Kate Middleton opens up on big pregnancy struggle in rare moment that 'struck a chord'

The Princess of Wales spoke candidly about her experience with a rare form of morning sickness

Kate Middleton pregnancy struggle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton touched on her struggles with severe morning sickness in a rare moment that 'struck a chord' during her latest royal engagement. 

After a much-deserved break, Kate Middleton's schedule has been packed with royal engagements up and down the country - and she's been on top form. The Princess of Wales never disappoints with both her fashion choices and candid manner, whether she's sporting one of her many power suits, like her most recent chic forest green power suit, or she's dazzling in a reworn outfit made to feel fresh and new with her subtle hair hack

Perhaps due to the family memories made during the recent school summer holidays, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, while not being there in person, have featured heavily throughout Kate's many recent engagements. From Kate revealing how she suffered a painful injury while playing with her three kids to her speaking about the opportunity Princess Charlotte is getting at school that she never had, the Princess is keen to keep people updated on how her kids are getting on. 

Her recent royal engagement saw Catherine reminisce on a somewhat less pleasant memory when it comes to her children though and she opened up about her struggles with an extreme form of morning sickness that plagued all three of her pregnancies. 

Kate Middleton pregnancy struggle

(Image credit: Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The rare personal insight came as Kate spoke with the husband of a woman who had experienced the same severe sickness and vomiting, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, that she did during her pregnancy. 

Speaking about his chat with the future queen, as reported by the Daily Mail, Steve Ikebuwa, a father-of-four, revealed, "It was nice meeting her. When I told her about my wife having hyperemesis gravidarum, it struck a chord with her.

"You could see an expression of 'I went through that'. She said 'I had that, I know what it's like'. You could see her connection to the fact that my wife went through all of that. That really resonated with me. She is a pleasant lady."

It was likely an unpleasant memory for the Princess to recall as it has previously been reported that Kate experienced hyperemesis gravidarum throughout all three of her pregnancies, and Cosmopolitan report that the condition even saw her hospitalised in 2012.

It's thought that Kate has often kept quiet about the condition as speaking about being pregnant as a royal is somewhat of a taboo. This largely stems from the royals' preference of keeping family matters private but might also be affected by Queen Elizabeth's own distaste of the word 'pregnant' - she reportedly thought the word to be 'vulgar' and preferred to say women were 'in the family way.'

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Over ten years on from Kate's hospitalisation due to hyperemesis gravidarum, the cause behind the sickness is still largely unknown. 

The extreme sickness affects around 1% of  pregnant people with Caitlin Dean, a registered general nurse and chairperson for Pregnancy Sickness Support, revealing to Cosmopolitan that the conditions side effects can be so unbearable that around 1,000 women a year choose to have an abortion 'because they can no longer cope with the vomiting and constant nausea.'

With that in mind, it's no wonder that chatting to Steve Ikebuwa 'struck a chord' with Kate. Speaking about the condition must be incredibly hard as all sorts of awful memories are brought to the surface. It would be hard for anyone, let alone someone in the public eye as much as Kate. Her ability to connect personally with so many people during her engagements is just another of the valuable skills Kate has that could ‘help the monarchy survive’ and we applaud her open manner and candid approach. 

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.