Meghan Markle Says She “Naïvely” Ignored Warnings That Tabloids Would “Destroy” Her Life

Her British friends initially discouraged her from marrying Prince Harry.

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For more than a year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have faced the wrath of the British tabloids mostly in silence. If the past month is any indication, though, they’re done with that strategy. The pair kicked off October by announcing that they were suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing portions of a private letter that Markle sent to her father—which is exactly the type of privacy invasion that has made royal life a “struggle” for Markle, as she puts it in a preview of a new documentary about the pair’s recent 10-day tour of Africa.

There’s much more where that came from in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, as viewers in the U.K. learned when it aired there on Sunday night. The U.S.-based royal hive will have to wait until Wednesday to see the full doc, which will air on ABC, but suffice it to say, it isn’t your typical Buckingham Palace–approved dispatch. In between discussing the various stops on their trip, both Markle and Prince Harry also took the opportunity to speak candidly with ITV News anchor Tom Bradby about just how “hard” it’s been to deal with the press.

“When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life,’ ” said Markle, who went on to say that she didn’t quite understand the seriousness of the issue at the time. “We’re American, we don’t have that there…I didn’t get it.”

As for Prince Harry, he explicitly drew the connection between Markle’s situation and that of his late mother, Princess Diana. “Everything that [Diana] went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw, every single day, and that’s not me being paranoid, that’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past,” he said.

From the sound of it, though, Prince Harry isn’t encouraging Markle to shy from the public eye. According to Markle, he was part of why she made the “last minute” decision to touch on her identity as a woman of color in a speech that she gave in Cape Town last month. “Before I was part of this family, that’s how I identified, with people and connection, as a mother now, as a wife now, but just as a woman of color, which has been brought to the forefront in a more prominent way,” Markle said in the documentary. “I would hope that people—the world—will get to a point where you just see us as a couple who is in love, right? Because I don’t wake up every day and identify as being anything other than who I’ve always been. I’m Meghan and I married this incredible man, and this, to me, is just part of our love story.”

Related: Prince Philip Reportedly Told Prince Harry Not to Marry Meghan Markle