Kensington Palace announced on Monday morning that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is expecting her first child with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and while many rejoiced at the news, others picked up on the insensitivity of the timing.
According to Metro UK, October 15 is also International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day and the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week, and plenty of grieving parents were not happy with the announcement.
The annual week is held from October 9-15 to mark the lives of babies lost either during a pregnancy or shortly after birth. It is spearheaded by the Miscarriage Association, in association with over 60 other charities to raise awareness among the “public, healthcare professionals and parliamentarians of the key issues affecting those who have lost a baby.”
Grieving parents and others sensitive to the date took to social media in droves to criticize both Kensington Palace and the couple for their insensitivity at the timing of their happy news announcement, wondering why they couldn’t wait a day or two to break the story.
“A bit insensitive if you ask me. It’s baby loss and bereavement day,” wrote one, with another commenting, “Absolutely. Prince Harry and #Meghan announce excitement at #pregnancy on Baby Loss and bereavement day. #MeghanMarklepregnant.”
I honestly find it so distasteful to announce a royal baby on national baby loss awareness awareness day, coming from a crisis worker stand point this is going to affect a lot of women.
— Rachael Campey (@RachaelCampey) October 15, 2018
@KensingtonRoyal little insensitive to announce s royal pregnancy on the last day of baby loss awareness week. October 15th is a very special day for parents to angels. Couldn't it wait for a day or 2?
— Sarah Speller (@SarahSpeller6) October 15, 2018
— jo sharpen (@josharpen) October 15, 2018
Amidst all the criticism, Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, came to the couple’s defense.
“I imagine they didn’t know. I think it’s as simple as that. For many people who have the deep sadness and grief of losing a baby, there was also that moment of joy when they wanted to announce their pregnancy. I can understand how people feel. It can be deeply hurtful but I have to be sure they had no idea of the significance of the day.”
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed in a number of different countries across the globe, including the U.K., Canada, the U.S., Norway, Italy, and Kenya – as well as in the Australian States of Western Australia and New South Wales.
The couple allowed Kensington Palace to announce the news as they were touching down in Sydney, Australia, ahead of a grueling 16-day tour of Australasia that includes an eye-popping 76 engagements for the couple to get through.
Aside from their announcement coming on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, the couple also received plenty of flak for sharing their news privately with the royal family during the reception of Princess Eugenie’s wedding on Friday, upsetting both the bride and her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, as the Inquistr previously reported.