Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, aired last night - and millions tuned in to hear from the couple themselves about the upsetting media ordeal they've been subjected to over the past year.
The programme followed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their royal tour of Southern Africa, covering the important causes they sought to highlight as well as dipping into the darker side of being such high profile members of the royal family. Viewers were certainly affected by the documentary, with the hashtag #WeLoveYouMeghan trending on social media in response to the Duchess opening up about how difficult it has been, being so harshly targeted in the press.
Confirming the empathy viewers picked up on, body language expert Judi James analysed both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry throughout the programme and concluded that "sadness" and "vulnerability" displayed by the couple was clear to see.
"Harry’s role as brother, father, husband and grieving son prompted a range of strong emotional reactions that were difficult to watch," James told the Express. "His responses appeared to range from quiet sadness and grief to a desire to protect his family," she added.
Of Meghan, the expert said she was "incredibly eloquent making her own points about her causes", but this appeared to change when talking about her own emotions in response to the personal pressure she is under. At that point, noticed James, "we saw her smile become more difficult to sustain and her eyes widen to suggest vulnerability behind the royal smiles."
In the film, Meghan revealed her friends had warned her not to marry Prince Harry because of the pressure that she'd be subjected to by the British tabloids.
"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'," Meghan said.
"And I very naïvely... I'm American, we don't have that there... [said], 'What are you talking about? That doesn't make any sense...' I didn't get it," she admitted.
When probed on how all the scrutiny was affecting her, Meghan boldly told interviewer Tom Bradby: "Thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I'm okay."
Glassy eyed, the duchess continued: "It's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."
Bradby responded: "And the answer is, it would be fair to say, not really okay? As in, it's really been a struggle?"
"Yes," replied Meghan.
Prince Harry also spoke candidly about how the press invasion affects him.
"Look, part of this job and part of any job, like everybody, means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of the stuff. But again, for me and for my wife, of course, there’s a lot of stuff that hurts — especially when the majority of it is untrue," he said.
"But all we need to do is focus on being real, focus on being the people we are and standing up for what we believe in. I will not be bullied into carrying a game that killed my mum," the prince said, powerfully defiant.
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