When We Talks

bitchy | Duchess Meghan told a heartbreaking story about Archie in ‘Archetypes’


The British media can’t help themselves, honestly. Within the first few hours of Spotify’s release of the Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes podcast, the Daily Mail had already devoted at least six stories to it. Only one podcast episode is out! But they’re obsessed and this is the best press Spotify has gotten in years. Currently, the British media is mad about the fact that Prince Harry stopped in to say hello to Serena Williams and compliment Serena’s hair. They’re also mad that Meghan made a reference to how she was treated by them, because Meghan said she didn’t “ever remember personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ambitious, until I started dating my now husband.” The part of the pod which is getting the most attention though is Meghan telling a story about the Sussexes’ African tour in the fall of 2019, where they had to leave Archie behind while they did an event and his nursery caught fire.

While speaking about their roles as mothers, Meghan revealed that during her visit to Africa with Prince Harry in 2019, a fire broke out in the nursery where their son, Archie Harrison, was staying. “When we went on our tour to South Africa, we landed with Archie,” Meghan, 41, 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.”

“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?”

Meghan said they raced back to the residence and their “amazing nanny” Lauren was “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.’ 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 said. She added, “He was supposed to be sleeping in there.”

Meghan said everyone was “in tears” and “shaken” by the incident, but they had to leave for another scheduled engagement.

“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… And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”

Serena replied, “I couldn’t have done that. I would have said, ‘Uh-uh.’ “

[From People]

This behind-the-scenes look at Meghan’s time in the royal machinery reminds me of a dozen stories which the British media has repeated over and over. Meghan “emailed at 5 am,” Meghan “made a staffer cry,” Meghan was mean to staffers in Australia, and on and on. I wonder if the roots of so many of those stories were along these lines – something happened, Meghan reacted as a human being or reacted as a pregnant woman or mother, and instead of giving her grace or simply telling the backstory of what actually happened, everything gets twisted. Imagine being told that you have to go to the next event when your child could have burned to death just minutes beforehand. This too is why the Sussexes left.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.


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