The Duchess of Sussex has spoken about the “almost unsurvivable” online abuse she experienced in a podcast to mark World Mental Health Day.
Appearing alongside her husband Prince Harry on the popular Teenage Therapy podcast, Meghan said she was told that “in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world – male or female”.
“[For] eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby – but what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, it’s so big you can’t even think what that feels like,” she said.
Introducing themselves as Harry and Meghan, the pair talked about their experiences of loss and grief, with Harry stating that “every single one of us” should be talking about our mental health.
Meghan said her mental health suffered due to the trolling she was targeted with.
“I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging,” she said.
This was especially an issue for many during the coronavirus lockdown, she said, when “if you’re not in school then you are finding yourself on your devices or online more”.
“Yes, it’s a great way to connect but it also ends up being a place where there is a lot of disconnected,” she added.
“We all know what it feels like to have our feelings hurt, we all know what it feels like to be isolated, and I think that’s why the work you guys are doing here is so important,” she said.
Harry said it is “very easy to be sucked in and consumed by negativity”, but everyone has “the choice to be able to cut that out of our lives”.
He said: “Hate following has become a thing, you don’t need to do that. Just as much as we worry about, be concerned, and take notice of what we put in our bellies as a diet, the same applies for our eyes and our mind, what we’re consuming is affecting us.
“For me, I made the choice not to read it, not to see it, and to remove myself from that, and to very much focus on the uplifting and the hopeful side.”
The podcast follows the couple speaking to the London Evening Standard to mark the start of Black History Month, with both sharing their hopes for equality