Keira Knightley and Kate Middleton
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October 05, 2018 03:07 PM

Kate Middleton has dazzled fans three times over with her ultra-polished appearances outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital just hours after giving birth. Now actress Keira Knightley is criticizing those appearances as setting an unrealistic expectation for other women.

The 33-year-old actress welcomed her daughter, Edie, just one day before Princess Kate gave birth to her second child, Princess Charlotte, back in 2015. Knightley recalls how her birth experience appeared to differ from Kate’s in an essay titled “The Weaker Sex,” which appears in the collection Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), curated by the writer and cofounder of The Pink Protest, Scarlett Curtis.

“We stand and watch the TV screen. She [Kate] was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see,” Knightley writes, according to Refinery29.

She continues, “Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful. Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William introduce Princess Charlotte in 2015
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty
Kate Middleton introduces Prince Louis in April 2018
Joely Richardson red sparrow
Kate Middleton and Prince William following the birth of Prince George in 2013
Ruaridh Connellan/Barcroft via Getty Images
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Knightley’s essay, dedicated “to my girl,” begins by intimately describing her daughter’s birth.

“My vagina split,” she starts. “You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.”

“You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out,” Knightley adds. “I remember the s—, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”

Keira Knightley
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty

RELATED: Here’s Every Sweet Detail We Know About the Littlest Royal, Prince Louis (So Far!)

Kate introduced the world to her third child, Prince Louis, in April wearing a red dress with a white collar (almost identical to the dress Princess Diana wore after giving birth to Prince Harry) by Jenny Packham, her signature blowout styled to perfection.

RELATED VIDEO: Kate Middleton Steps Out with New Royal Baby Just 7 Hours After Giving Birth

Proud dad William said the couple was “very happy, delighted” as he fit the baby carrier into the car before the couple made their way back to their home at Kensington Palace.

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