Meghan Markle Was Warned British Tabloids Would Ruin Her Life If She Married Prince Harry

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage.

The heartbreaking reality of Meghan Markle's life in the royal spotlight has been brought into sharper focus by a series of interviews conducted for the ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, which aired in the U.K. on Sunday and will be shown in the US on Wednesday, October 22, on ABC. As well as providing a glimpse into Markle's mental state following the past few years of relentless tabloid gossip, the documentary revealed that the mother had previously been warned about the ferocity of the British press, but never realized how bad it could be.

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"I had no idea," she told journalist Tom Bradby in a clip. "Which probably sounds difficult to understand here, but 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.'"

Earlier this month, however, Markle and husband Prince Harry decided to hit back. The two have filed lawsuits against The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Mirror. In an open letter, Prince Harry accused the Mail of publishing a private letter from Markle sent to her father, and a representative for Buckingham Palace told CNN that the issue with the Sun and Mirror is over “the illegal interception of voicemail messages.”

“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” Prince Harry wrote in his initial letter. “Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.”

Harry & Meghan: An African Journey will air on ABC Wednesday, October 23 at 10 p.m. ET.

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