LONDON — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on Wednesday said that she suffered a miscarriage, writing in an article of her “unbearable grief” and society’s need for empathy at a time of huge loss and isolation.
In the opinion article, titled “The Losses We Share” and published in The New York Times, the wife of Britain’s Prince Harry revealed that her miscarriage occurred in July.
She describes a normal morning feeding her dogs, taking her vitamins and changing son Archie’s diaper, before feeling a sharp cramp.
“I dropped to the floor,” Meghan, 39, wrote. Adding, she had a “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,” she wrote. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she added.
About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to data from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Despite the “staggering commonality of this pain,” she wrote, “the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
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Her deeply personal disclosure, Meghan wrote, comes amid a wider discussion on the importance of asking each other “Are you OK?” during a time full of tragedy brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and societal reckonings over race.
“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,” she wrote.
The former television actress, whose mother is Black, has previously spoken out on issues of racism and called the police killing in May of George Floyd “absolutely devastating” after it sparked global protests.
The image of a biracial, foreign woman welcomed into the bosom of white, traditionalist Britain after she married Harry in a fairytale wedding in 2018 carried enormous symbolism — and signaled greater inclusivity and tolerance.
But since their wedding, the couple have repeatedly complained of toxic media coverage, which their supporters say has at times veered into racist harassment and bullying.
In the op-ed, Meghan discussed the Black Lives Matter campaign and the need to reach out to make “the load of grief” lighter. She also touched on the “division” and “polarization” in the aftermath of the recent U.S. election, leaving many “feeling more alone than ever.”
Harry has not commented on the article. A spokeswoman for the royal family at Buckingham Palace told NBC News on Wednesday the Duchess of Sussex’s miscarriage was a private, personal matter and declined to comment.
Britain’s royal family has come under scrutiny this month after millions tuned into the latest series of “The Crown” and questions have also surfaced about how a landmark interview with Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was obtained 25 years ago.
The Sussexes, who now live in Los Angeles, went on to stun the British establishment in January by choosing to “step back” from royal duties and move to North America with Archie, who was born in May 2019.
Looking ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday, Meghan urged individuals and families to “commit” to showing empathy and checking in on each other’s well-being.
Adela Suliman is a London-based reporter for NBC News Digital.