Tom Bradby today opened up about his bombshell interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, saying he 'found a couple that seemed bruised and vulnerable'.
The ITV News at Ten anchor told ABC's Good Morning America that he 'had a couple of private heart to hearts' with Prince Harry ahead of filming the documentary.
In Sunday night's 'Harry & Meghan: An African Journey', Meghan revealed she was 'existing not living' while Harry spoke out about his struggles with mental health.
Mr Bradby told GMA today that he 'knew that everything wasn't entirely rosy behind the scenes' but tried to tell their story 'as empathetically as I could.'
His comments came hours before Tatler unveiled the Duchess of Sussex as the cover star for its 310th anniversary edition, with the caption: 'Does she conquer or divide?'
He added: 'We had a couple of private heart to hearts before we did the interview and I said, 'Let's just go out and tell the truth as you see it.'
'The thing about Harry is, whether in private or in public, if you ask him an honest question he'll give you an honest answer, for better or worse.'
Harry and Meghan's interviews, which aired on Sunday night and have since been viewed tens of millions of times on Twitter alone, triggered huge public debate about their roles in the Royal Family.
The couple opened up about the struggling to cope with intense scrutiny and Harry admitted that he and his brother, who were once inseparable, now have their 'good days' and 'bad days'.
Today Mr Bradby told American viewers: 'I just told the story that was in front of me'.
He said he saw the Duke and Duchess before joining them in Africa, to discuss the show.
He said: 'We had a pretty long chat, and I speak to Harry relatively often and have done over the years.
'I knew things weren't entirely brilliant behind the scenes, [but] it built as the tour went on. I was just observing. As time wore on, I began to really get a sense of where he was at.
'I went intending to make a documentary that was always going to be about their work in Africa and then a little about where they are at in life.
'I knew that everything wasn't entirely rosy behind the scenes. But all the same I had intended to turn up doing a more conventional, journalistic job, maybe beforehand I told them I was going to have to put some pretty pointed questions [to them].
'The reality I found was just a couple that seemed a bit bruised and vulnerable - with mental health and all the rest of it you have to be careful what words you use – that was the story I found and it seemed the right journalistic thing to do to try and tell that story as empathetically as I could.'
Asked what he hopes will come of the documentary, Mr Bradby says he 'hopes everyone will take a deep breath.'
He said: 'I kind of sense that in the end things weren't going in a very good direction here.
'If this documentary has an outcome I do hope that it's that everyone – including them – takes a really deep breath and maybe thinks pretty hard about how the future may play out.'
Asked about the different approaches taken by Harry and his brother, he added: 'It's quite interesting – William is taking a more traditional approach.
'He has to - he's going to be King, he can't afford to alienate any constituency. Harry and Meghan have just decided to play things very differently.'
Yesterday, a source close to the couple said Harry and Meghan had 'single-handedly modernised the monarchy' – but courtiers are stoking up 'hysteria' against them.
The adviser accused the courtiers of being 'afraid of and inexperienced at how to best help harness and deploy the value' of the Duke and Duchess.
As the fallout over the royal couple's TV documentary took another remarkable twist, the source even suggested that palace insiders were hell-bent on stoking up 'anti-Prince Harry and Meghan hysteria'.
The incendiary claims, reported in a well-sourced story by US broadcaster CNN about the ITV programme, angered many in the wider royal household, where staff feel they have done their best to support the Sussexes in extremely 'trying' times.
One well-placed royal insider said: 'It's akin to saying that the Sussexes are too good for the Royal Family, which is extremely disrespectful to everyone who works for, and on behalf of, the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family.
'While not everyone agrees with what the duke and duchess have been saying, there has been immense sympathy that they find themselves in such a difficult place and people have been trying to help.'
Referring to the documentary, the source said: 'Harry's clear anguish was incredibly raw and difficult to watch.
'The truth is that no one is 'anti' Harry and Meghan and no one is briefing against them.
'And it is also just plain wrong to say they have single-handedly modernised the monarchy. Modernisation is an ongoing process led by Her Majesty the Queen.
'No one has ownership of it. It is not a competition.
'None of this is remotely helpful to the monarchy as an institution. It is promoting discord and taking attention away from the good work senior royals do across the board.'
The row came as Meghan last night made an appearance at the official opening of the 2019 One Young World (OYW) summit at London's Royal Albert Hall, described as a 'global forum for young leaders'.
Meghan wore her hair down and an elegant purple dress as she attended the event without Harry, in her role as vice-president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
She was welcomed on to the stage as 'a global champion for the rights of women and girls, activist and philanthropist' and embraced OYW co-founder Kate Robertson.
It was her first public appearance since the broadcast of Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
Yesterday's online story by CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster quoted a 'senior royal source', close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, hitting out at the reaction to comments Prince Harry made about his brother in the documentary.
The source also suggested parts of the media were turning 'brotherly concern from Prince William for Prince Harry into hysteria'.
A royal source said in response to the ITV interview that William felt 'concerned' for his younger brother, 'as anyone would watching the documentary'.
Royal insiders told the Daily Mail they believe the comments to CNN highlight the level of 'paranoia' among Harry and Meghan's aides, or Team Sussex as they tend to call themselves.
'It's very much a mentality of 'us against the world', which is a real shame,' said one insider.
'The duke and duchess have much to offer and could be a formidable asset for the Royal Family. But they need to work as a team with the rest of the royal household and, rightly or wrongly, there is a lot of distrust right now.
'There's also a startling lack of self-awareness about some of the problems they have experienced that have been of their own making, such as the row over their use of private jets. None of this is healthy – for anyone.'
Sources close to the couple are unapologetic about the furore caused by their documentary.
An aide said they thought it was 'sympathetic and balanced', and showed 'some of the real behind the scenes pressures' of a royal tour and their lives.