Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has revealed she had a miscarriage over the summer.
In a gut-wrenching article for the New York Times, Meghan described the “almost unbearable grief” endured by her and husband, Prince Harry.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she 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.”
Meghan, 39, said she felt a “sharp cramp” in July this year – and hours later found herself in a hospital bed, as she witnessed “my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine.”
The article urges other people to “commit to asking others, ‘are you OK?’” over the Thanksgiving break in the US.
The duke and duchess moved to California to escape the glare of the media spotlight earlier this year, relinquishing their roles as senior royals in January.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” Meghan wrote in her article.
“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 are at odds’
Elsewhere, she discusses the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the devastation wrought upon the US by the coronavirus pandemic.
“On top of all this, it seems we no longer agree on what is true. We aren’t just fighting over our opinions of facts; we are polarised over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact,” she said.
“We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. We are at odds over the value of compromise.
“That polarisation, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever.”