Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are ‘Buckling’ Under ‘Extreme Pressure’

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have faced an immense amount of criticism for their every move. While the couple has maintained the appearance of having a thick skin, the scrutiny has definitely taken a toll.

prince harry meghan markle media pressure
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Karwai Tang/WireImage

The heartbreaking reality of their public life

While the royal life might appear to be a charmed existence, Prince Harry and Markle have to endure a lot of media and public attention — and so much of it is negative.

ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby followed the couple on their recent royal tour for the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, witnessing how “burnt out” Prince Harry looked and speaking with Markle about how they’ve handled the criticism.

Bradby wrote in The Sunday Times: “All those who watch tonight will, of course, form their own judgment, but it does not take a genius to work out the basic psychology at play. Harry still believes that the press, or at least the game she was forced to engage in with it, killed his mother.”

Bradby continued: “He now fears, in the most deep and atavistic way, that history may repeat itself with his wife. As he says: ‘I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect.’”

Prince Harry is managing the stress and anxiety

Bradby shared his thoughts on how Prince Harry was feeling when he interviewed him, noting: “I tiptoed gently into the subject of his [Prince Harry’s] mental health, which he has discussed in public in the past, and it was clear from his answer that he is still having to manage the stress and anxiety.”

“We weren’t even halfway through the trip and as we traveled on through Angola, Zambia and Malawi, I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly tired, even burnt out, he looked,” Bradby added.

They are “existing, not living”

Sadly, the negativity directed at Prince Harry and Markle has impacted their day-to-day, with Bradby calling them “vulnerable and bruised” from the pressures of royal life and scrutiny.

Bradby shared that, when he asked Markle how she was dealing with the pressures, she said, “We are taking it one day at a time,” admitting that they are “existing, not living.”

The interviewer further noted what he witnessed in working with the Sussexes on the documentary, sharing: “as the journey wore on, another human story gradually emerged, of a couple who clearly feel under the most extreme pressure and seem, at times, to be buckling beneath it.”

During his interview with Markle, in asking about how the public scrutiny has impacted her, she replied: “Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a newborn — you know… and especially as a woman, it’s a lot.”

She continued: “So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed it’s, well… Also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Bradby then followed up by asking, “And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle?,” she held back tears as she answered, “Yes.” 

Prince Harry and Markle will be taking a six-week break from their royal duties for “some much-needed family time.”