There is "understandable sadness" in the family, a source tells PEOPLE

By Erin Hill and Simon Perry
November 25, 2020 09:12 AM
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared the devastating news of their pregnancy loss with their families, a royal source tells PEOPLE.

"There is a lot of sadness around the family," the palace source says.

With the time of reflection around Thanksgiving approaching, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to talk openly about their loss, a source close to the couple adds.

Stressing that it is an intensely private matter, a spokesman for Harry's father Prince Charles declined to comment, while separately at Buckingham Palace, a spokesperson concurred, saying it was a deeply personal matter.

A second royal source added there is "understandable sadness" in the family.

In a searingly honest and heartbreaking account, Meghan revealed that she suffered the miscarriage – which would have been a sibling to 1-year-old son, Archie — in July of this year.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor 1st birthday
Meghan Markle and Archie
| Credit: The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan, 39, wrote in a New York Times essay on Wednesday, explaining that she dropped to the floor after feeling a sharp cramp while changing her son’s diaper.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty Images

“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," Meghan added. “In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning."

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

She then shared that she hopes more people will be open about checking in with loved ones and not be afraid to ask if they are OK.

“As we plan for a holiday unlike any before — many of us separated from our loved ones, alone, sick, scared, divided and perhaps struggling to find something, anything, to be grateful for — let us commit to asking others, 'Are you OK?' As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year,” she shared.