Prince Harry Reflects on Meghan Markle's Miscarriage and How He Felt 'Totally Helpless'

Prince Harry writes about his wife's miscarriage for the first time in his memoir Spare, out Tuesday

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive on the long Walk at Windsor Castle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry is opening up about how he and Meghan Markle mourned a miscarriage in his memoir Spare.

In the book, the Duke of Sussex, 38, remembered how his wife, 41, showed signs of pregnancy loss on the "first morning" in their new home in Montecito.

After racing to the hospital, "the doctor walked into the room, I didn't hear one word she said, I just watched her face, her body language. I already knew. We both did," Harry writes.

The miscarriage happened in July 2020, when their son Archie Harrison was 1.

Harry says he and Meghan "both wept" and that he "felt totally hopeless" as they left the hospital with their "unborn child."

"A tiny package," Harry writes. "We went to a place, a secret place only we knew."

"Under a spreading banyan tree, while Meg wept, I dug a hole with my hands and set the tiny package softly in the ground," Harry writes.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the long Walk at Windsor Castle arrive to view flowers and tributes to HM Queen Elizabeth on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson/Getty

In November 2020, Meghan publicly revealed the pregnancy loss in an essay for The New York Times. The Duchess of Sussex said the day "began as ordinarily as any other day," but she felt a sharp cramp after changing Archie's diaper.

"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she wrote.

For more on Prince Harry's memoir, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"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 explained, adding: "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."

"Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same," she wrote. "We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing."

Prince Harry book
The book jacket of Prince Harry's memoir 'Spare'. PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The couple revisited the painful memory of the miscarriage in their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, released in December.

"The first morning that we woke up in our new home is when I miscarried," Meghan said on the show. At the time, she was suing the Associated Newspapers group after the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline printed portions of a private letter she sent her father Thomas Markle in 2018.

From there, Prince Harry said that the stress of the litigation possibly caused the pregnancy loss.

"I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did. I watched the whole thing," Harry said. "Now do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was created 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, 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."

Prince Harry cover rollout
Prince Harry. Jenna Jones

For more from PEOPLE's exclusive interview with Harry, check out this week's issue, on newsstands Friday

About a year after the miscarriage, the couple welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana in June 2021. Six months later, Meghans' court battle with Associated Newspapers came to a close when the Court of Appeal in London ruled in her favor. She was later awarded a symbolic £1 in damages for her privacy claim, an unspecified sum for the separate case of infringing her copyright by publishing parts of the letter and a front-page apology from The Mail on Sunday in December 2021.

In this week's exclusive PEOPLE cover story, Prince Harry tells PEOPLE he sees himself today as "a husband and a father — first and foremost — as well as a veteran, environmentalist and mental-health advocate. I know that I want to live my life in service of others and that I want to live by example for my kids."

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