Since her much-discussed conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle (40), the Duchess of Sussex has given her first TV interview. In it, she first addressed recent criticisms of her so-called “political agenda” and provided an update on her mental health.
“I don’t think I get involved in politics at all,” Meghan told host Andrew Sorkin during the New York Times DealBook meeting. The Duchess has called several American politicians out of the blue to promote paid parental leave in recent weeks. “I had lived in many places, even before I had my current lifestyle. I lived in Canada for work, then I moved to the UK… And when I think about the fact that the US is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t offer any form of paid parental leave, I feel that something isn’t beating.”
“So I’m doing what I’ve been doing since I was 11 years old,” she says. “If I see or hear something on TV that I don’t agree with, I start writing a letter. Then I try to help. That’s exactly what I’m doing right now.”
The politicians she called included Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. The latter is especially surprised about the fact that Meghan managed to get her number. “I have no idea how she did that,” it sounds in response.
Collins had a good laugh about it, though she didn’t take Meghan’s request seriously. “I was happy to talk to her,” she says. “But I found it ironic that she introduced herself as ‘the Duchess of Sussex’. I am an American politician and would like to speak to her, but I am more interested in what the people of Maine think.”
“It’s true that I introduced myself as the Duchess of Sussex,” Meghan confirms. “The calls weren’t scheduled, so everyone was very surprised that I called. But I don’t think this is a political issue, every party wants help for parents. This is a humanitarian issue. My husband always says, ‘Great privileges come with great responsibility’. I like to believe that, so I just try to take my responsibility.”
However, Meghan’s attempts to adjust the political agenda of the Americans are very sensitive to the family of her husband, the British Prince Harry. The royal family must always remain neutral on all levels, that is the protocol.
Andrew Sorkin also jumped at his chance to gauge Meghan’s mental well-being. “You mentioned your mental health in a previous interview, and I think a lot of people ask themselves this question: are you better now?” During her interview with Oprah, Markle stated that she struggled with dark thoughts during her time with the British royal family: “I didn’t want to be left alone,” it sounded at the time. “I was afraid of what I would do then.”
Now she says she no longer suffers from that. “Yeah, I’m much better, thanks for asking.”
Finally, Meghan says that she hasn’t changed her hair compared to before. “My situation has changed, but I still see myself as the exact same person. I still do the same things, I still have that same urge to take action. I even still use coupons when I shop online. That’s how my mother taught me, and it makes me feel good.”