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Meghan Markle Gives ‘Incredible’ Prince Harry a Shout-Out During Powerful Speech About Bullying

Meghan Markle Gives Incredible Prince Harry a Shout Out During Powerful Speech About Bullying
Meghan Markle SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry is his wife Meghan Markle’s biggest supporter, and she doesn’t take him for granted.

Meghan, 42, gave her spouse, 39, a shout-out during the South By Southwest’s opening day panel, “Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen,” while discussing how traumatizing social media can be for new mothers.

“The effect that social media can have on new mothers, even just the lack of sleep because they spend all this time scrolling, but it can also be really dizzying for them to see this portrayal of motherhood that looks so perfect when we all know it’s not perfect,” Meghan told the crowd on Friday, March 8. “We all know that it’s messy.”

Meghan — who shares Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, with Harry — explained that having someone to lean on can help a new mom be less “vulnerable” to bullying online.

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry

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“I’m fortunate in that, among the privileges I have in my life, I have an incredible partner,” she told the crowd, pointing to Harry, who was sitting in the front row. “My husband is such a hands-on dad and such a supporter of me and my family. That I don’t take for granted.”

The Bench author continued, “That is a real blessing. But a lot of people don’t have that same level of support. So I think for us, it’s about putting safeguards in so women and moms especially cannot feel like they’re even more vulnerable when they go online.”

Meghan was one of the keynote speakers during Friday’s panel, which was presented by her and Harry’s Archewell Foundation and The 19th, which is a national nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.

Meghan Markle Gives Incredible Prince Harry a Shout Out During Powerful Speech About Bullying
Meghan Markle SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images

During the discussion, Meghan touched upon the vitriol that she dealt with on social media when she was pregnant with both of her children.

“It’s not catty, it’s cruel,” Meghan said of spewing hurtful things about women online. “And why you would do that, certainly, when you’re pregnant, with a newborn, we all know as moms, it’s such a tender and sacred time.”

Meghan explained that those facing bullying can “either succumb to it” or rise up and “protect” themselves and their children by not letting it get to them.

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She expressed sadness over how “disturbing” it is that “much of the hate is women completely spewing it to other women, noting that she “cannot make sense of that” as a woman herself.

“It’s a platform that has quite a bit of hate and rhetoric and incentives people to create pages where they can churn out very, very inciting comments and conspiracy theories that can have a tremendously negative effect on someone’s mental health, on their physical safety,” Meghan said, pointing out that when someone spreads the hate speech it’s as if “we have forgotten about our humanity.”

Meghan has been vocal about feeling bullied while living in the U.K. during her first pregnancy. At the time, she pointed to the English tabloids and alleged racism as one of the reasons she and Harry stepped down as senior royals in 2020 and moved to California.

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“I just didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just, like, I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out,” Meghan said of the British press during the couple’s March 2021 CBS tell-all. “I realized that it was all happening just because I was breathing.”

The constant attacks on her character and about her, led to dark thoughts for Meghan. “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’s suffered. But I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it,” she said of her suicidal thoughts. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.”

Since relocating to the U.S., Harry and Meghan have become even bigger mental health advocates. Under their Archewell Foundation banner, the pair are also working toward implementing safety guidelines for social media to better protect children and save lives.

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