Meghan Markle, 39, lost her second child with Prince Harry in July following a miscarriage, she revealed yesterday in a piece she wrote for the New York Times. The world has since reacted to the news, with many commending Markle for her bravery in sharing her loss, praising it as a milestone for women who suffer the same tragedy in silence. Now, all eyes are now on the Royal family for a reaction.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty ImagesWhile senior members of the Royal family are yet to have spoken out about Markle’s shocking revelation, a representative for Buckingham Palace commented on the matter on Wednesday, saying, “It’s a deeply personal matter we would not comment on.”
Markle’s piece, titled The Losses We Share, featured a raw account of the 39-year-old’s harrowing experience coupled with her dissatisfaction that, although many women suffer miscarriages, the conversation around it remains taboo.
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Although the Palace remains hush about the news, Prince Harry’s uncle Charles Spenser, the late Princess Diana’s brother, said the story was “very sad” in an appearance on the British talk show Lorraine on Wednesday.
“It is, Lorraine [terribly sad]. I can’t imagine the agony for any couple of losing a child in this way,” Spencer said. “It’s so very, very sad,” he added. “And of course, I totally agree with you, all thoughts with them today.”
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Even British media celebrity Piers Morgan, who in recent years took a particularly hostile stance towards Markle, expressed his condolences to her and Prince Harry.
“Deeply new revelation, it happened in July – very sad news, obviously, for her and Prince Harry,” Piers said yesterday on his talk show, Good Morning Britain. “I think that will strike a chord for everyone as, sadly, many pregnancies end in miscarriage.”
His co-host, Susanna Reid, spoke of the “comfort” Markle’s honesty can offer to others who have gone through the same pain.
“One thing that it will do is that it will provide some comfort to other people who have been in that situation when somebody so high profile speaks out about something that is very difficult to talk about,” she said.
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What started as a typical summer day, filled with the average parent’s errands and responsibilities, took a dark turn soon after changing son Archie’s diaper.
“I felt a sharp cramp,” Markle wrote. “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.”
She explained that her experience prompted her and her husband to research the topic, only to find that a staggering number of women miscarry. However, it is still seldom spoken about publically.
“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,” Markle wrote. “Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImageThe article is yet another instance of the former actress breaking away from Royal tradition. While Markle is not the first Royal to suffer the “unbearable grief” of losing a child, she is the first to publically speak of the experience so candidly. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, miscarried at six weeks pregnant back in 2001 while Zara Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, miscarried twice.
The Royal family generally shies away from sharing personal details or becoming emotional in public, with Queen Elizabeth not once in her 68-year reign speaking of her private life in an interview.
The move is not unprecedented for Markle. Last year, in a documentary that followed her and her husband on their Royal tour in Africa, journalist Tom Bradby asked Markle if she was “OK,” to which she gave a strikingly honest reply.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot,” Markle said.
ITV's @tombradby spoke to Meghan as he gained exclusive access to the royal couple as they toured Africa for 10 days with their son Archie.
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
At the time, Markle had been facing scrutiny from the English press, which prompted her and her husband to take legal action against tabloids, as stated on their official website. She expressed gratitude for the reporter’s concern. Markle recalled this encounter, as well as its importance, in her NYT essay.
That experience helped her realize the importance of that simple question; a question that can help another person feel free to unload a weight off their back.
“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?'”
With her piece, Markle hopes to encourage other people to open up about their losses as well.
“This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points,” she wrote. “So, this Thanksgiving, let us commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?'”
Our deepest condolences go out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they process their tragic loss.