Meghan Markle opens up on 'almost unsurvivable' online abuse

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Meghan Markle has opened up about the "almost unsurvivable" online abuse she received in 2019 while appearing in a podcast for World Mental Health Day.

Meghan was joined by husband Prince Harry on the Teenage Therapy podcast, revealing she was told that "in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world - male or female".

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle has opened up about the "almost unsurvivable" online abuse she received in 2019. Photo: Getty

"[For] eight months of that, I wasn't even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby - but what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it's almost unsurvivable, it's so big you can't even think what that feels like," she said.

The pair introduced themselves as Harry and Meghan and spoke about their experiences with loss and grief.

Harry told listeners "every single one of us" should be talking about mental health with Meghan adding that hers suffered massively after being trolled so intensely.

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"I don't care if you're 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren't true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging," she said.

Meghan added that mental health would be a huge issue for many during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said, "If you're not in school then you are finding yourself on your devices or online more."

"Yes, it's a great way to connect but it also ends up being a place where there is a lot of disconnected."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Sydney during the Invictus Games 2018
Harry told listeners "every single one of us" should be talking about mental health. Photo: Getty

"We all know what it feels like to have our feelings hurt, we all know what it feels like to be isolated, and I think that's why the work you guys are doing here is so important," she said.

Harry also said that while it's "very easy to be sucked in and consumed by negativity" everyone has "the choice to be able to cut that out of our lives".

He said, "Hate following has become a thing, you don't need to do that. Just as much as we worry about, be concerned, and take notice of what we put in our bellies as a diet, the same applies for our eyes and our mind, what we're consuming is affecting us.

"For me, I made the choice not to read it, not to see it, and to remove myself from that, and to very much focus on the uplifting and the hopeful side."

It comes after the couple was slammed for speaking about the US election last month, urging US citizens to register to vote in a video for Time Magazine.

Prince Harry and Meghan walk hand in hand at event
It comes after the couple was slammed for speaking about the US election last month, urging US citizens to register to vote in a video for Time Magazine. Photo: Getty

Though the pair didn’t name a candidate they backed, online users argued their status as former royals in the UK means they should not weigh into the election in any capacity, and that some of the statements seemed to swing towards the Democrats.

As a member of the royal family, Harry has never voted in the UK as royals are required to remain politically neutral. He is not a citizen of the US and, therefore, won’t be casting a vote this election either.

The pair addressed topics including hate speech and online bullying which Harry called viewers to ‘act’ on.

During the address, the Duke urged Americans to “reject hate speech” as the election approaches.

“As we approach this November, it’s vital we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” Harry said.

Meghan kept her message more neutral, simply calling the viewers to register and cast their votes. She will become the first member of the British royal family to publically vote in another election.

“Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is,” the Duchess said.

“When we vote our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do and you deserve to be heard.”

The message did not go over smoothly with the public, however, many arguing it was far too political for former state representatives, some even arguing it was tantamount to interference from a foreign power.

Meghan was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 election before marrying into the royal family, and last month publically expressed her excitement at seeing Kamala Harris, a fellow woman of colour, on the Democratic ticket.

Republican member of Congress for Missouri, Jason Smith, even wrote to Britain's ambassador to the US to ask that the couple "no longer attempt to interfere" in the US election.

Mr Smith said he believed it to be a serious breach of the Royal Family's policy of political neutrality.

He asked the British government to make sure they "no longer attempt to interfere", "or be stripped of all titles, styles, and privileges".

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