Meghan Markle Shared Her "Almost Unbearable Grief" After Having a Miscarriage

Meghan Markle revealed she had a miscarriage in July, in a New York Times op-ed centered on the importance of asking others, "Are you OK?"

johannesburg, south africa october 01 meghan, duchess of sussex joins a conversation to discuss the nature of violence against women and girls while she visits actionaid during the royal tour of south africa on october 01, 2019 in johannesburg, south africa photo by samir husseinwireimage
(Image credit: Pool)

Meghan Markle had a miscarriage in July, she revealed in a New York Times op-ed centered on the importance of asking others, "Are you OK?" Meghan wrote about the "almost unbearable grief" she and Prince Harry experienced after losing their second child, as well as the prevailing stigma surrounding miscarriage.

The Duchess of Sussex wrote that she felt a "sharp cramp" one morning in July as she held her son, Archie. "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," she recalled. "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. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears," she continued. "Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal."

Meghan reflected on her 2019 interview with journalist Tom Bradby amid the Sussexes' tour of southern Africa, conducted while she was "exhausted," breastfeeding Archie, and "trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye." When Bradby asked, "Are you OK?" Meghan answered candidly. "Thank you for asking," she 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 wrote.

"Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," Meghan said, addressing the stigma attached to miscarriage. "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."

"We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter—for all of us," she added. "In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.

Meghan further reflected on the COVID-19 pandemic, the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the political "polarization" across the U.S. "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.

"Let us commit to asking others, 'Are you OK?'" Meghan urged readers. "As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year."

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.