Meghan Markle opens up on 'overwhelming' birth of baby Lilibet

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits 1 World Trade Center on September 23, 2021 in New York City
(Image credit: Getty Images / Gotham / Contributor)

Meghan Markle has opened up in a passionate letter to US Congress calling for paid paternity leave after feeling "overwhelmed" by the birth of baby Lilibet.

Meghan Markle has revealed she and Prince Harry were overwhelmed after welcoming their second child, Lilibet (opens in new tab), in an emotional letter to The United States Congress on paid paternity leave as well as maternity leave (opens in new tab).

In the letter, written to the House of Representative's Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Meghan said she was writing on "behalf of millions of families".

Prince Harry and Meghan, who have been officially named the two most influential people in the world (opens in new tab), have undertaken several ventures since stepping back as senior royals (opens in new tab) in 2020, including the launch of their Archewell foundation (opens in new tab) and several other charitable, humanitarian projects.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit One World Observatory at One World Observatory on September 23, 2021 in New York City.

Meghan, who shares two children with Prince Harry, Archie and Lilibet (opens in new tab), explained she was writing to Congress "as a parent".

She said, "Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed. Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work.

"We knew we could take her home, and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family. We knew that by doing so we wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speak onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.

She continued, “No family should be faced with these decisions. No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child."

Meghan concluded her letter writing, "If we’re going to create a new era of family-first policies, let’s make sure that includes a strong paid leave program for every American that’s guaranteed, accessible, and encouraged without stigma or penalty.

"So, on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili, and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter, and on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost."