Meghan Markle’s podcast with Spotify premiered the opening episode of its first series with the platform, Archetypes with Meganin which the Duchess of Sussex investigates the labels that tend to hold women back and is already revealing more secrets from royal life.
Spotify’s new podcast, in collaboration with the Sussexes’ production company Archewell Audio, has been billed as an honest and open conversation, and Markle has already revealed the terrifying moment her son Archie’s nursery caught fire in the first episode.
In the first episode, Markle talks to Serena Williams about what “ambition” means to women and girls, how they’re both juggling motherhood and Williams’ future development away from tennis.
The couple discuss how much of their life as mothers is behind the scenes, and say that even when things go wrong, they’re expected to “make it” right after (whether on the tennis court or at royal engagements).
Markle praises Williams’ ability to balance her role as a mother and top-level tennis player, and talks about her own terrifying experience that happened when her son Archie was just four-and-a-half months old.
Shortly after Archie’s birth, Markle and her husband Prince Harry took their son on an official trip to South Africa.
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“The moment we landed, we had to leave him in this housing unit they had us stay in,” she explains. “He was about to get ready to go down for his nap.”
The royal couple were supposed to go straight to an official engagement in a township called Nyanga, and after meeting the locals and making speeches, the new parents got into the car and were told about a house fire.
“What?” Markle exclaims. “The baby’s room is on fire. What?”
“Our amazing nanny Lauren was in floods of tears,” Markle continued. “He had to put Archie down for his nap and he just said, you know what, let me go get a snack downstairs.”
Luckily, the nanny took Archie with her, but while she was downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught fire.
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“There was no smoke detector, someone happened to smell smoke in the hallway so he went in and put the fire out,” Markle explains.
“He was meant to sleep in there.”
Although luckily no one was injured in the ordeal, the family and those with them were understandably very shaken by the incident.
“Everybody’s in tears, everybody’s shaking,” says Markle. “And what were we supposed to do? Go out and have another official engagement.”
And that’s what they did. The royal couple had to leave their four-month-old son where a fire had just broken out.
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“The focus comes down to what it looks like instead of how it feels,” he adds, explaining that people need to have “some understanding of the human moments behind the scenes that people might not be aware of and giving each other a break. “
Also in the episode, Markle and Williams discuss the “double standard women face when labeled as ‘ambitious'” and the ripple effects that has on other aspects of their lives.
Markle talks about her own experience with the word – and Harry’s involvement.
“Well, I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ambitious until I started dating my now-husband,” she says. “And, apparently, ambition is, uh… a terrible, terrible thing, for a woman – according to some.
“So having felt the negativity behind it, it’s really hard to pick apart. I can’t even tell it to the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller—so much smaller—on a regular basis.”
Throughout the 12-episode series, the duchess will talk to inspiring women from different generations and industries who have mastered tropes in their lives. The next guest is Mariah Carey.
“This is Archetypes – the podcast where we break down, explore and subvert the labels that try to hold women back,” she says in the intro.
“I’m going to have conversations with women who know very well how these print editions shape our narratives. And I’m going to talk to historians to understand how we got here in the first place.”
Archewell Audio (the first audio production company launched by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) first announced its partnership with Spotify nearly two years ago, following the Sussexes’ Holiday Special podcast with guests including Elton John and James Corden.
The Duchess dropped her royal title for the podcast, to be referred to simply as Meghan in the show’s title. The thumbnail image for the podcast also shows the mother-of-two wearing minimal make-up and a simple white tank top, suggesting that the series will be a stripped-down version of her official appearance.
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