Meghan Markle has revealed she suffered a miscarriage during the summer, in a deeply personal article about the loss and pain of the 2020.
Writing in the New York Times, Meghan, 39, explained she miscarried in July after feeling a “sharp cramp” while she looked after her one-year-old son, Archie.
The duchess, who now lives in her home state of California with husband Prince Harry, said: “I dropped to the floor with him [Archie] 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.”
The duchess then recalls the interview from the end of her tour in South Africa with Harry in which ITV’s Tom Bradby asked if she was OK.
She said she felt her “off-the-cuff reply” gave permission for others to speak, though for her, it was the question itself that helped her the most.
Watch: Meghan gives heartfelt speech about George Floyd
She also names Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, whose deaths sparked protests and spurred on the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, as she recounts the “loss and pain” of the year.
Meghan spoke about Taylor and Floyd in a speech to the graduating class of her former high school in one of the first things she did after leaving her senior royal duties in the Spring.
In the article she goes on to give her impression of the divided world, where “we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact”.
She also shares that she and Harry, 36, found out about 10 to 20 in every 100 women will miscarry, but laments the fact the “unbearable grief” is carried in silence, with unwarranted shame.
Meghan encourages readers to ask one another, despite differences in opinion, if they are OK, remarking on the shared experience of life and loss during the pandemic.
Last year, Harry told Jane Goodall in an interview with the environmentalist that he was planning to have “two, maximum” children because of concerns about climate change.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “It’s a deeply personal matter we would not comment on.”
Reacting to the news of the miscarriage, Harry’s uncle, Charles Spencer, said his thoughts were with the couple.
Earl Spencer, speaking to Lorraine on Wednesday, said: “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.”
He’s previously spoken about not having a role with his nephews, Harry and William, as they have grown up. Diana, his sister, had made him guardian before her death.
The duchess’s revelation comes soon after model Chrissy Teigen shared her own pain as she and her husband John Legend lost their baby.
Meghan recently sought a delay in her court case against the Mail On Sunday and the MailOnline, citing private reasons. She is suing the paper and the news site for publishing a letter she wrote to her father after her wedding to Harry in 2018.
Harry and Meghan moved to California in March, having stayed in Canada when they had decided to step back from senior royal duties.
They bought their own home in Santa Barbara in the summer, and have been working on projects which will reflect the non-profit organisation, Archewell, they are in the process of setting up.
They have also signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to make documentaries, scripted series and children’s programming.
At the weekend it emerged they have come to an agreement with Harry’s cousin Eugenie and her husband Jack, enabling them to move into Frogmore Cottage, the home the Queen gave Harry and Meghan when they got married.
Watch: Prince Harry and Meghan moving out of UK home for Princess Eugenie