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Harry and Meghan: Why they will continue to speak their minds

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have both spoken about their vulnerabilities. Credit: PA

The Duchess of Sussex has hinted at the reasons why she opened up in that ITV documentary last month.

She’s been talking about her open approach to her royal duties during a private visit to a charity bakery in north London which helps women who have suffered from domestic abuse or violence.

In a conversation with one of the women in the Luminary Bakery in Camden, Meghan asked: "When was the first moment you thought 'this is going to change me, on the inside?'"

Her companion, Giselle, replied: "It was the moment when the girls around me told me that it was okay for me to be hurt," says Giselle. "That it was okay for me to show them that I was hurt, and that I was struggling."

Meghan confirmed: "They gave you permission, right?" And Giselle nodded in agreement.

The conversation was observed by Bryony Gordon, for an article in the Telegraph newspaper.

Ms Gordon also says it was Meghan who encouraged Prince Harry to record that podcast with her 2017 when he opened up about his own mental health struggles after the death of his mother.

It suggests that Meghan does not intend to adopt, as she put it in her interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby, that "British stiff upper lip".

And like Giselle, in the social enterprise bakery, this Duchess has decided it is okay to show when she is hurt or struggling, despite being such a prominent member of the Royal Family.

The visit she made earlier this week was not a public one.

Meghan said it was because she wanted everyone to be "just be really relaxed" and to "keep everyone nice and chilled, because at the end of the day we’re all just women."

Bryony Gordon confirms that Meghan eyes, just as they did in her ITV interview, "glistened" when she asked her how she was.

But Ms Gordon concludes that Meghan "is a doer, not a wallower" and that she intends to use her own voice "to help give one to people less privileged than her."

In other words, by showing her own vulnerabilities, she will consequently encourage those she meets to open up about their own challenges.

It is something both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex share in common.

When I chatted to Prince Harry shortly after his podcast with Bryony Gordon, I asked him why he took that approach when his grandmother, the Queen, would never have spoken of her innermost feelings or mental health struggles.

His answer then, was very similar to his wife’s now: that his way of doing "duty and service" is to lead by example and to help others by showing that it is okay to talk about your mental health and mental wellness.

Meghan put it this way in her Telegraph conversation at the Camden bakery: "You’re a wounded creature that needs to be healed, and that takes time. And that’s what I love about this place. It gives you the support to heal."

There has been much debate about Harry and Meghan in the press and social media since we broadcast our documentary on October 20.

Will they stay in the Royal Family, can they remain in the UK, will they move to America, should they have opened up in this way, will William and Harry be able to patch up their broken relationship?

Whatever their decisions for the long term, Meghan told the Telegraph that she finds a deep connection with others she meets on her royal engagements.

"I find that when you strip all the layers away, as people, and especially as women, we can find deep connection with each other, and a shared understanding," she says.

She adds: "Our lives may be different, our backgrounds, our experiences, all varied, but I find that in these moments of connection it becomes abundantly clear that our hopes, our fears, our insecurities, the things that make us tick…. well, those are very much the same. And there’s comfort in that."

The Sussexes are a powerful force but Harry and Meghan are not without their critics.

However, after watching Tom Bradby’s documentary and reading Meghan’s latest words in Friday’s Telegraph, we should expect them to continue to be more open, more revealing, and less buttoned-up than any other royal couple which has come before them.

Harry and Meghan will do things their own way - even if that will make some in other Palaces uncomfortable.

And nor will their approach change if it generates yet more criticism in some sections of the press (where relations are already at a very low point).

As long as they feel they are helping others - like the women of the Luminary Bakery - Harry and Meghan will continue to break moulds - and to speak their minds.