Meghan Markle and Prince Harry accused of being insensitive after announcing royal baby on International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
The couple today revealed they will become parents in the spring of next year, making the announcement just hours after arriving in Australia for their first official overseas tour together.
But while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were inundated with well-wishes, many have pointed out the announcement was badly timed with International Pregnancy And Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
One critic wrote on Twitter: "A bit insensitive if you ask me. It's baby loss and bereavement day."
Another added: "Absolutely.
"Prince Harry and Meghan announce excitement at pregnancy on Baby Loss and bereavement day.
"And I thought it was bad enough that they couldn't wait more than three days to knock Eugenie back into place. #appallingtiming".
But Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “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."
Today also marks the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week, held every October 9 to 15 to mark the lives of babies lost in pregnancy or soon after birth.
The week is spearheaded by the Miscarriage Association, which works with more than 60 charities to raise awareness amongst the public, healthcare professionals and parliamentarians of the key issues affecting those who have lost a baby.
Henry Smith MP also took to Twitter about the issue, saying: "On their pregnancy news I wish the Duke & Duchess of Sussex well.
"As someone who’s had a baby son die it’s regrettable they announced this on Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
"I’m sure unintentional and hopefully will help raise global awareness from Australia, the UK and worldwide."
Kensington Palace declined to comment.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared the news with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at Princess Eugenie's wedding on Friday.
Royal sources said her Majesty was "delighted" with the announcement, as was Prince Philip and Harry's dad Prince Charles.
Speculation reached fever pitch earlier after Meghan was seen clutching a number of purple folders to her stomach in Sydney – apparently hiding her baby bump.
Kensington Palace swiftly confirmed these rumours on Twitter, writing: "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.
They added: "Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.
The news comes nearly five months to the day that they were married in a lavish ceremony at St George's Chapel in Windsor.
Just last week rumours circulated that Meghan was pregnant after she appeared at Princess Eugenie's wedding wearing a long, loose-fitting coat.
This morning the pair held hands and smiled as they arrived in Australia, accompanied by a ten-man entourage for their first international tour as a couple.
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