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Meghan Markle Shares Son Archie’s Narrow Escape with Fire in Debut Podcast Episode


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Meghan Markle has released the first episode of her highly awaited Spotify podcast, Archetypes. In its first episode, newly-retired tennis star Serena Williams touched upon topics close to their hearts, while the Duchess of Sussex also shared her firstborn Archie’s close save with a building fire.

In the episode titled ‘The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams’, the mother-of-two recalls how Archie’s nursery caught fire during the former senior royals’ official trip to South Africa in 2019. “When we went on our tour to South Africa, we landed with Archie,” the 41-year-old began. “Archie was what, four and a half months old. And the moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in.” She continued, “He was going to get ready to go down for his nap. We immediately went to an official engagement in this township called Nyanga, and there was this moment where I’m standing on a tree stump and I’m giving this speech to women and girls, and we finish the engagement, we get in the car and they say, ‘There’s been a fire at the residence.’ What? ‘There’s been a fire in the baby’s room.’ What?” Saying that she doesn’t believe the couple hasn’t talked about the incident yet, Markle continued to say that their “amazing nanny” Lauren had been “in floods of tears.”

“She was supposed to put Archie down for his nap, and she just said, ‘You know what? Let me just go get a snack downstairs.’ And she was from Zimbabwe, and we loved that she would always tie him on her, her back with a mud cloth, and her instinct was like, ‘Let me just bring him with me before I put him down,'” said Markle. “In that amount of time that she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire. There was no smoke detector. Someone happened to just smell smoke down the hallway, went in, fire extinguished. We came back. And, of course, as a mother, you go, ‘Oh, my God, what?’ Everyone’s in tears, everyone’s shaken. And what do we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement? I said, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.”

Markle also opened up about the pressure to continue as if nothing happened and how it enforces detrimental archetypes on working parents. “I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?’ And so much, I think, optically, the focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels,” she said. “And part of the humanizing and the breaking through of these labels and these archetypes and these boxes that we’re put into is having some understanding on the human moments behind the scenes that people might not have any awareness of and to give each other a break. Because we did — we had to leave our baby.”


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In the hour-long episode, Markle and Williams also discussed at length how men are often praised for their drive and ambition in their careers but how women are often tagged “selfish” with a hidden agenda if they are “ambitious.” Available weekly, Archetypes is the first series on Spotify under the streaming service’s exclusive deal with Markle and Prince Harry’s Archewell Audio that was signed in December 2020.

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