Meghan Markle reveals fire in Archie's nursery while she was in Nyanga on tour in South Africa

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (Photo: Getty Images)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (Photo: Getty Images)
  • The first episode on Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast is here.
  • In the episode, the Duchess of Sussex speaks to longtime friend and mom, tennis pro Serena Williams.
  • During the conversation, Meghan recalls a terrifying incident when she was in South Africa and a fire broke out in Archie's nursery while she was away.
  • Meghan says despite what had happened, she soon had to get onto her next royal engagement.

Meghan Markle has released the first episode of her Archetypes podcast on Spotify.

"I'm Meghan, and this is Archetypes: the podcast where we dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back," the Duchess of Sussex says in a teaser for the new series. "I'll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives. And, I'll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place. Archetypes. Coming soon. Listen only on Spotify."

In the first episode, released Tuesday, Meghan gets candid as she speaks to friend and tennis pro Serena Williams about ambition.

During their conversation, she opens up about a terrifying ordeal that saw a fire break out in the nursery where Archie was staying while the couple and their son were touring South Africa in 2019.

"When we went on our tour to South Africa, we landed with Archie. 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."

Meghan continues: "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?"

They rushed back, Meghan says, and found their nanny in 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 back with a mud cloth, and her instinct was like, 'Let me just bring him with me before I put him down.' 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," Meghan explains.

And just like that, Meghan recalls the couple had to leave Archie and dash off again to their next engagement.

Meghan says:

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. And part of the humanising 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.

Meghan and Harry's first official engagement in South Africa saw them dancing in Nyanga while the Duchess of Sussex gave an impassioned speech.

"May I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me, I am here as a mother, as a wife, as a woman of colour, and as your sister," Meghan said.

"I am here with you and I am here for you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of ubuntu."

The engagement that followed saw the couple visit District Six in Cape Town, where Meghan broke away from her royal entourage to accept a stuffed toy from a little girl for Archie who was back at home.


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