Meghan Markle's friend has revealed why the Duchess of Sussex decided to publicly share details of her tragic miscarriage.
The 39-year-old, who had her first child Archie with Prince Harry in May last year, wrote a deeply personal piece in the New York Times last month, where she said she suffered a miscarriage in July.
Meghan wrote of her "unbearable grief" as she "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".
Now a source has told People why they decided to share the story after months of grieving.
"They kept their miscarriage private for months because it was very painful and not anything that they knew if they would ever want to share," a source told the publication.
"They both seemed shocked at how painful it was. Meghan was ready to share now because so many women go through the same thing in silence."
The highly personal declaration was 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.
Neither Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, nor Clarence House, home to Prince Charles and Camilla, have commented on the news.
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 Freedom and 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," Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl told the BBC.
"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, 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."