“I don’t want anyone to feel alone,” Meghan Markle said during an interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on Nov. 6. During the interview with Meghan, 41, and Prince Harry – who received the Ripple of Hope Award for their advocacy work on social issues – the Duchess of Sussex explained why she spoke about having suicidal thoughts in their 2021 sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey. “We all need to, when we can, if we feel brave enough, to just speak honestly about your own experience,” said Markle, per Page Six.
“It gives other people space and the courage to do the same, but more than that, to really feel like you’re not alone, because I think that is often what can be the largest hindrance when you feel that way, you don’t see a way out,” she added. Meghan also admitted that she struggled with these feelings, especially when sharing them with Harry, 38. “I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
“But ultimately, if you feel like there’s someone else that has a lived experience. They’ve gotten to the other side and gave [an] example of resilience, an example of ‘there is a happy ending,’ I think that’s what most people are probably seeking out in those moments,” she added. “And that’s why I made the decision to just say, ‘if my experience can help someone else not feel the same way or know that there’s hope, then it’s worth every second of whatever comes with it.’”
Harry and Meghan attended the event on Tuesday, with the former Suits actress wearing an off-the-shoulder white dress with long-sleeve details, which she paired with Princess Diana’s unique aquamarine ring. The raven-haired beauty kept her hair in a chic bun as she and Harry were recognized for their advocacy work via their own Archewell Foundation, which focuses on social issues like mental health and racial justice.
“This award is such a huge honor for them and just so, so meaningful because there’s nothing, aside from their kids, that they’re more passionate about [than their humanitarian work],” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.
“They’re both incredibly driven to make a positive change in this world, it’s what really connected them the very first time they met and a big reason they fell so in love with each other. So, to have that acknowledged, and to be in such prestigious company with this award, means the world to them.”
The award is presented by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial and was first created in 1984. RFK’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy, 63, opened up to El Confidencial’s Vanitatis magazine about why the royals were being presented the award on Tuesday. “When my father went to South Africa in 1966, he spoke in front of a white audience and said that the problem in this generation is talking about racial justice. He also spoke of moral courage, saying that few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family, and their community about the power structure they maintained,” she told the outlet, per a translation, via PEOPLE. “And this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”
Kerry also discussed how Meghan and her husband went up against the royal family in condemning “structural racism” in the monarchy. “They went to the oldest institution in U.K. history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution, that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health,” she added. “They knew that if they did this, there would be consequences, that they would be ostracized, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, and that people would blame them for it. They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority. I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”
In October, the royal couple was officially announced as the recipients of the humanitarian award for their work in “racial justice, mental health, and other social impact action.” Harry and Meghan founded their non-profit organization, Archewell Foundation, in October 2020. Although the organization was registered in the state of Delaware, it is run out of Beverly Hills, CA.
When the power couple began to roll out their charity in 2020, the organization’s website featured a message from the Duchess of Sussex herself. “I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother. Together we bring you Archewell. We believe in the best of humanity. Because we have seen the best of humanity. We have experienced compassion and kindness from our mothers and strangers alike,” the message read, per US Weekly. “In the face of fear, struggle, and pain, it can be easy to lose sight of this. Together, we can choose courage, healing, and connection. Together, we can choose to put compassion in action. We invite you to join us. As we work to build a better world, one act of compassion at a time.”
The Duchess and Harry got married on May 19, 2018, and together they have two kids: Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. These days, Meghan spends much of her time working on her podcast Archetypes, where she often has deep conversations with other celebrities and people impacting change in the world. On Nov. 22, she even had poet Amanda Gorman, 24, read a special poem on the episode titled “Beyond the Archetype: Human Being.”
And for the final episode of Archetypes, Meghan gushed about how her hubby helped inspire her. During the episode, the mom-of-two said that, thus far, the podcast has featured “exclusively women’s voices” on purpose, but Harry felt adding some men to the mix would help her goal. “If we really want to shift how we think about gender and the limiting labels that we separate people into, then we have to broaden the conversation… and we have to actively include men in that conversation and certainly in that effort,” she said.