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CNN Special Reports
CNN Special Report, Royal Revolution: Harry and Meghan. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 18, 2020 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: He was the party prince --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was photographed incessantly, in one nightclub after another.
CAMEROTA: -- who rebelled against Royalty.
ANGELA LEVIN, JOURNALIST: He decided he might leave the Royal family.
CAMEROTA: Haunted by his mother's death.
ROYA NIKKHAH, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT, BRITAIN'S SUNDAY TIMES: It destabilized him and caused chaos for years.
CAMEROTA: He struggled to find his way.
PAUL BURRELL, FORMER BUTLER OF PRINCESS DIANA: Being Royal, for Harry, was a burden and a curse.
CAMEROTA: She's a former American actress.
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I was like, "OK, well, I'm really going to have to up my game!
CAMEROTA: Unlike any Royal bride before.
KATE COYNE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Go back a few generations, and everything about Meghan Markle disqualifies her from marrying Harry.
CAMEROTA: A modern Royal couple who are changing history --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The couple planned to divide their time between the U.K. and North America.
CAMEROTA: -- redefining Royalty.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Queen Elizabeth supports Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back from Royal life.
CAMEROTA: Tonight, a CNN Special Report, ROYAL REVOLUTION: HARRY AND MEGHAN.
PRINCE HARRY: I'd never even heard about her until this friend said, Meghan Markle. I was like right, OK. Give me -- give me a bit of background.
CAMEROTA: It is July, 2016 in London, when Britain's most eligible bachelor, Prince Harry, is set up on a blind date.
MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: It was definitely a set-up. It was a blind date.
PRINCE HARRY: And I was beautifully surprised when I -- when I walked into that room and saw her. There she was sitting there, I was like, OK, well, I'm really going to have to up my game!
CAMEROTA: Harry ups his game. And they begin a whirlwind romance. Just weeks later, they're vacationing together in Botswana, Africa.
PRINCE HARRY: We camped out with each other under the stars, we spent -- she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.
CAMEROTA: In the months that follow, they date long distance, meeting up in London, and Toronto, where Meghan, an actress, is filming her T.V. show, Suits.
PATRICK J. ADAMS, ACTOR: Wow, you're pretty.
MEGHAN: Good. You've hit on me. We can get it out of the way that I'm not interested.
CAMEROTA: The whole time, keeping their relationship a secret.
PENNY JUNOR, WRITER: When they first met, nobody knew about it. They are such a charismatic couple.
CAMEROTA: Penny Junor, wrote a biography about Harry.
JUNOR: They kept this relationship quiet.
CAMEROTA: Which is itself impressive.
JUNOR: It is impressive. I mean, the great fear about Harry finding a wife, was always going to be the intrusion of the press. Because that is what had killed two previous long-term relationships.
CAMEROTA: Relationships with actress Cressida Bonas, and his first love, Chelsy Davy.
JUNOR: Chelsy had experienced the most horrible treatment, photographers have been waiting for her, they would call out names, slug, bitch, whore, trying to get a reaction from her. And I guess that she looked at all of this and thought, do I want this for my life?
NIKKHAH: And I interviewed Harry just before he met Meghan, the month before, and we talked about, you know, his private life at the time.
CAMEROTA: Harry tells Roya Nikkhah, the Royal correspondent for Britain's Sunday Times, about a quote, massive paranoia, he feels in finding a girlfriend.
NIKKHAH: I think Harry's great fear was that, unless he had enough time to get to know someone, if that relationship prematurely became public, they would be absolutely swamped with media interest and that would change the dynamic of his relationship.
CAMEROTA: And what happens to his mother is never far from his mind.
NIKKHAH: Harry and his brother still feel that, you know, the paparazzi and press intrusion were certainly partly responsible for his mother's death and thought why would anyone want to put up with this for me?
CAMEROTA: Harry wants to keep his relationship with Meghan, private, as long as he can. But just four months after that first date, the news is out. And the paparazzi pounce once again.
JUNOR: I mean, there was a photographer who got inside Meghan's house in Toronto. The paparazzi were camping on her mother's front lawn, and following, you know, and harassing all members of her family, anybody really, who knew her.
CAMEROTA: Despite starring in a T.V. show, Meghan is relatively unknown. Now, the British press wants to know who she is and if she's fit for the Royal family.
NIKKHAH: She was a woman who had been married, people were fascinated by the fact that she was divorced, people were fascinated by her background, her acting, a career woman, how would that work, being with someone in the Royal family, that's not what we've seen before.
CAMEROTA: They also have not seen someone, biracial, dating a member of the Royal family. And some of the conversation is blatantly racist.
AFUA HIRSCH, WRITER: There was one newspaper headline saying, straight out of Compton, suggesting that she was from a gang-ridden neighborhood.
CAMEROTA: Afua Hirsch, she's a journalist, and recently wrote a book about race, identity, and belonging in Britain.
HIRSH: And would Harry be dropping around for tea in gangland, which was very clearly racially loaded.
COYNE: A whole another issue exploded, which was the number of rather horrific social media racist comments began to flood in, from the darkest vilest corners of the internet.
CAMEROTA: The Royal family responds in unprecedented fashion, with Prince Harry's team, releasing a statement, confronting the quote, abuse and harassment Meghan is facing.
DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE: Very unusual for a statement to come out.
CAMEROTA: No one understands this better than Dickie Arbiter, he was press secretary at the palace for 12 years.
ARBITER: He made a point, this is not a game, it's not a game, it's people's lives. And he was very angry. And it was a sort of back-off reminder, to what they did to his mother.
CAMEROTA: Why is it that you think that Meghan's upbringing, her race, why did that garner so much attention?
JUNOR: In the past, members of the Royal family, princes, would have married princesses, and when Harry's father, Prince Charles, was looking for a wife, it was also a requirement that a wife should be a virgin and a member of the church of England.
COYNE: You just go back a few generations, in the Royal family, and everything that you can say about Meghan Markle, disqualifies her from marrying Harry.
CAMEROTA: Kate Coyne is the executive editor of PEOPLE magazine.
COYNE: This is precisely why you had Edward abdicating his throne, so that he could marry an American divorcee. Elizabeth's sister, Margaret, was in love with a divorced man and was not allowed to marry him.
JUNOR: It wasn't Charles and Diana's wedding and marriage a wakeup call, in some ways, for the monarchy, that you can try to have somebody perfect, but it has to be chemistry and you have to let the person have the freedom to marry who they want. You know what I think, it was a lesson that they've learned.
CAMEROTA: Harry is desperate for history not to repeat itself. And he's anxious to protect Meghan.
COYNE: Harry's statement was the most romantic thing a member of the Royal family has ever done. And I think engagement watch was on from that moment. It was let's wait for the ring.
CAMEROTA: The ring comes in November, 2017.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prince Harry has announced his wedding engagement to American actress, Meghan Markle.
CAMEROTA: And the Royal family welcomes Meghan with open arms.
NIKKHAH: The Queen made an exception and break from Royal protocol, and invited Meghan to spend Christmas with the Royal family and the Queen at Sandringham, that's the first time a Royal fiancee has ever done that before actually marrying into the Royal family.
CAMEROTA: A powerful sign the monarchy and the Queen are modernizing and changing.
NIKKHAH: The Royal family now is trying to, at least, be much more part of society. And the Queen, first and foremost, wants her grandson to be happy.
CAMEROTA: And that happiness is something Harry has been searching for most of his life. When we come back, the moment that changes everything.
NIKKHAH: He didn't really deal with what life without her meant. It destabilized him and caused chaos for years.
CAMEROTA: September 15th, 1984. Prince Henry Charles Albert David is born.
BURRELL: Harry came into the world very different to his brother, who was heralded as the next in line to the throne of England. But Harry was the spare.
CAMEROTA: Paul Burrell was Princess Diana's butler.
BURRELL: So, all through Harry's formative years, he always knew that he was second.
JUNOR: He was always referred to as the spare. Just always second best. And I think that had a profound effect on Harry.
CAMEROTA: His childhood was also impacted by his parents' marital troubles.
JUNOR: Harry grew up in a very, very tricky household. The prince and princess were never happy together, in a marriage that had failed before it even began.
BURRELL: I remember the times when Diana was shut away and quiet or crying, and the boys would write little messages, please don't cry, mummy, and they would put it under the door.
CAMEROTA: When Charles and Diana divorced, it hits Harry hard. Then, one year later, his mother is killed. Harry is just 12 years old.
NIKKHAH: This incredibly loving figure who had given him so much warmth and comfort in what was a very difficult childhood and extraordinary upbringing, was suddenly gone.
BURRELL: I remember Harry coming back to Kensington Palace, shortly after the funeral, and he ran down the corridor and flung himself into my arms and cried. And his tears wet my shirt through. He was devastated.
PRINCE HARRY: Got my phone and --
CAMEROTA: Harry later admits to ITV, he has deep regrets about his final phone call with his mother.
PRINCE HARRY: I can't really necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is, is probably, you know, regretting for the rest of my life that how short the phone call was. And if I had known that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother, the things that I would -- the things that I would have said to her. Looking back on it now, it's incredibly hard. I have to, sort of, deal with that for the rest of my life.
CAMEROTA: Guilt and grief, he never expresses at the time.
PRINCE HARRY: I think it was a classic case of, don't let yourself think about your mum and the grief and the hurt that comes with it, because it's never going to bring her back, and it's only going to make you -- make you more sad. People deal with grief in different ways. And my way of dealing with it was by just basically shutting it out, locking it out.
CAMEROTA: Prince Harry arrives here, at Eton, the prestigious boys' boarding school, the year after his mother's death. And though he moves into the same house as his older brother, William, Harry reportedly struggles academically, and is miserable.
BURRELL: Diana always said that she never wanted Harry to go to Eton. Because he would be compared to his brother's success. And she thought this would be the undoing of Harry's confidence.
JUNOR: Prince Harry said that he decided that he was going to be a bad boy.
CAMEROTA: Journalist Angela Levin interviewed Harry last year at Kensington Palace.
LEVIN: So, that the reason he didn't do well there, was partly his fault. It was deliberate.
CAMEROTA: In 2002, headlines emerge, of Harry's drinking and marijuana use. For the first time, Harry is facing the public pressure that comes with his famous family.
Did it seem to Brits that it was more than just typical teenaged antics?
JUNOR: You know, teenagers do drink too much. They do behave badly. You know, it's all part of the growing up process. But I personally was worried that there was something deeper. There was a touch of self-medication going on.
CAMEROTA: After graduating from Eton, Harry escapes to Africa during his gap year for humanitarian work. BURRELL: It was an escape from this heavy-duty world of Royalty, always being watched, always being photographed. He could be very ordinary.
CAMEROTA: He spends two months in Lesotho with children in need and others whose parents died from aids.
NIKKHAH: He could see that there were holes there in their lives. And I think absolutely, he saw in them something that he felt was missing in his life -- care, love and attention, the loss of his mother.
CAMEROTA: Harry not only falls in love with the children and the country, he begins a serious romance with a wealthy girl from Southern Africa, Chelsy Davy.
NIKKHAH: She is very free-spirited. Not someone who felt bound by Royal protocol, or tradition, and also shared his love of Africa, and you know, the two of them traveled extensively throughout Africa together.
CAMEROTA: Chelsy remains a constant in Harry's life for years to come.
NIKKHAH: She also came into his life at a time when he was missing that female figure, to support him, and I think Chelsy did that, and understood him, and she could understand that he had been through a very difficult time, and was still going through a very hard time.
CAMEROTA: A very hard time that Harry struggles to overcome. When we come back --
LEVIN: Prince Harry got so low, that he decided at one point, that he might leave the Royal family.
CAMEROTA: And then, Meghan Markle struggle with her biracial identity.
COYNE: She has heard the names her mother has been called, and she's well aware that that is happening for one reason only, and it's the color of her mom's skin.
CAMEROTA: Meghan Markle grows up a world away from the pomp and circumstance of Royal life.
COYNE: You hear that someone grew up in Los Angeles, and you think about swimming pools and palm trees, and Beverly Hills, and Meghan Markle's childhood in L.A. was not that.
CAMEROTA: Born in 1981, she is the only child of Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle.
COYNE: Meghan's father was a lighting director for a number of shows in the Los Angeles area, most notably, Married with Children. He eventually became the director of photography. And that was the sort of behind the scenes, less glamorous side of Hollywood.
CAMEROTA: Meghan recounts spending time on the set with her father on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
MEGHAN: I grew up on the set of Married with Children every day after school for 10 years. I was there.
CRAIG FERGUSON, T.V. HOST: Wow.
MEGHAN: I know. It's a very perverse place for a little girl who went to Catholic school, no less, to grow up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Action.
COYNE: Meghan certainly had every reason to be dazzled by T.V., film, the whole on-camera experience, from a very young age, because she grew up around it.
CHRISTINE KNUDSEN, FORMER TEACHER OF MEGHAN MARKLE: We all knew she wanted to be an actress.
CAMEROTA: Christine Knudsen is Meghan's former teacher.
KNUDSEN: She was in the musicals. She was in the plays. She would sparkle when she got on stage. And I think it was just kind of in her blood. She loved it.
CAMEROTA: Despite two loving parents, Meghan struggles with her biracial identity.
JOSH DUBOFF, SENIOR WRITER, VANITY FAIR: I think she was kind of grappling a little bit with the sense of her identity and trying to understand who she was.
CAMEROTA: Josh Duboff is a senior writer for Vanity Fair who has covered Meghan.
DUBOFF: Her father was white. Her mother was black. She says when she would fill out forms, there wasn't always a bubble that fit her, to fill in. She didn't want to circle the one that was implying that her mother, you know, was more important than her father, vice-versa.
CAMEROTA: Meghan's parents go out of their way to make sure she does not feel different, but special.
COYNE: Her dad gave her a sort of barbie doll family, in which there was a black mom, Barbie doll, and a white dad Ken doll, and then a baby Barbie doll in each color. But even that kind of points to how difficult it is to be Meghan at that age, because the children were still either black, or white. There was no biracial Barbie baby doll for Meghan.
[21:25:03] CAMEROTA: While the Markle household deals with race, head-on, years of built-up racial tensions in the country, explode, right in Meghan's backyard.
DUBOFF: She was driving, I think, with her mom, and I think there was like debris and she thought it was snowing, and then she realized it was actually the L.A. riot.
CAMEROTA: Riots that erupt when four white police officers are acquitted in the beating of a black man, Rodney King. A moment Meghan says impacted her at a young age.
COYNE: It definitely opened Meghan's eyes to the fact that this was a world that was not always going to treat her fairly and it was not always going to be kind to her or to her family.
KNUDSEN: I was teaching here at the time, and I think it destroyed kind of that feeling that L.A. is this wonderful place to live, and you have all of these different kinds of people, and we all get along, and then this just kind of smashed that.
CAMEROTA: It's a grim reality for an 11-year-old to face, and one that would always be present.
Meghan witnessed her mother experiencing racism.
COYNE: She has heard the names her mother has been called. And she's well aware that that is happening for one reason only and it's the color of her mom's skin.
CAMEROTA: Meghan's early experiences with discrimination are not isolated to race. While watching T.V. advertisements, for a class project, one commercial stands out to her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women are fighting greasy pots and pans.
DUBOFF: In the ad, they implied that the product was just for women, who were going to be at home doing the cleaning.
CAMEROTA: Eleven-year-old Meghan tells Nick News what she thinks.
MEGHAN: I don't think it's right for kids to grow up thinking that just mom does everything.
COYNE: She was irate. Because she thought, you know, my dad does dishes. It's not just women who do dishes. Why would it be women across America? And she wrote a letter.
MEGHAN: So, I was wondering if you would be able to change your commercial to people all over America.
COYNE: And wouldn't you know it, it worked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gloves are coming off. People are fighting greasy pots and pans with Ivory Clear. COYNE: It had to have been such wonderful reinforcement for her, at such a young age, that she could make a difference, that she could take a stand, and have her voice heard, and not be dismissed.
CAMEROTA: When we come back, Prince Harry and the burden of Royalty.
NIKKHAH: She really did love him, but being with Harry, and the huge circus that came with it, was overwhelming for her.
CAMEROTA: She didn't want to be a princess.
JUNOR: I don't think any sane person wants to be a princess.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Outrage around the world after Britain's Prince Harry shows up in a costume party --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: -- dressed the Nazi (INAUDIBLE) Nazi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That just seems like a moment of extremely bad judgment.
JUNOR: It was a moment of complete and utter thoughtlessness. You know he was young. He was very troubled and he was drinking far too much. And he was a bit of a loose cannon.
CAMEROTA: At just 20 years old Harry is earning a reputation as reckless and self-destructive.
ARBITER: He was photographed incessantly after he left school during a sort of gap year, only out of one nightclub after another.
CAMEROTA: And he has a run in with the paparazzi that leaves a photographer with a split lip.
JUNOR: For many years, it was a real worry about what would happen to Harry because he didn't seem to want to be a Royal. He really kicked against it. He wanted to be a normal human being.
CAMEROTA: When Harry arrives at Sandhurst Military Academy in May 2005, the pressure is on to turn over a new leaf.
BURRELL: He don't have that discipline. For so many years, people were concerned that Harry wouldn't find his way.
CAMEROTA: Sandhurst is nothing like the lavish Royal lifestyle that Harry has become accustomed to. And throughout the 44-week grueling training course, he's treated like every other soldier.
GENERAL LORD RICHARD DANNATT, FORMER CHIEF, GENERAL STAFF: It could be said it kind of knocks a bit out of you.
CAMEROTA: General Lord Richard Dannatt was chief of the British Army.
DANNATT: In the early days, the first five or six weeks when the training is really tough, it encourages people to rely on each other to help each other.
CAMEROTA: Harry is one of the guys, yet there are painful reminders he's still a Royal. When his unit deploys to Iraq in May 2007, Harry is forced to stay behind.
DANNATT: There have been a number of specific threats specifically aimed at Prince Harry. And it's for that reason that I've decided that the risk to Prince Harry is too great. I think when he was told he couldn't go, it was a really low point for him.
PRINCE HARRY: I didn't sort of join the army thinking that I wasn't really going to operations. It was very hard. And I did think, well, clearly, one of the main reasons that I'm not allowed to be -- to be going is because that's who I am.
CAMEROTA: But months later, a secret deployment to Afghanistan gives Harry a case of the frontlines.
PRINCE HARRY: As far as I'm concerned, I'm out here as a normal JSOC on the ground and not Prince Harry. It's very nice to be sort of a normal person. For once, I think this is about as normal as I'm ever going to get.
DANNATT: It was pretty much a turning point in his life. But I think he realized the seriousness of life, really rose to the responsibilities.
CAMEROTA: But after 10 weeks on the ground, his mission is leaked, and Harry is immediately evacuated.
DANNATT: It wouldn't have taken Taliban or others long to have searched around, and perhaps found where he was. So, there was a risk to him. But I think also, if there was an increased risk to him, there was an increased risk to the other soldiers who were around him and the innocents. So, the safe thing to do was to bring him back.
JUNOR: He was very angry, to use the words of his private secretary, he was boiling mad, and he sort of headed for the gutter.
CAMEROTA: And what did that look like?
JUNOR: He started drinking very heavily. He was fed up with who he was.
CAMEROTA: Who he was is also causing tension in his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.
NIKKHAH: And she really wasn't that fast at all by the trappings that came with Prince Harry.
CAMEROTA: In April 2011, Harry brings Chelsy here to Westminster Abbey for the wedding of his brother, Prince William and Kate Middleton. There are 1 million people lining these streets, and millions more watching on T.V. around the world. It's an intense spotlight that Chelsy struggles to cope with.
NIKKHAH: And actually she was very determined that that would not be her life and she wants to create her own, and ultimately, I think that was one of the things that ended their relationship. She didn't want to live inside the goldfish bowl.
CAMEROTA: Harry does not either. And he is determined to return to the battlefield.
DANNATT: When he came to see me, he sort of sat slumped in the chair and said, the trouble is, I can't be like a normal young man. But that time in Afghanistan had given him 10 weeks to be a normal young man, and he just really wants to replicate that again. And he accepted and his private secretary accepted, but probably the only way he go back was within the anonymity of being inside a helicopter, and he therefore need to learn to fly a helicopter.
CAMEROTA: After two years of training, Harry not only becomes an Apache pilot, he is the top gun on his weapons course.
JUNOR: He got it on his own. It wasn't because he was a prince, he actually had to fight really hard for it. He was one of the very top Apache attack helicopter pilots.
CAMEROTA: Harry returns to Afghanistan in September 2012.
BRIGADIER NEIL SEXTON, DEPUTY COMMANDER JOINT HELICOPTER COMMAND: He did exceptionally well.
CAMEROTA: Brigadier Neil Sexton was Harry's commander on the ground.
SEXTON: You go out there with the anticipation of having to use the Apache's weapons systems and to bring them to bear without any collateral damage, and also, to conduct yourself in a way that's safe in the most demanding of environments.
JUNOR: I actually believe that his success on that Apache -- on those Apache aircraft, was the making of Harry. I think Harry, who had spent all his life being second best to his brother, being the spare, suddenly found something that he could do and could do better than anybody else. And that gave him confidence that he had never ever had before. And he just -- it changed him, I think.
CAMEROTA: When Harry leaves the army after 10 years of service, his future is uncertain.
BURRELL: I don't think there were any career options for a Royal Prince. It's easy for William, he's heading towards the throne. I think being Royal for Harry was a burden and a curse because he was only the spare. What was his job? What was his way forward? CAMEROTA: As Harry finds his way, another romance is on the rocks. This time with this girlfriend of two years, Cressida Bonas.
NIKKHAH: She really did love him. But I think the situation of being with Harry and the huge circus that came with it was overwhelming for her.
JUNOR: I think Cressida took one look at what life with Harry would have involved and just turned her back on it. You know --
CAMEROTA: She didn't want to be a princess.
JUNOR: I don't think any sane person wants to be a princess.
BURRELL: Who would want to be a Royal Princess, it's a burden.
CAMEROTA: When we come back, Harry opens up about his Royal role.
NIKKHAH: He's living this life he's been born into, it's not his choice.
LEVIN: He decided he might leave the Royal Family.
CAMEROTA: And then, Meghan Markle's big break.
COYNE: She got lucky. She undoubtedly handed in a great audition, a great screen test, and she hits the jackpot.
CAMEROTA: After graduating from Northwestern University, Meghan Markel moves home to Los Angeles. She's eager to chase her acting dreams, but the industry is tough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is an industry that is built on judging you and tearing you down and rejecting you and making you second guess your weight and your skin and your hair and your talent and your poise.
HARVEY YOUNG, PROFESSOR, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: It's brutal. It's brutal.
CAMEROTA: Harvey Young was Meghan's acting professor in college.
YOUNG: When you leave college, it's a pretty bleak world of just laying bare your soul as part of audition before a casting agent. And then, more often than not, beings told no.
CAMEROTA: For Meghan, her identity struggle is magnified in Hollywood. What has she said about how her race impacted her getting jobs?
COYNE: Casting agents weren't always sure what to make of her. Is she going out for a Latina role? Is she somehow maybe Italian or even Middle Eastern or is she African-American? Is she Caucasian? She undoubtedly felt like, at times, casting agents just throw up their hands. I want -- never mind.
CAMEROTA: Passed over for big roles, Meghan does get some small parts.
MEGHAN: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, what's going on here?
MEGHAN: What do you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I mean is like you're way too cute to be just a FedEx girl.
DUBOFF: Maybe should have one scene or be there for one moment. I think she was on a bunch of T.V. shows, "F.R.I.E.N.D.S.", "Beverly Hills 90210". She was famously a Deal or No Deal girl. She had her little moment opening one of the briefcases.
CAMEROTA: She has said that her 20s were brutal.
COYNE: Meghan struggled a lot. To become a successful actress, to be able to make a living, that's like winning a lottery ticket. I mean, the number of forces that have to combined to get you even the smallest scrap of success are so astronomical.
CAMEROTA: Meghan auditions for 10 years. And then, at 29, she lands a significant role. A female lead on USA Network's legal drama, "Suits".
MEGHAN: This is all a joke to you because I take my job seriously.
COYNE: She got lucky, she undoubtedly handed in a great audition, a great screen test. She had excellent chemistry with her co-stars, and she hit the jackpot.
CAMEROTA: "Suits" is an instant hit.
COYNE: "Suits" radically changed Meghan's life. First and foremost, she was now making more money than she had ever made before ever.
CAMEROTA: As the show achieves success, Meghan makes big changes in her life, including ending her two-year marriage to Hollywood producer, Trevor Engelson.
COYNE: When they met, she was still largely an aspiring actress. He was an aspiring producer. They were essentially at the same place in their careers. And then, "Suits" really took off and they weren't going in the same direction anymore. She was filming in Toronto, he was in Los Angeles. There were thousands and thousands of miles between them.
CAMEROTA: Determined to use her position for good, Meghan spends her free time advocating for women. During a panel discussion, Meghan recounts how the success of the show emboldened her to stand up for herself. MEGHAN: Every script seemed to begin with Rachel enters wearing a towel. And I said, nope, not doing it. At a certain point, you feel empowered enough to just say no. Right?
DUBOFF: She wanted to encourage other women to feel like they could speak up in the same way.
CAMEROTA: And Meghan uses her fame to fight for women's equality across the world. As an ambassador for the nonprofit World Vision, Meghan travels to a remote village in Rwanda, where young girls walk hours every day to access clean water for their families.
MEGHAN: This is the water that she's going through all this work to get.
CAMEROTA: But all that changes when the World Vision team builds a new well.
MEGHAN: These girls are able to stay in school because they're aren't walking hours a day to go and get water. And this clean water source has changed the entire community.
LARA DEWAR, GLOBAL HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, WORLD VISION: She has a sense that if she's been given a platform, if she has some influence, that there's a responsibility she has to use that for good.
CAMEROTA: Lara Dewar is the Global Head of Communications and Public Engagement for World Vision. And she travels with Meghan to India in January 2017. They visit local businesswoman Suhani Jalota in Mumbai, where the lack of sanitary products and the stigma around menstruation, keeps young girls out of school.
DEWAR: Suhani has created a business where they make maxi pads. They manufacture them and then she has a team of effectively sales people that go door to door talking to women about how they handle menstruation.
CAMEROTA: Meghan comes home and writes an essay in Time Magazine, drawing attention to the barriers to education for girls across India, and she becomes a mentor to Suhani.
SUHANI JALOTA, FOUNDER, MYNA MAHILA FOUNDATION: She's really more than happy to, you know, have a -- have a call and just talk about the issues that we might be experiencing, or any help that we need from her, whether it's in terms of fundraising, in terms of marketing, or, you know, any kind of support like that.
DEWAR: This is not a celebrity who floats in who needs a platform issue to associate with their "brand". This is a woman who's had a desire to help in some way, for a very long time, promote the faces and stories of women, and to begin to elevate them.
CAMEROTA: When we come back, Harry and Meghan, and the future of the monarchy. Do you see any scenario by which Harry and Meghan overshadow Kate and William? JUNOR: Oh yes, I do. It was my first thought, this could be a problem.
CAMEROTA: Summer 2017, it's been 20 years since Princess Diana's death. And Prince Harry is speaking about it for the first time in a documentary for the BBC.
PRINCE HARRY: When you're that young and something like that happens to you, I think it's lodged in your heart and your head, and it stays there for a very, very long time.
CAMEROTA: For nearly two decades, Harry says he held back his grief.
NIKKHAH: He didn't really deal with what life without him in, I think, for very a long time. And then, when he did finally confronted, it destabilized him and caused chaos for years.
PRINCE HARRY: I spent a long time of my life with my head buried in the sand, you know, thinking, I don't want to be Prince Harry. I don't want this responsibility. I don't want this role. You know, look what's happened to my mother. You know, why does this have to happen to me?
CAMEROTA: Harry even considered a drastic move.
LEVIN: Prince Harry got so low, that he decided at one point that he might leave the Royal Family.
NIKKHAH: He's living this life he's been born into, it's not his choice. And I think he felt at times, very crossed about that.
CAMEROTA: Did Diana's death affect Harry differently than William?
ARBITER: Harry was that much younger. And interestingly enough, he admitted for the first time to mental health issues, and you can't help but having a mental health issue in terms of having lost a parent, not being able to grieve in the same way as you arrived might be able to do. He wasn't able to do that. So he bottled it all up inside him.
CAMEROTA: In 2017, Harry started opening up and shared his struggle as part of his Heads Together campaign with Prince William and Kate to end the stigma around mental health.
PRINCE HARRY: I never really talked about losing a mom at such a young age. I always thought to myself, you know, what's the point in bringing up the past, it ain't going to change it, it ain't going to bring her back. And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damaging.
CAMEROTA: And Harry ultimately chooses a future he hopes would make his mother proud.
PRINCE HARRY: I felt an overwhelming connection to many of the children I met.
CAMEROTA: Something he shared with the BBC.
PRINCE HARRY: Now, all I want to do is try and, you know, fill the holes that my mother has left, and that's what it's about for us, is trying to make a difference. And in making a difference, making her proud.
CAMEROTA: He spends much of his time working on the charity he created for the children he met in the Lesotho, Africa.
NIKKHAH: You look at Harry's work with HIV and AIDS, that was something that his mother, as Harry said, you know, smash through the stigma of that when she was alive.
CAMEROTA: And he founded the Invictus Games, an Olympic-style competition that gives wounded veterans a chance to be defined by more than their injuries.
PRINCE HARRY: It's life changing. It really is life changing for them.
LEVIN: I think he has used his own experience of loss and sadness, and bereavement, to help these soldiers. And the bereavement doesn't just mean losing someone, it means losing yourself, I think, too.
JUNOR: He's embraced who he is. It took him a long time to get there, but he now fully understands that being Prince Harry, he can make people's lives better by putting his name two things. He's making a difference.
CAMEROTA: Through it all, Harry has endeared himself to the public, becoming one of the most popular members of the Royal family.
JUNOR: Harry is incredibly likable. And he is incredibly genuine. What you see is what you get. He is so natural with people, much more -- I think he's the most natural member of the family. He throws out the rule book.
CAMEROTA: As Harry helps carry the monarchy forward, he's doing things his own way, like marrying the woman he loves, not someone British Royalty might expect.
PATRICK JEPHSON, PRINCESS DIANA'S PRIVATE SECRETARY: Meghan and Harry love story is a terrific story. It has unlimited fairy tale appeal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard you were amazing in Chicago.
CAMEROTA: She does what she feels comes naturally. And Harry is the most relaxed member of the Royal family. Do you see any scenario by which Harry and Meghan overshadow Kate and William?
JUNOR: Oh, yes, I do. I do. I mean, this is immediately was my first thought. You know, this could be a problem. Because Harry and Meghan are a very compelling couple. They're very charismatic and very relaxed and easy. The cameras will follow them.
CAMEROTA: Since their wedding and the birth of their son, the cameras have followed them. But it's been more controversy and scrutiny than fairy tale.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are setting up their own charitable organization and leaving the Royal Foundation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Sussexes are moving out of the palace they share with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in London. A decision that seems to have added to rumors of a rift.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prince Harry says his wife has become one of the latest victims of a ruthless campaign by the tabloid press.
CAMEROTA: Harry and Meghan have filed lawsuits against multiple British media outlets.
PRINCE HARRY: I won't be bullied into playing a game that's -- that killed my mom.
CAMEROTA: In a documentary on ITV, last fall, Harry and Meghan opened up in a way that is rarely seen from the Royal Family.
MEGHAN: When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I'm 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. And I very naively -- I'm American, we don't have that there. What are you talking about? That doesn't make any sense. I'm not in tabloids. I didn't get it. So, it's -- yes, it's been complicated.
CAMEROTA: Harry was asked about a potential rift between him and William.
PRINCE HARRY: A part of -- part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it's under inevitably, you know, stuff happens but, like, we're brothers, we'll always be brothers.
CAMEROTA: After a turbulent year, Harry and Meghan shocked the world and their own family with the announcement that they would step back from the Royal Family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is seismic in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The plan has been the New Year becoming financially independent of the monarchy and split their time between England and North America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very public breakdown in the family.
CAMEROTA: After a crisis meeting with the Queen, the family is finding a way to give Harry and Meghan a more independent life. Quite possibly losing an amazing asset, Prince Harry's down-to-earth
charm and natural ability to connect because he and Meghan no longer want to live with the scrutiny and restrictions that come with their roles. The world waits to see how they will define themselves outside the monarchy.