How Princess Diana’s legacy protected Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey dominated headlines recently, when the Sussexes revealed what life at Buckingham Palace was like behind its gilded walls. 

From an unnamed family member’s reported “concerns” about “how dark” their son Archie Mountbatten Windsor’s skin would be to Meghan revealing she had at one point had suicidal thoughts, the pair have since found their freedom in California – thanks in no small part to the late Princess Diana.

Speaking to Oprah, Prince Harry said, “I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process. I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad. But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

Here’s a few ways her legacy is woven into Prince Harry and Meghan’s lives after The Firm. 

The inheritance she left behind made their departure financially possible

Prince Harry revealed that the Royal Family “literally cut me off financially” at the start of 2020, which coincides with when the pair stepped down as senior royals. Previously, they mostly were funded through Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall income and partially through the sovereign grant (which is funded by taxpayers, Royal properties and other assets). 

While it isn’t clear if the Sussexes were cut off from both income streams, Prince Harry made it clear they would not be where they are without Princess Diana. He told Oprah, “I’ve got what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

It is not known how much Princess Diana left to her sons when she passed away, however Forbes estimates Prince Harry’s inheritance was an “estimated $10 million inheritance.”

Princess Diana’s closest friend supported Meghan during her darkest period

Meghan revealed she battled suicidal thoughts while working as a senior royal, but was allegedly denied mental health support by a senior palace member who said “it wouldn’t be good for the institution.” 

As her health declined, she eventually resorted to Buckingham Palace’s human resources department for help who couldn’t help her. She finally sought help from an anonymous close friend of Princess Diana’s. 

She explained, “One of the people I reached out to was one of my husband’s mom’s best friends, one of Diana’s best friends. Because it’s, like, who else could understand what it’s actually like on the inside?”

Princess Diana paved the way for their record-breaking interview

It’s very rare for members of the Royal Family to talk about the inner workings of The Firm (barring Prince Andrew’s car crash Newsnight interview), however Princess Diana’s televised 1995 BBC Panorama interview changed everything.

Following Prince Charles’ public admission that he was cheating on her with his now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, she addressed everything from his infidelity to how she felt the palace didn’t want her to be queen. 

The interview set a precedent for Prince Harry and Meghan’s sit down with Oprah, which eerily echoed Princess Diana’s decades prior. Meghan bravely admitting she struggled with suicidal thoughts was reminiscent of Princess Diana sharing her experiences with self-harm, postpartum depression and bulimia – and they both revealed in their interviews they were denied help.  

For those seeking mental health support, help and additional resources can be found through Mind at their website here. The Samaritans also operate a multi-lingual 24/7 support hotline which can be contacted at +852 2896 0000. 

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