Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said she suffered “almost unsurvivable” online abuse while she was on maternity leave or looking after her baby son Archie with her husband Prince Harry.
The royal couple joined three Californian high school students on an episode of their podcast Teenage Therapy on Saturday, to mark World Mental Health Day and discussed topics including mental health stigma, self-care and online abuse.
Meghan told hosts Gael, Kayla, and Thomas that the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed schools around the world, has meant more time online for many.
“Yes, it’s a great way to connect, but it also ends up being a place where there’s a lot of disconnection, you know, I can speak personally to,” she said.
“I’m told that in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female,” she said, without specifying who told her that information. NBC News has not been able to independently verify her claim.
“For eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave or with a baby, but what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable,” she added.
Her husband also told the podcast that “putting your self-care as a priority is hugely important,” adding that “vulnerability is not a weakness.”
“It’s very easy to be sucked in and consumed by negativity,” Harry said. “But we all have the choice to be able to cut that out of our lives.”
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He added that he meditated to take a break from his day, while Meghan said that she journaled her experiences to help her reflect.
The podcast was recorded earlier this week in the area of Santa Barbara where the Sussexes now live, after they quit as senior royals earlier this year, according to the U.K.’s Press Association news agency.
It’s branded as “a coming of age story portrayed in real time,” and normally features five senior students who have conversation about “the struggles that come with being a teenager.”