Lillibet ‘Lilli’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s second child and first daughter, was born on June 4, 2021, two years after their son, Archie Harrison, was born on May 6, 2019.
Photos taken when The Duchess of Sussex visited The National Theatre during her second pregnancy suggested that she has hypermobile joints. Meghan’s thumb appeared to bend back unusually far as she cradled her baby bump, and experts say this is exactly the kind of thing you’d see on someone with hypermobility, which is typically a hereditary condition.
“People with hypermobility are often able to move their limbs in ways that others cannot, much like Meghan’s thumb appears bent uncomfortably in the photo,” says osteopath Anisha Joshi.
“It means that a person’s joints can have an unusually wide range of motion in some or all of them.” Hypermobility is a hereditary condition characterized by genetically determined changes in collagen, a type of protein found in ligaments that provides support. Joints can become loose and stretchy if there isn’t enough collagen in the body.”
It’s not a foregone conclusion that Meghan will pass the disease on to Lillibet and Archie, but it all boils down to a genetic mutation of collagen, the substance that protects and cushions our joints, allowing them to move freely without pain. If Lillibet and Archie develop the same condition, it isn’t a major concern; it simply means they will have a greater range of motion in their joints, necessitating the strengthening of the surrounding muscles to keep everything stable.
“Many people with hypermobility don’t experience pain,” Anisha adds, “and strength training is a great way to keep symptoms like joints popping out or dislocating at bay.”
Meghan hasn’t confirmed whether she has hypermobile joints elsewhere in her body, but if she does, it could explain why she’s so good at yoga. Previous photos from her former lifestyle blog The Tig showed that she could master some of the more advanced yoga moves that necessitate a lot of joint flexibility, so it makes sense.