File photo: Mike and Zara Tindall arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London. Picture: AP

London - Zara Tindall suffered the heartache of two miscarriages before having her second daughter Lena last month, she revealed on Sunday.

The Queen’s granddaughter, who also has a daughter Mia, four, with former rugby player Mike Tindall, said she kept the second miscarriage private because it felt so raw.

She said: "You need to go through a period where you don’t talk about it because it’s too raw. But, as with everything, time’s a great healer."

The first miscarriage occurred after it was announced in November 2016 that she was pregnant with her second child.

Zara, 37, was then forced to reveal to the world, on Christmas Eve, that she had lost the baby. She said the fact that "everyone knows" had been "the hardest part".

She said: "In our case, it was something that was really rare, it was nature going 'this one’s not right', which your body does a lot, I think."

Zara, who was around four months pregnant at the time of the first miscarriage, said she had had to go through labour because the pregnancy"‘was so far along", adding: "You have to for your body, to get your body back."

She told how, the second time it happened, it was "really early on" and so the pregnancy never reached the stage where it was announced to the public.

Zara dealt with her grief in private, with husband Mike and her brother Peter Phillips both being "very protective", she told the Sunday Times Magazine. It is not clear when exactly Zara’s second miscarriage occurred but it would have been between December 2016 and October 2017 – when she became pregnant with Lena.

The equestrian champion, who was named Sports Personality of the Year in 2006, paid tribute to her husband and brother.

She said: "It’s hard for the guys, it’s a different feeling of loss, isn’t it? That’s a time when your family comes to the fore, that’s when you need them."

The royal also expressed gratitude for the flood of messages she received after the first miscarriage was made public, saying: "Amazingly, lots of people wrote to us and said they’d been through the same thing…it really happens a lot."

Breaking his silence about the devastating loss last year, her husband, a former England rugby captain, said: "One thing you do learn is how many other people have to go through the same thing."