Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and wife to Prince Harry, has revealed in an op-ed for The New York Times that she has had a miscarriage. It occurred in July, when, after changing her son Archie's diaper, she felt a sharp cramp in her stomach and dropped to the floor with her toddler in her arms.
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she writes.
Markle goes on to explain that her sense of despair of loneliness was only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the world to isolate.
In the painful piece, Markle recalls a now-famous exchange she had with a reporter after her tour of South Africa with her husband.
"Not many people have asked if I’m ok ... it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
Meghan reveals to ITV's @tombradby the intense media spotlight has left her struggling to cope while becoming a mum #HarryAndMeghan https://t.co/Uy21iE6ozJ pic.twitter.com/kZqhZV66OL
In her Times piece, Markle expanded on what was going through her mind at that time - and why she so appreciated the question.
I recalled a moment last year when Harry and I were finishing up a long tour in South Africa. I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.
“Are you OK?” a journalist asked me. I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering. My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.
“Thank you for asking,” I said. “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
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?”
She shares that 10 or 20 out of 100 women have suffered miscarriages, and encouraged readers to use those three words, "Are you OK?" should they ever meet one of them.
Since her wedding to the Duke of Sussex, Markle, an American who was a Hollywood actress before entering the British Royal family, has been a favorite target of the British tabloids. They've ripped her for reportedly breaking royal traditions, gossiped about her behavior, and scrutinized her strained relationship with her father. And so, in part due to the overwhelming publicity, Harry and Meghan shocked the world in January by announcing they were stepping back from their royal duties.