry referred to “invisible contracts behind closed doors”, between the institution and the UK tabloids.

He added: “To simplify it, it’s a case of if you as a family member are willing to wine, dine and give full access to these reporters, then you will get better press.”

Winfrey said: “Why do you care about better press if you’re royal?”

Harry said: “I think everyone needs to have some compassion for them in that situation.

“There is a level of control by fear that has existed for generations.”

On their second child

In a lighter moment the couple, who announced in February they were expecting their second child, said they are due to have a baby girl in the summer.

Yeovil Express:

On regrets

And asked by Winfrey if they have any regrets, Harry replied: “No. No, I think we’ve done… I am really proud of us. I am so proud of my wife. She safely delivered Archie during a period of time that was so cruel, so mean.”

He said Meghan would be crying while breastfeeding Archie due to the stress of their time in London. Harry added: “We did what we had to do.”

Meghan said her one regret was “believing them when they said I would be protected”.

She added: “And now because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving, this... miracles. I think all of those things I was hoping for have happened. And this is in some ways just the beginning for us.”

Winfrey asked if Meghan’s story with a prince “does have a happy ending”, to which she replied: “Greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read.”