The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she suffered a miscarriage, losing her second child during the summer.
In an article for the New York Times, Meghan wrote about losing her unborn baby in July while she and husband Harry were living in Los Angeles.
The duchess began her article by describing a typical morning getting up and looking after her son Archie: “After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp.
“I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
“Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears.
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, writes. https://t.co/VL6lIXNuMn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 25, 2020
“Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Harry’s uncle Earl Spencer offered his sympathy to his nephew and his wife during an appearance on the ITV show Lorraine.
He told the host: “I can’t imagine the agony for any couple of losing a child in this way. It’s so very, very sad. And of course, I totally agree with you, all thoughts with them today.”
Other royal women have experienced the loss of an unborn baby, with the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall suffering two miscarriages before having her second child.
The Countess of Wessex lost her first baby in December 2001 when she was airlifted to hospital after suffering a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage according to the charity Tommy’s, which funds research into miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births, with most women losing their babies during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Sophie King, a midwife from Tommy’s, said the duchess’s article sent a “powerful message” to others who have experienced the loss of a baby.
She said: “Meghan’s essay praises the bravery of parents who share their stories, and those who prefer to grieve privately can still find comfort and connection in reading about others’ experiences.
“Her honesty and openness today send a powerful message to anyone who loses a baby: this may feel incredibly lonely, but you are not alone. Friends and family, doctors and midwives, all of us at support organisations like Tommy’s; we’re here.”
Meghan writes in the article: “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?'”
She goes on to say: “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.
“In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage.
“Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
The duchess suffered her miscarriage in July during a busy period in her legal battle with Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL).
Meghan is suing ANL, publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over an article which reproduced parts of the handwritten letter sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018.
The court case, which was due to start on January 11 next year, has been postponed until autumn 2021 for a “confidential” reason.