Meghan Markle Says After Engagement Announcement, She Knew Media 'Would Destroy Me, No Matter How Good I Was'

In the new Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex delve into their fraught relationship with tabloids and paparazzi

After her relationship with Prince Harry went public in November of 2016, Meghan Markle quickly realized she was facing an uphill battle against the media.

"Truth be told — no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I was, no matter what I did, they were still going to find a way to destroy me," she said in episode two of the couple's new Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, the first three episodes of which dropped Thursday.

While happier moments like the couple's first Halloween together and the beginnings of their relationship are outlined fondly in the series, much of episode two focused on Meghan's battle with tabloids and paparazzi.

"Right when news broke, I think we both felt tremendous relief," Meghan, 41, recalled. "There's a frenzy happening, and it almost felt like all the things we were nervous about, of it getting out ... okay, don't worry it's fine. And then that changed very quickly."

Soon, Meghan had photographers following her every move in Toronto, where she filmed her USA series Suits.

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announce their engagement. Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty

"I remember coming out of the flower shop and there must have been nine or 10 paps standing in the middle of the street, and they were all sort of blocking cars, saying, 'Hey, how are you doing Meghan?' and I was like, 'Oh, thanks. Stay warm guys,' " she shared. "And I remember H the next day saying, 'You can't talk to them.' And I was like, 'I'm just trying to be pleasant, I don't know what to do, I've never dealt with this before.' He's like, 'Right, but the U.K. media are saying you love it. You're smiling. You love it.' "

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"I was hearing all of this from thousands of miles away and trying to do something about it but being completely helpless," added Harry of hearing his then-girlfriend's house was often "surrounded [by] men sitting in their cars," a situation police said they couldn't help given the public nature of the couple's relationship.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a Reception hosted by the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr. Anthony Howard QC
Meghan Markle. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan said that even her neighbors were getting calls, and outlets "paid certain neighbors to put a livestream camera in my backyard. Suddenly it was like ... all the curtains were pulled, all the blinds were pulled, it was scary."

Despite Harry releasing an unprecedented statement on Nov. 8, 2016, calling out the "wave of abuse and harassment" Meghan was facing in the press, the attention and headlines continued, many with racial undertones.

Harry and Meghan Invictus Games
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty

However, "the direction of the palace was 'don't say anything,' " Harry, 38, said. "What people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well. So it was almost like a rite of passage and some of the members of the family were like, 'My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?' And I said the difference here is the race element."

Meghan said that it took receiving a death threat to get security in place outside of her home. For Prince Harry, living through the experience brought back shades of his mother Princess Diana's media struggles.

"To see another woman in my life, that I love, go through this feeding frenzy, that's hard," he said. "It is basically the hunter versus the prey."

In the first episode of the series, Harry said that media attention is "the nature of being born into the [royal family]." However, "the level of hate that has been stirred up in the last three years, especially at my wife, and my son, I'm genuinely concerned for the safety of my family."

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