If there was one theme explored throughout the second volume of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Netflix docuseries, it was the impact the British tabloids’ constant attacks on them had—and the cost they faced for fighting back. While Meghan ultimately won her lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday for publishing her personal letter to her father, the work she put into fighting the case had a deep physical impact on her—and to her husband Harry, is what led her to miscarry their second child.
Meghan had been under stress when the Mail‘s publishers were seeking to uncover the identities of her five friends who spoke to People in interviews she didn’t authorize, her lawyer Jenny Afia noted. Meghan wanted to protect them. In the meantime, she and Harry were also moving into their new Montecito, CA, home.
“I was pregnant. I really wasn’t sleeping,” Meghan recalled. “And the first morning that we woke up in our new home is when I miscarried.” Meghan wrote of the moment in her New York Times essay in November 2020:
After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. 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.
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. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.
“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did,” Harry said point blank. “I watched the whole thing. Now do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was caused by that? Of course we don’t. But bearing in mind the stress that caused the lack of sleep, and the timing of the pregnancy happening [how many] weeks in she was, I can say from what I saw that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her.”
Meghan addressed her decision to share her miscarriage story publicly with the Times. “When I reveal things that are moments of vulnerability when it comes to having a miscarriage and maybe having felt ashamed about that, it’s ok, you’re human. It’s ok to talk about that,” she said. “And I could make the choice to never talk about those things or I could make the choice to say that with all the bad that comes with this, the good is helping other people. That’s the point of life right, is connection and community like that.”
In the documentary’s fifth episode, she also addressed the effect the tabloids’ and online hate had on her.
“I’m a mom. That’s my real life,” she said. “That’s the piece when you see it and go, you are making people want to kill me. It’s not just a tabloid; it’s not just some story. You’re making me scared.” Meghan feared for her children’s safety, too. “You’ve created it [this hatred] for what?” she asked. “Because you’re bored or it because it sells your papers? Or it makes you feel better about your own life? It’s real what you’re doing and that’s the piece I don’t think people fully understand.”
The couple ultimately became pregnant again and welcomed their daughter, Lilibet Diana, on June 4, 2021.
“There was something that felt so complete once we had Lilibet,” Meghan said in the sixth episode. “Everyone just really respected that we had been through so much. And that we, like any other parent, deserve to just welcome their child into the world peacefully and have that time as a family to nurture and cocoon. Which we did with the addition of our little toddler [older brother Archie].”
You can watch the full series on Netflix here.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.