Meghan Markle has revealed she is “still haunted” by a photograph of herself at a red carpet event while pregnant with her son Archie.

The Duchess of Sussex appeared tearful during her and Prince Harry’s extensive interview with Oprah Winfrey when she described the hidden pain she was carrying during the public appearance in January 2019.

Photographs taken at the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem show at the Royal Albert Hall show a beaming Meghan wearing a full-length navy sequin Roland Mouret gown, holding hands with her suited husband.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

But Meghan said the images – described as “so great” by a friend who shared them with her – had a deeply upsetting context because she had just told her husband she did not want to live anymore.

She told Oprah: “One of the things that still haunts me is this photograph that someone had sent me, we had to go to an official event at the Royal Albert Hall.

“A friend said: ‘I know you don’t look at pictures, but oh my god, you guys look so great’ and sent it to me.

“I zoomed in and what I saw was the truth of what that moment was, because right before we had to leave for that (event), I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning.”

Oprah asked: “That you don’t want to be alive anymore?”

Meghan said: “Yeah. It was like: These are the thoughts I am having in the middle of the night that are very clear, and I’m scared because this is very real. This is methodical, and it is not who I am.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan said Harry suggested she did not attend the event, but she told her husband she “can’t be left alone”.

She said: “And we went. And that picture, if you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around me.

“You can see the whites of our knuckles because we are smiling and doing our job, but we are both just trying to hold on.

“Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping.

“He [Harry] was gripping my hand and it was ‘Okay an intermission’s coming, the lights are about to come on, everyone’s looking at us again’ … and you had to just be ‘on’ again.

“You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. You’ve no idea.

“Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems.”

CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry airs on ITV at 9pm tonight and on ITV Hub.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email [email protected]

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.

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