During the podcast’s inaugural episode in August 2022, the Suits alum discussed the concept of ambition with her friend Serena Williams. “I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ‘ambitious’ until I started dating my now-husband, [Prince Harry],” the former Tig blogger explained. “Apparently, ambition is a terrible, terrible thing — for a woman, that is.”
“The moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in,” the former actress explained. “He was going to get ready to go down for his nap.”
The Archewell cofounder and the former military pilot “immediately” left for a royal engagement, but when it was over, they got some scary news. “We finish the engagement, we get in the car and they say there’s been a fire at the residence,” Meghan recalled. “There’s been a fire in the baby’s room.”
Archie wasn’t in the nursery at the time of the fire, but his parents — who welcomed daughter Lili in June 2021 — were still shaken up by the incident. “I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?’” Meghan asked. “We still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”
In the second episode of “Archetypes,” the Northwestern University alum revealed that her guest Mariah Carey was one of her childhood heroes, in part because the singer had a similar background. “You were so formative for me,” Meghan explained. “[When] you came onto the scene, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Someone … someone kind of looks like me.'”
The duchess was so enthralled by the “Dreamlover” music video that she tried to recreate Carey’s outfit at home. “I remember going, ‘I need to get jean shorts. Oh, I need to get jean shorts,'” Meghan recalled. “I need to have that little checkered, tied-up shirt.”
Keep scrolling for the biggest revelations from Meghan’s “Archetypes” podcast.
Credit: Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock
Meghan Markle's 'Archetypes' Podcast: Her Biggest Revelations About Royal Life
Not holding back. Meghan Markle's "Archetypes" podcast features interviews with other famous women, but the Duchess of Sussex has also revealed plenty about herself.
During the podcast's inaugural episode in August 2022, the Suits alum discussed the concept of ambition with her friend Serena Williams. "I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word 'ambitious' until I started dating my now-husband, [Prince Harry]," the former Tig blogger explained. "Apparently, ambition is a terrible, terrible thing — for a woman, that is."
The Bench author has also offered occasional glimpses into her life in "The Firm" before she and the Duke of Sussex stepped down as senior working royals in January 2020. (They made their final official appearance two months later.)
Meghan recounted a particularly harrowing moment during the first episode of "Archetypes," recalling an incident that happened during her and Harry's 2019 tour of Southern Africa. The pair embarked on the trip with their son Archie, who was then 4 months old.
“The moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in,” the former actress explained. “He was going to get ready to go down for his nap."
The Archewell cofounder and the former military pilot "immediately" left for a royal engagement, but when it was over, they got some scary news. "We finish the engagement, we get in the car and they say there’s been a fire at the residence,” Meghan recalled. “There’s been a fire in the baby’s room.”
Archie wasn't in the nursery at the time of the fire, but his parents — who welcomed daughter Lili in June 2021 — were still shaken up by the incident. "I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?'” Meghan asked. "We still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”
In the second episode of "Archetypes," the Northwestern University alum revealed that her guest Mariah Carey was one of her childhood heroes, in part because the singer had a similar background. "You were so formative for me,” Meghan explained. “[When] you came onto the scene, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Someone … someone kind of looks like me.'"
The duchess was so enthralled by the "Dreamlover" music video that she tried to recreate Carey's outfit at home. "I remember going, 'I need to get jean shorts. Oh, I need to get jean shorts,'" Meghan recalled. "I need to have that little checkered, tied-up shirt."
Keep scrolling for the biggest revelations from Meghan's "Archetypes" podcast.
The Fire in Archie's Room
During the "Archetypes" premiere episode in August 2022, Meghan claimed that she and Harry had to continue with their royal engagements after there was a fire in Archie's nursery. “As a mother, you go, ‘Oh, my God, what?’ Everyone’s in tears, everyone’s shaken,” she recalled. “And what do we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement? I said, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.'”
Meghan wanted to tell organizers of their next event what had happened, but she was seemingly told that wasn't an option. “The focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels," she said. "And even though we were being moved into another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
How Dating Harry Changed Things
In the "Duality of Diva" episode in August 2022, Meghan said that her romance with Harry changed the way she thought about her race. “I think for us, it’s very different because we’re light-skinned,” she told Carey. “You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between. If there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband. Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted.”
Reflecting on the moment later in the episode, Meghan said: "You couldn't see me, obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit. ... I just kept thinking, in that moment, was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me? So, she must have felt my nervous laughter, and you all would’ve heard it too. And she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear. When she said 'diva,' she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the quote-unquote fabulousness as she sees it. She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig."
Being an 'Ugly Duckling'
During an emotional conversation with Mindy Kaling, the duchess reflected on feeling different from other kids growing up because she had "massive, frizzy, curly hair and a huge gap in my teeth." The philanthropist went on to describe herself as being an "ugly duckling" who stood out from the crowd. "I was the smart one. Forever and ever and ever and ever. And then [I] just sort of grew up," she said. "But I never had anyone to sit with at lunch. I was always a little bit of a loner and really shy and didn't know where I fit in. And so I just ... was like, 'OK, well then I'll become the president of the multicultural club and the president of sophomore class and the president of this and [join] French club.' And by doing that, I had meetings at lunchtime. So I didn't have to worry about who I would sit with or what I would do because I was always so busy."
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How Harry Helped Her
Meghan opened up about getting help when her mental health was at its "worst" while speaking about the connotations of the word "crazy" with guests Constance Wu, Jenny Slate and Deepika Padukone. "I mean, I think at my worst point, being finally connected to someone that [helped]," she recalled during the October 11, 2022, episode, adding that Harry. Was the one who referred her to a professional. "She didn't know I was even calling her. She was checking out at the grocery store. ... [I was saying] I need help and she could hear the dire state that I was in."
Meghan added: "But I think it's [important] for all of us to be really honest about what it is that [we] need and to not be afraid to make peace with that, to ask for it."
On Being 'Reduced' to a Bimbo On 'Deal or No Deal'
Before landing the role of Rachel Zane on Suits, Markle worked as a briefcase model on the long-running game show for one season. "My experience on the show — which included holding said briefcase on stage, alongside 25 other women doing the same — was ... for me, fascinating," she said during an October 2022 episode of the "Archetypes" podcast. Explaining that she had just come from working at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, where she was "being valued specifically for my brain," the duchess struggled with being valued solely for her looks on the show.
"When I look back at that time, I'll never forget this one detail. ... There was a woman who ran the show and she'd be there backstage and I can still hear her ... she'd go, 'Markle, suck it in! Markle, suck it in!'" Markle recalled. "And by the way, I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn't the focus of why we were there. I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. ... I didn't like being forced to be all looks and little substance, and that's how it felt for me at the time — being reduced to this specific archetype."
Unpacking the 'Angry Black Woman' Trope
During the October 25, 2022, episode, Meghan discussed the myth of the "angry Black woman" with Issa Rae and Ziwe. After the Insecure alum said that she'd been called "particular" by a colleague, Meghan noted that she also describes herself that way, adding that it can still be a loaded term.
"I also know that I will find myself cowering and tiptoeing into a room where, I don’t know if you do the thing that I find the most embarrassing, when you're saying a sentence, but the intonation goes up like it's a question," she said. "And I was just like, 'Oh, my God, stop, stop, whispering and tiptoeing around it.' Just say what it is that you need. You're allowed to set a boundary. You're allowed to be clear. It does not make you demanding. It does not make you difficult. [It] makes you clear."
Credit: David Fisher/Shutterstock
Advice She Got Before Royal Wedding
The philanthropist spoke with Jameela Jamil, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Ilana Glazer during a November 2022 episode of "Archetypes," remembering some words of wisdom she received days before marrying Harry in 2018. "[It was] a very, very influential and inspiring woman, who — for her own privacy — I won't share who it was with you," Meghan said. "She said to me, 'I know that your life is changing, but please don't give up your activism. Don't give up because it means so much to women and girls.'"
The former actress continued: "And I kept doing the work for women and girls because it matters, yes. But also, because she encouraged me to do so. And the collective voice of all of us telling each other that matters is perhaps the point. There's safety in numbers. But there's also strength in numbers."
Getting Through 'S--t'
Meghan thanked Jamil for "fighting back" against social media hate and U.K. tabloid nonsense after the Good Place alum revealed she took a strong stance in support of the duchess. "It's an unfathomable amount of s--t that you take, Meghan. I can't believe it," the She-Hulk actress said in November 2022. "And I fought back on your behalf for years before I'd ever met you because I was so outraged by the twisting of this very normal, very kind, very civilized woman. That demonization just shows how afraid they are of you. I'm so sorry you've had to withstand it."
Jamil also revealed that Meghan was a big help during her own battles. "You have been such a sobering voice of unwavering support to me," she said. "And people don't know that you frequently reach out to women who are having a very, very hard time. You reach out to us. You don't do it publicly. You don't come to get any glory, but you privately reach out to us in our most lonely and desperate moments. And we need more of that in the world. And so, I just I appreciate you and thank you for that, because those are some hairy moments and I needed that guidance."
Credit: Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock
The Double Standard of Female Sexuality
“I don't understand what it is about the stigma surrounding women and their sexuality, the exploration of their sexuality that is so much more vilified than for a man,” the duchess shared on the “Beyond the Archetype: Human, Being” episode in November 2022.
Credit: Robin Utrecht/Shutterstock; Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
How Her 'Real Housewives' Fandom Changed
During the season finale of "Archetypes" in November 2022, Meghan spoke to Andy Cohen and revealed that she'd once been rejected for an appearance on Watch What Happens Live while she was on Suits. "I was so eager to be on your show because I was such a Housewives fan at the time and I just couldn't get booked, Andy!" she quipped.
A decade later, however, she no longer watches the show that inspired her quest to be on WWHL. "I stopped watching The Housewives when my life had its own level of drama that I stopped craving," she explained. "I get why it was such a huge, huge part of pop culture. And when it began, because you began with Orange County and I'm from California, at least it felt remotely like a world that I knew but still felt so foreign."
When Cohen asked her about fan speculation that she would join RHOBH after her move to California, Meghan revealed that she'd never heard about it. "You mean really that this is my audition for Real Housewives of Montecito? Is this the moment?" she joked to the Bravo exec. Cohen replied: "You don't have to audition. We'll build the show around you. How about that?" Meghan, however, clarified that "there will be no reality show."