The Duchess of Sussex has revealed the heartbreak and "unbearable grief" she felt when she miscarried a baby earlier this year.

Writing in the New York Times: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

“It was a July morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib", her moving account began.

But The Duchess of Sussex said that she suddenly knew something was wrong.

“After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right", she said.

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.

“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 and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, had their first child, Archie, on 6 May 2019.

They were living in Los Angeles at the time of Meghan's miscarriage.

And the Duchess of Sussex’s miscarriage story has sent a “powerful message” to others who have experienced the loss of a baby, medics have said.

Meghan’s recollection about losing her unborn child in July has raised awareness about “one of the most heart-breaking things a family can experience”, and sympathies have been expressed by members of the medical community as well as by royal relatives.

Harry’s uncle Earl Spencer offered his sympathy to his nephew and Meghan during an appearance on the ITV show Lorraine.

He told the host: “I can’t imagine the agony for any couple of losing a child in this way.

“It’s so very, very sad. And of course, I totally agree with you, all thoughts with them today.”

Sophie King, a midwife at the charity Tommy’s, said the duchess’s article sent a “powerful message” to others who have been through a miscarriage that they “are not alone”.

She said: “One in four pregnancies ends in loss, but it’s a real taboo in society, so mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame.

“Meghan’s essay praises the bravery of parents who share their stories, and those who prefer to grieve privately can still find comfort and connection in reading about others’ experiences.”

Following the duchess’s story, Dr Christine Ekechi of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said miscarriage “remains a taboo subject” but she would like to “welcome open discussion about miscarriage”.

She said: “Sadly, early miscarriages are very common and they can be a devastating loss for parents and their families. Up to one in five women may experience a miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy…

“Miscarriage remains a taboo subject, despite how common it is. It is important that we remove any stigma or shame surrounding this issue and adequately support families during this time.”

Clea Harmer, chief executive of stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands, expressed her sympathies for Harry and Meghan and “all who have been affected by this cruellest of bereavements”.

“Going through this grief at any time is hard enough but the isolation we have all felt this year has made it even more difficult for parents whose baby has died during the Covid-19 pandemic and has brought back painful emotions for all those who have lost precious loved ones.

“Many people simply don’t know what to say when a baby has died. And because it is an ‘invisible’ loss many mothers go through miscarriage and may never reveal what happened to even their family or closest friends. But we can all make a difference simply by asking, as Meghan suggests, if someone we know is OK and by saying how sorry we are.”