Meghan Markle today revealed she suffered a miscarriage over the summer in an article written for the New York Times.
The Duchess of Sussex has said she lost her second child after feeling a ‘sharp cramp’ while changing her son Archie’s nappy in July.
Writing in the New York Times today Ms Markle described falling ill at home in Los Angeles and being in hospital tearfully watching her husband Harry’s ‘heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine’ as they grieved for their baby.
Describing the tragic moment she realised ‘something was not right’, she said: ‘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’.
In the piece called ‘The Losses We Share’, she said: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second’. It is not known how many weeks pregnant Meghan was, but most women suffer miscarriages in the first three months.
Ms Markle wrote: ‘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. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal’.
Buckingham Palace is understood to have known about the miscarriage – but it is not clear if they knew about the New York Times article. A royal spokesman declined to comment.
Vanity Fair Royal Editor Katie Nicholl told the BBC: ‘The royal family were very supportive about it. They were aware of what had happened. Harry was in constant touch with them over the summer and they knew what they were going through. My understanding is they’ve been supported by the royal family on this episode.’
Ms Markle’s New York Times article also describes a year of ‘breaking points’ for the world, including the 1million-plus global Covid-19 deaths as well as the ‘social isolation’ of lockdown and the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US.
‘Polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever’, she wrote.
Meghan said she suffered the miscarriage while changing Archie’s nappy in July (pictured together in October 2019)
Meghan Markle on miscarriage, BLM and Covid 19 in the New York Times
On losing her baby in July
‘After changing his [Archie’s] 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. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.
‘Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”
‘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.
‘Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing’.
‘This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating. We’ve heard all the stories: A woman starts her day, as normal as any other, but then receives a call that she’s lost her elderly mother to Covid-19. A man wakes feeling fine, maybe a little sluggish, but nothing out of the ordinary. He tests positive for the coronavirus and within weeks, he — like hundreds of thousands of others — has died.
‘We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another’.
On BLM and race relations
‘A young woman named Breonna Taylor goes to sleep, just as she’s done every night before, but she doesn’t live to see the morning because a police raid turns horribly wrong. George Floyd leaves a convenience store, not realizing he will take his last breath under the weight of someone’s knee, and in his final moments, calls out for his mom. Peaceful protests become violent. Health rapidly shifts to sickness. In places where there was once community, there is now division’.
Today Meghan wrote that her miscarriage had happened on a July morning that ‘began as ordinarily as any other day’.
The Duchess of Sussex said she had woken up, fed the dogs, tidied up Archie’s clothes and crayons before ‘throwing my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib’.
She then felt a pain in her stomach as she changed Archie’ nappy and then dropped to the floor holding him as she lost her unborn baby.
Meghan says she has written the article about her own loss to encourage others to talk about it.
Justifying the timing of her article, she wrote: ‘This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points,’ Meghan writes. ‘So, this Thanksgiving, ‘let us commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?’
She added: ‘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.’
Meghan wrote in the New York Times that after losing her child this year, she had thought about the royal visit she and Harry made in September 2019.
She wrote: ‘I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.
‘Are you OK?’ a journalist asked me. I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering. My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.
‘Thank you for asking,’ I said. ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK.’
The article she also describes the turmoil in 2020 caused by Covid and tensions caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US saying 2020 was a year when ‘places where there was once community, there is now division’.
Meghan also then describes being in New York in her ‘late teens’ and seeing ‘a woman on her phone in a flood of tears’ – but decides not to speak to her.
Pondering whether that happened she said: ‘Now, all these years later, in isolation and lockdown, grieving the loss of a child, the loss of my country’s shared belief in what’s true, I think of that woman in New York. What if no one stopped? I wish I could go back and ask my cabdriver to pull over’.
In the final part of her piece the Duchess of Sussex warns of the ‘danger of siloed living’ and concerns that many ‘sad, scary or sacrosanct are all lived out alone’.
She then encourages people to stop people to ask: ‘Are you OK?’, adding that she believes that the ‘load of grief often becomes lighter’ when talked about.
‘In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing’, she wrote,’ adding ‘We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another’.
The article ends: ‘Are we OK? We will be’.
In Meghan’s New York Times article, she urges people to ask others if they are ok, adding: ‘In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing’
Harry and Meghan were last seen together marking Remembrance Sunday where they laid a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery
The ITV interview that inspired Meghan’s miscarriage article after she was asked: ‘Are you ok?’
In an interview with ITV, The Duchess of Sussex said she has found the focus on her after her marriage and giving birth a struggle, adding: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m ok’
Meghan Markle said that she is ‘existing, not living’ while struggling with the pressures of royal life and media scrutiny.
The Duchess opened up during an emotional interview with broadcaster Tom Bradby for a documentary last October.
Mr Bradby, a friend of Prince William and Prince Harry, asks her if she is ok after an emotional and tiring year.
The Duchess of Sussex’s voice cracks as she reveals she has found it difficult to cope after getting married and giving birth, adding: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m ok.’
She replied: ‘Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a new born – you know…
‘And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.
‘So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed it’s, well…’
She continues: ‘Also 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.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have openly shared their hopes of having two children to complete their family.
It was no secret they dreamed of welcoming a new addition – a baby brother or sister for Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry told activist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall in 2019 that he would only have two children ‘maximum’ for the sake of the planet.
The intimate details shared in the article are strikingly at odds with the usual policy of senior members of the British royal family, who reveal almost nothing about their personal lives.
Harry’s grandmother the Queen has never discussed her private life in any media interview in her 68-year reign.
But Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States earlier this year. They have been trying to forge a new role for themselves outside the constraints of life in Britain’s strictly codified royal bubble.
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.
Have you suffered a miscarriage? Click here for support.
The Sussexes, who quit as senior working royals in March in a quest for personal and financial freedom, were over the moon to welcome son Archie on May 6 2019.
Harry described Archie’s birth as ‘the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined’.
Introducing the two-day-old to the world at Windsor Castle, Meghan said: ‘It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy.’
She added: ‘He has the sweetest temperament, he’s really calm.’
The duke and duchess are protective of Archie’s privacy.
When he arrived they declined to confirm where he was born, although his birth certificate later revealed he arrived at the private Portland Hospital in London.
Archie’s christening was also a private affair, like most royal baptisms, but Harry and Meghan did not release the names of his godparents.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pictured in South Africa on one of her final royal visits at a charity supporting mothers
The duke and American former actress Meghan had long-held ambitions to become parents.
The duchess once described motherhood as being on her ‘bucket list’, while Harry often said he would love to have children, particularly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their own.
Harry’s uncle Charles Spencer send his thoughts to his nephew’s wife after hearing sad news of her miscarriage
Prince Harry’s uncle Charles Spencer said news of the miscarriage was ‘very, very sad’ while being interviewed by Lorraine Kelly on her ITV programme today.
Lorraine said to him: ‘I’m sure you’ll want to join all of us to send best wishes to Meghan and of course to your nephew Harry, because today we just found out the very sad news that she’d had a miscarriage, and it’s just terribly sad, isn’t it?’
Speaking from his home at Althorp in Northamptonshire, Earl Spencer replied: ‘It is, Lorraine, isn’t it. I mean I can’t imagine the agony for any couple of losing a child in this way, and it’s so very, very sad, and of course I totally agree with you – all thoughts with them today.’
It came as no surprise when Kensington Palace made the announcement in October 2018 – five months after Harry wed the ex-Suits star and as they began a busy tour to Australia and New Zealand – that the duchess was expecting.
The topic had even cropped up in the couple’s engagement interview.
‘You know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future,’ Harry said.
In the run-up to the wedding, Meghan also hinted at starting her own brood.
On a trip to Belfast, less than two months before their big day, Meghan joked when she was shown an innovative range for newborns: ‘I’m sure at some point we’ll need the whole (lot).’
In an interview in 2016, she said becoming a mother was on her ‘bucket list’.
‘I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time,’ she said.
During Meghan’s pregnancy, a delighted Harry called the baby ‘our little bump’ and the duchess became known for repeatedly cradling her stomach.
With Archie’s arrival, Harry and Meghan appeared to take to parenthood with ease.
On a trip to the Hague soon after the birth, the duke described his newborn as ‘very quiet’.
Four months after Archie was born, Meghan was back at work, launching a capsule clothing collection in aid of the Smart Works charity.
She joked as she left the launch event: ‘I’ve got to get back to the baby – it’s feeding time.’
The couple have spoken of how much they enjoyed spending time with Archie in lockdown.
Meghan said in an interview with the Evening Standard in October: ‘We are doing well. (Archie) is so good. We are very lucky with our little one.
‘He is just so busy, he is all over the place.
‘He keeps us on our toes. We are just so lucky.’
‘I’m crying with you, Harry and Meghan’: Grieving parents share their own heartbreaking miscarriage stories as stars including Lorraine Kelly and Susanna Reid praise couple for offering ‘solace’ to others
Grieving parents who have suffered miscarriages have been sharing their heartbreaking stories online amid an outpouring of support for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan Markle, 38, today revealed she and Prince Harry, 36, suffered a miscarriage over the summer in a powerful essay written for the New York Times.
The Duchess has said she lost her second child after feeling a ‘sharp cramp’ while changing her son Archie’s nappy in July.
After the article was shared, Prince Harry and Meghan received a flood of support, with author Matt Haig and television star Lorraine Kelly and among those inspired to share their own stories of loss.
Parents who have suffered miscarriages have been sharing their heartbreaking stories online amid an outpouring of support for the Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, after Meghan Markle revealed she lost a baby this summer
Speaking to Dr Hilary Jones on her breakfast programme today, Lorraine she said that Meghan opening up would help a lot of people.
She also brought up that she had suffered a miscarriage, saying: ‘Just seeing this this morning, it was almost exactly the same.
‘What really helped me was obviously being able to talk to you and being able to talk to other people and also Rosie, because she was only about six.
‘And I know that she’s a lot younger than that, but that will really help having another child to focus on.
Author Matt Haig and BBC presenter Tessa Dunlop were among those to commend the Duchess for the article, while sharing their own experiences
‘My heart just goes out to her, it’s just so sad. And how she’s done it is absolutely brilliant.’
Meanwhile Matt Haig, who was chosen by the Duchess to feature in her Forces for Change issue of Vogue, tweeted: ‘My wife went through a miscarriage two years ago. We were in Australia and felt alone. It was so traumatic.
‘To grieve a future that wasn’t there. It also felt difficult to talk about. A strange taboo. It is so healthy and healing when anyone talks about this topic so openly.’
BBC Historian Tessa Dunlop commented: ‘I was exactly Meghan’s age with one child and a younger husband when I had a miscarriage.. then another … and another.
Speaking with Dr Hilary Jones on her breakfast programme today, Lorraine spoke of her own miscarriage and said her ‘heart just goes out’ to the royal
‘Be kind. It’s a very lonely space.’
Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid also praised the article, tweeting: ‘The Duchess of Sussex writes painful, personal insight about the truly tragic loss of miscarriage.
‘This will be a solace to anyone who has suffered, particularly if they have found it hard to express the grief.’
Meanwhile other users flooded social media with support for the couple, with one commenting: ‘I’m crying with you, for Harry and Meghan, for myself who has lost 3 babies through miscarriage and for every other family or woman that has gone through this unbelievable and unbearable. My prayers for everyone who are able to respect each others pain, even if they don’t share it.’
In the wake of Meghan’s New York Times piece, grieving parents have taken to social media to share their own miscarriage experiences
Another tweeted: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking. As someone who has suffered four miscarriages, I felt every part of this article.
‘My thoughts are with Meghan and Harry.’