Meghan Markle has been praised for the ‘brave’ move she took in penning an essay about her recent miscarriage, with many women who have gone through the same thing claiming it makes them feel ‘less alone’.
The Duchess of Sussex revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July in a deeply personal article for the New York Times, writing: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Meghan explained how she was holding Archie in her hands when she felt a sharp pain and fell to her knees.
“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,” she wrote.
In Australia, up to one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, with thousands of Australian families impacted each year.
After Meghan opened up and was honest about her own loss, charity Tommy’s said the duchess has gone some way in helping to break down the taboos that surround miscarriage and baby loss.
“Mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame,” Tommy’s midwife Sophie King told Yahoo.
“Her honesty and openness today send a powerful message to anyone who loses a baby: this may feel incredibly lonely, but you are not alone.”
Many people have also thanked the duchess on social media for helping to shatter the culture of silence.
“When I had a miscarriage, I remember scouring the internet for articles by women who had been through the same thing,” a UK journalist wrote on Twitter. “Because reading that you're not alone is helpful and it's comforting. So thank you to Meghan Markle for writing about something so difficult.”
“I’m proud of Chrissy Teigen and Meghan for sharing their grief, so that other mothers may feel like they are not alone in theirs. Especially in this already difficult year,” another agreed.
In her brutally honest account of her and Harry’s experience of losing their unborn baby, the 39-year-old shared how she has learnt about 10 to 20 in every 100 women will miscarry.
But despite the number of families who will go through a similar experience, the duchess says the “unbearable grief” many suffer is often carried in silence.
“Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” she said.
Later in the article, Meghan goes on to urge 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.
Following Meghan’s article on Wednesday, a Buckingham Palace spokesman told the BBC: “It’s a deeply personal matter we would not comment on.”
Kensington Palace and Clarence House have also not publicly commented on the article.
Sky News royal commentator Alistair Bruce told the news outlet he thought other members of the royal family “probably didn’t know about this happening at all.”
“Today’s announcement is very much in the style that she likes to follow … expressing her own emotions and controlling her own story,” he said.
It is indeed the first time a member of the royal family has shared such deeply personal news so publicly, with the royals very much known for their “mantra never complain, never explain”, according to Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl.
However, Katie said she believed Harry’s family had indeed known about the situation for months and have been supporting the couple behind closed doors.
“They were aware of what had happened,” she told the BBC. “Harry was in constant touch with them over the summer and they knew what they were going through.
“My understanding is that they have been supported by the royal family throughout this episode.”
The duchess sharing her experience of miscarriage comes soon after model Chrissy Teigen shared her own sadness, as she and her husband John Legend lost their baby.
Both Chrissy and John were also praised for speaking openly and honestly about their experience.
Additional reporting by Marie Claire Dorking.
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