Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry
In an emotional admission to ITV's Tom Bradby on her and 's recent 10-day tour of Africa, she said the glare of the intense spotlight - and with it incessant and often negative press coverage from some sections of the media - had made things harder at a time when she was already “really vulnerable”.
Meghan told Bradby it’s a “very real thing to be going through behind the scenes” and replied “yes” when asked if it’s “really been a struggle” and she’s “not really ok”.
The Duke of Sussex’s public statement was released on the couple's website on October 1 as it was announced Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday after it published a private letter she wrote to her father. The paper denies wrongdoing and confirmed it would defend the case.
In his statement, Harry claimed some newspapers had "vilified (his wife) almost daily for the past nine months" and published "lie after lie" at Meghan’s expense because she was out of public view on maternity leave.
Bradby spoke to Meghan in a garden in Johannesburg, South Africa, on her experience of a year which has seen her face ever more public attention before and after giving birth to Archie in May.
Tom Bradby discusses the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey
“He’s obviously very concerned about protecting you, and protecting you from what he felt his mother went through,” Bradby told Meghan.
“It’s obviously an area one has to tiptoe into very gently,” he added, before asking her what the impact had been “on your physical and mental health of all the pressure that you clearly feel under?”
Meghan replied: "Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable.
"So that was made really challenging and then when you have a newborn … especially as a woman, it’s really, it’s a lot.
"So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed."
Asked by Bradby how she was coping, Meghan said: "Thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m ok.
"But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."
Bradby then added: "And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really ok? That it’s really been a struggle?”
To which Meghan replied: "Yes."
But he said the media focus on his life as part of the royal family and the "pressures that come with that" means he gets "reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately".
He said every click and flash of a camera in the public eye instantly gives him "the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best".
The personal difficulties shared by Harry and Meghan were in sharp contrast to the enthusiasm the couple showed publically throughout the trip, including an inspiring visit as the 10-day tour began in South Africa.
Standing beside Prince Harry, the duchess told Bradby: "Oh my goodness, It’s the most inspiring. We just got here and to see everything that they’re doing.
"But also that it’s not the girls that are feeling empowered, it’s (also) the role that the men and the young boys who are also helping them."
Harry & Meghan: An African Journey airs on Sunday at 9pm on ITV