Meghan Markle launched her new podcast with another scathing attack on the way she was treated while she was a working royal, saying that she was obliged to continue with official engagements after her son, Archie, narrowly avoided being hurt after his nursery caught fire during a 2019 tour of South Africa, and was not allowed to say what happened.
Meghan was speaking on the first episode of her Archetypes podcast, which went live Tuesday morning and featured her interview with Serena Williams about the criticism often dished out to ambitious women.
As the tennis ace was talking about how her daughter, Olympia, once suffered a fractured wrist the evening before she had to play a major tournament, Meghan had a horrifying story of her own.
Speaking about a trip to South Africa with Prince Harry and their infant son in September 2019, Meghan said, “The moment we landed, we had to drop [Archie] off at this housing unit they had us staying in. He was going to get ready to go down for his nap and we immediately went to an official engagement.”
She said: “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?”
A shocked Serena says: “Stop.”
Meghan said they were soon “racing back” to the unit, where they found that their “amazing nanny Lauren,” who “was supposed to put Archie down for his nap,” had decided to go downstairs and get a snack, and luckily took Archie with her.
Meghan revealed: “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. He was supposed to be sleeping in there.
“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.’ I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?’
“We did. We had to leave our baby, and even though we were moved into another place afterward, we still had to leave him, and go and do another official engagement.”
Serena says, “I couldn’t have done that…”
Meghan responds with a sigh, “Yeah, well.”
The Daily Beast has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment on the nursery fire Meghan described.
The recollection adds to Meghan’s previous complaints about the palace, including officials reportedly refusing to correct the record when she says she was wrongly accused by reporters of making Kate Middleton cry during a flower-girl fitting ahead of her wedding.
Entitled “The Misconception of Ambition With Serena Williams,” the podcast sees Meghan and tennis star Williams in conversation.
The podcast is the first of 12 episodes in a series called Archetypes, which aims to challenge stereotypes, and is due to be released on a weekly basis, with next week’s installment featuring Mariah Carey.
It is the second podcast episode by Meghan and Harry’s company, Archewell, to be released on Spotify, despite the platform inking a reported multimillion-dollar deal to sign them up.
Prince Harry made an appearance in the episode. Meghan says to him: “You want to come say hi? Look who just popped in.”
Meghan and Serena greet Harry with exaggerated in British accents, and Harry says to Serena: “I like what you’ve done with your hair. That’s a great vibe.”
Meghan says: “Thanks my love,” as Harry leaves.