In the second part of their much-anticipated Netflix docuseries “Meghan & Harry,” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are opening up about the miscarriage she suffered in 2020. Prince Harry says he holds the U.K. media responsible for the stress Markle endured before her pregnancy loss.
The couple’s lawyer, Jenny Afia, spoke on-camera about the stress Meghan was under and the “toll it was taking” when she pursued legal action against Associated Newspapers back in 2020. The publisher of the “Mail on Sunday” and the MailOnline printed sections of a private letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in the aftermath of her May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry.
Afia says Meghan was unable to sleep during the early weeks of her second pregnancy due to the pressure she felt once she and Prince Harry moved into their new home in Montecito, California.
“The first morning that we woke up in our new home is when I miscarried,” said Meghan.
“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did,” Harry said. “I watched the whole thing. Now do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was caused by that? Of course, we don’t.”
While there is no scientific research to prove a causal link between psychological stress and miscarriage—meaning the link is only correlational and most statistics surrounding miscarriage focus on chromosomal abnormalities—reducing stress during pregnancy is crucial.
No major studies have shown a direct link between stress causing miscarriage, some research shows an indirect link, which could suggest that stress may be a potential risk factor for pregnancy loss. Stress alone, based on existing research is unlikely to directly cause a miscarriage.
“The diverse views held by women and healthcare professionals demonstrate the need for evidence in this vital area of human wellbeing,” says a study cited in the National Library of Medicine. “Awareness of the effects of psychosocial stress could lead to improved strategies for screening psychological support and changes in employment practices.”
That being said, it’s valid and understandable to have trauma surrounding the stress they both endured leading up to her pregnancy loss.
“[But] bearing in mind the stress that caused the lack of sleep and the timing of the pregnancy, 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,” Harry said. “I thought she was brave and courageous, but that doesn’t surprise me because she is brave and courageous.”
Months after her miscarriage amid the ongoing legal battle, Meghan received a full public apology from the Mail on Sunday in December 2021 after London’s High Court’s final decision favored the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.