What royals knew about Meghan’s miscarriage

 

How much the royal family knew about Meghan and Harry's heartbreaking July miscarriage has been the subject of debate among royal commentators following Meghan's searing personal essay in the New York Times.

On Wednesday, the 39-year-old Duchess made global headlines when she published an opinion piece entitled The Losses We Share.

She revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July while with her son Archie, and weaved her personal pain with the difficulties many faced during the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movements that have rocked 2020.

"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."

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The highly personal declaration is a first for a member of the royal family and another step in the Sussexes' path that has sharply diverged from their life as senior royals since they famously quit royal duties in January 2020.

It has led many in the UK to question how much the royal family knew about the disclosure and the private pain the couple were suffering while in Los Angeles.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "It's a deeply personal matter we would not comment on."

A source close to the couple has told the BBC Meghan is "currently in good health" and the decision to speak about their loss came after the couple realised how "common miscarriage is, [and] wanted to talk about it publicly."

Sky News royal commentator Alistair Bruce said other members of the 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.

However Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl said her understanding was that the royal family had known about the situation for months and had been supporting the couple through the northern summer.

"I understand they've been very supportive of it," she told the BBC's Emma Barnett.

"They were aware of what had happened. Harry was in constant touch with them over the summer and they knew what they were going through."

 

 

"They're not the first royal couple to go through this trauma and this heartache, but certainly Meghan is the first royal to talk about it so publicly and so graphically and so movingly.

"The royals are very much of the mantra never complain, never explain. We don't hear them opening up their hearts but if ever I knew a royal that does and wears his heart on his sleeve, it's Harry and Meghan is clearly cut from the same cloth.

"My understanding is that they have been supported by the royal family throughout this episode."

Neither Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or Clarence House, home to Prince Charles and Camilla have commented on the issue. This week the Duchess of Cambridge is set to reveal the results of her landmark survey into the early parenting years in the UK.

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The miscarriage came at a tumultuous time for the couple when they were barely out of the media spotlight due to the release of biography Finding Freedomand Meghan's court case against the Mail on Sunday.

"It really struck me that this miscarriage happened in July when they just weren't out of the papers," Ms Nicholl said.

"You just couldn't get away from the Harry and Meghan narrative and now we know that they were going through this complete personal heartache. I think she was very brave to write about it."

When pressed on whether it was hypocritical of the couple to share such personal experiences while asking for a right to privacy, Ms Nicholl said we can expect to see the couple use their personal narrative when it fits their broader goals.

"She's obviously chosen to talk about this experience to link it to the issues that matter to her.

"They will talk about personal issues when they are relevant to the causes that they are trying to draw attention to," she said.

 

The brother of Princess Diana, Charles Spencer, also told UK television his thoughts were with the couple.

"I can't imagine the agony for any couple for losing a child in this way. I totally agree with you - all thoughts with them today," he said.

The disclosure comes as Netflix hit The Crown tackles the subject of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage, and the BBC has opened an investigation into the how one of its journalists, Martin Bashir, secured an interview with Diana that led to the bombshell disclosure that there were "three of us" in the marriage.

The Earl Spencer also told Times Radio he did not watch The Crown and the show had asked him for permission to film at the family home of Althorp, where Diana is buried, which was met with a "definite no".

"It's not really accurate, the bits I know are not very accurately portrayed," he said of the show, adding that it should be "essential" to have a disclaimer around accuracy.

"I think they got away with a lot when it was 70 years ago and we just enjoyed the distant tales being bought to life in a semi-fictitious way.

"I think The Crown and other programs like that should flag up that this is fun fiction based around some true facts."

Earl Spencer said he "hugely" regretted introducing Martin Bashir to his sister. He also said the BBC investigation into the interview should have open parameters to demonstrate the credibility and openness of the corporation.

Read the full article in the New York Times. For support with miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death contact Australian charity Sands.

Originally published as What royals knew about Meghan's loss



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